- Museum number
Silver medal; pierced with a small hole. (whole)
Profile portrait of Charles VIII against a background sewn with fleurs-de-lys, wearing the order of Saint Michael. (obverse)
Profile portrait of Anne of Brittany against a background sewn to the left with fleurs-de-lys and to the right with ermines. She is wearing a rosary. (reverse)
- Production date
- 1494 (?)
Diameter: 40.000 millimetres
Weight: 12.94 grammes
- Curator's comments
- Jones 1
(a) Cabinet des Médailles, Bibliothèque Nationale, 58 rue de Richelieu, 75084 Paris, France (BN Paris), Sér. Roy. 35, struck gold, 40 mm. From the same dies as the British Museum example.
(b) BN Paris, Sér. Roy. 36, struck silver, 40 mm. From the same dies as the British Museum example.
(c) National Gallery of Art, 6th Street and Constitution Avenue, Washington DC, 20565, USA, Kress no. 526, ?struck bronze, 40 mm.
There are also two bronze specimens (39.5 mm, 40 mm) in the BN Paris.
The register of the deliberations of the Consuls of Lyon records that on the 19 February 1494 they discussed the form of the present that they should give Anne of Brittany when she visited their town. Having considered and rejected a silver tree with golden medals instead of leaves as being very costly and of very little beauty they decided that:
'one could do nothing more appropriate, having regard to the name of the said town, than a handsome lion in gold, well made and modelled, seated on its behind, holding a fine cup of gold in its paws before it, in the antique fashion ... and a hundred pieces of gold made in the fashion of medals ... in the cup' (see 1). These medals were to be 'well struck with portraits of the King on one side and the Queen on the other, from life, with writing and words ...' (see 1). The work was entrusted to 'Jehan, son of Loys Lepère, goldsmith of the said town, who, when what has been recorded here was recited to him, took responsibility for it and promised to do the said work when the necessary gold was delivered to him and swore to keep the matter secret. And my Sires promised to reward him well for doing it'.
The lion and cup were made and the dies for the medals were engraved by Louis Lepère, Nicolas de Florence, his son-in-law (d. 1499), and Jean Lepère (d. c. 1534-7) his eldest son, after a drawing by Jean Perréal. The dies were then given to two monneyers who actually struck the medals (see 2).
Besides the one hundred pieces of gold given to the Queen when she and Charles VIII entered Lyon on 15 March 1494 (1493 old style), each of which weighed seven écus d'or or 24.47 g., further examples were struck by Pierre Le Maistre (see 3) in March 1502 and by Jean Lepére and Anthoine Besson (see 4) in May and August 1514. It is likely that the medal in the British Museum was struck on one of these occasions.
1. Archives Municipales de Lyon, BB 21 fol. 40 r° (Mazerolle I, no. 1).
2. Archives Municipales de Lyon, CC 527 (Mazerolle I, no. 2).
3. Archives Municipales de Lyon, BB 24.
4. Archives Municipales de Lyon, BB 33.
5. Inv. des Méd. des rois, p. 4 no. 1. Probably describes this medal.
6. TN, Méd. Fr. I pl. 3 no. 5.
7. F. de Saulcy: 'Receuil de documents ...' vol. III p. 368.
8. J. Friedländer: 'Die italienischen Schaumünzen des fünfzehnten Jahrhunderts' Berlin 1882, p. 209 and pl. XLII.
9. A. Armand I, p. 89 no. 24, III p. 22, Α.
10. Ν. Rondot: 'La médaille d'Anne de Bretagne et ses auteurs', Lyon and Paris, 1885.
11. N. Rondot: 'Le diamètre des médailles coulées' RN 1895 pp. 403 ff.
12. N. Rondot: 'Les Médailleurs Lyonnais' pp. 8, 9.
13. Mazerolle I, pp. IX, 1-2, II p. 7 no. 22.
14. G. F Hill: 'Medals of the Renaissance', p. 138.
15. J. Babelon: Ά propos du médaillon d'Henri II' Arethuse 1926, p. 112.
16. P. Cott: 'Kress Collection' 1951, p. 195.
17. J. Tricou: 'Médailles Lyonnaises du XVe au XVIIIe siècle', Paris, 1958 p. 5 no. 3.
18. Tervarent cols. 212, 213.
19. Pollard, no. 526.
20. J. Jacquiot: 'Médailles et jetons gravés en taille directe' no. 11.
- Not on display
- Coins and Medals
- Registration number
- C&M catalogue number
MF1 (Jones 1) (34) (13)