- Museum number
Cast gilt bronze medal; pierced. (whole)
Fame sounding a trumpet, held in her right hand holding second trumpet in her left hand. (reverse)
Bust of Isabella Andreini, left, wearing a dress with an open ruff and a necklace. (obverse)
- Production date
Thickness: 1.60 - 4.40 millimetres
Diameter: 40 millimetres (excluding rim)
Diameter: 23.770 millimetres
Weight: 23.77 grammes
- Curator's comments
- Jones 2
Composition of medal:
90.2% Cu, 4.8% Zn, 1.4% Sn, 2.5% Pb, 0.4% Fe, mercury gilded.
Though battered this seems to be an early, and possibly original, example of the medal.
Isabella Andreini was a famous Italian actress, musician, singer, writer and linguist who attracted the patronage of Charles-Emmanuel I of Savoy and Henri IV of France, who invited her troupe, the Gelosi, to France in 1600.
The Gelosi left Paris late in 1603 (see 3) or early in 1604 (see 4) with a letter of recommendation from the King addressed to the duc de Villeroy. They went to Lyon where Isabella died on 10 June 1604 as the result of a miscarriage and was buried at the Church of the Holy Cross. Her coffin was followed by the entire Corporation of Merchants carrying torches and the banners and mace bearers of the town (see 1).
Though known, at least by reputation, to historians of the theatre the medal was fully published only in 1960 by J. Tricou (see 4), who wrongly described the medal as struck, and was doubtful about an attribution to Dupré. However the medal is in Dupré's style and the monogram (fig. 27) is essentially that on cat. no. 13 but without the G. It seems probable that it was commissioned from Dupré shortly after Isabella's death.
(a) BN, Paris, silver, 38 mm.
(b) BN, Paris, brass, 42 mm.
(c) Milan, bronze, 42 mm. Pierced twice.
1. Charles Magnin 'Teatro Celeste' Revue des Deux Mondes Dec. 1847, pp. 1096-1103.
2. Frank Varley 'Medals connected with actors' Numismatic Circular 1934, p. 163.
3. Dictionnaire de Biographie Française I, p. 972.
4. Jean Tricou 'La Médaille d'Isabella Andreini' RN 1960, pp. 283-287.
- Not on display
- Acquisition date
- Coins and Medals
- Registration number
- C&M catalogue number
MF2 (Jones 2) (61) (17)