Italian pope (1792–1878), born Giovanni Maria Mastai-Ferretti, who ascended the papal throne in 1846. Among the notable achievements of his 32-year reign, the longest in Roman Catholic Church history, Pius convened the historic First Vatican Council, which included the doctrine of papal infallibility. Endorsement and solideo: Ink endorsement, in Italian, signed “28 Mai 1862, Pius PP. IX,” at the conclusion of a one page letter to the Pope, 7.5 x 10. Letter is a petition to Pope Pius IX from a priest asking permission to use holy relics and other religious mementos, boldly endorsed at the conclusion, “Pro gratia fev. Pius PP. IX.”; and Pius XI’s papal solideo. White cloth solideo measures 7.5? in diameter and rests on a wood and padded mold to retain its shape. Solideo is housed in a 10 x 12.5 x 10 Lucite display case with a plaque that reads, “Pio Nono’s Solideo 1862, formally in the possession of Cardinal Innitzer, Archbishop of Vienna.” The white solideo comes from the collection of Lord St. John of Fawsley, along with the letter. Letter is in fine condition, with intersecting folds. Solideo is also in fine condition. Accompanied by a copy of a letter from Holloway’s Auctioneers stating the solideo comes from the collection of Fawsley. Norman St John-Stevas, Baron St John of Fawsley, a British politician, author, and barrister. A devout Roman Catholic he amassed a large collection of royal and Victorian items, including the solideo offered here. Also accompanied by two other photos of cardinals, signed and inscribed to Fawsley, and a photo of Pius in a similar solideo. Any ordained member of the Roman Catholic Church is entitled to wear a black solideo, with white ones reserved only for popes. Personal items of any pope are seldom offered for sale to the public, and such a personal item from the longest reigning Pope in the history of the Church, even more so. Provenance: collection of Lord St. John of Fawsley; Holloway’s 2012. Pre-certified John Reznikoff/PSA/DNA and RR Auction COA.
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