Relief plaque with the coat of arms of Pius IX

1856 circa
Material and technique: 
Copper on wood, 176 cm x 84 cm
MR 461

The relief, which was made using the electroplating technique, is decorated with the coat of arms of Pius IX held up by angels with the papal keys. The plaque was designed to be attached to the front of the locomotive of the pope’s train and has flag holders on the back. Various vintage photographs show that it was also used with the train now on display in the Centrale Montemartini.

The hall

Giovanni Maria Mastai Ferretti, who became pope on 16 June 1846 taking the name Pius IX, was fully aware of the key role that railways would play in the economic, social and political development of European nations in the immediate future. In 1846, soon after his election, he gave orders for the construction of a series of railways linking Rome to the leading cities of the Papal States.