Diameter: 10, 9 cm
Charles IX is born in Saint Germain en Laye in 1550. He was the second son of Henri II and Catherine de Medicis. He followed on the throne, at the age of ten, his brother François II who ruled a few monthes. His mother Catherine ruled for him; he was as fragile physically and psychologically as his brothers. All along his reign, he suffered from his mother’s preference for his brother Henri, and rejoiced when the latter was elected king of Poland in 1573, but died soon after in 1574. Though initially tolerant towards Protestants, it was during his reign that happened the massacres of saint Barthélémy, in 1572.
On this medallion, he is sitting under a drapery supported by two angels; he holds the insignias of his power (crown, sceptre, hand of justice). His feet rest on two lions, a reminiscence of King Salomon’s throne.
This medallion is the image of the seal of Order of Saint Michel, founded in 1469 by Louis XI, and the King of France is the master of this Order. Maybe can we imagine it was the top of the seal box.
Very few ivory objects are known from the French sixteenth century.