Catholic Religious Medal, Spanish Inquisition Era

Date: 1500s - 1700s
Spanish Empire

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Item Description:

Note: Some of these medals still have an attached bail (the loop used to string a pendant), while others do not. If you intend to wear your medal on a chain, select "Wearable: Yes" in the item options above.

These bronze religious medals showcase figures from Catholicism, including Jesus, the Virgin Mary, angels, and numerous saints. They date from the late Renaissance in the 16th century to the end of the early modern period in the 18th century, which would have been in the middle of the Spanish Inquisition.

The Spanish Inquisition (1478–1834) was a judicial institution officially established to combat heresy in Spain. However, its actual purpose extended beyond this religious mandate. In practice, the Spanish Inquisition was used as a tool to consolidate power in the monarchy of the newly unified Spanish kingdom, with religious motivations being a secondary concern.

History of Catholic Religious Medals:

Also known as "devotional medals," these religious items trace their roots to the ancient pre-Christian tradition of wearing amulets and talismans. These evolved into jetons in the Middle Ages, which were coin like tokens inscribed with religious designs. Devotional medals as they are known today first developed in the late 1300s, but only gained widespread popularity in the 1500s once large scale production made them accessible to the masses. 

These medals were discovered in Spain, and the encrustations on several indicate they might have been buried. However, such medals were prevalent throughout Europe and their inscriptions are primarily in Latin, so pinpointing their exact nation of origin is challenging. They were not only popular in Spain but also widely circulated in neighboring countries like France and Italy as well.

All items include a Certificate of Authenticity.


Your order will include:

  • The historical item(s) shown above
  • Glass top leatherette display box
  • Information card and Certificate of Authenticity

Our original glass and leatherette display boxes showcase your relic above a custom information card, with a design unique to History Hoard.

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