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DSCF1087-horz.jpg NICOLAS CHEVALIER, Premier Pesident de la Cour des Aides en 1610, Chancelier de la Reine Anne d'Autriche, mort en 1636.(other sources give his death as 19th Feb. 1630, which is the more likely, making this his death medal)

N.CHEVALIER.SVBSID.PAR.P.PRAES.ET.ANNAE.R.CANCELLARIVS. Buste a droit de Nicolas Chevalier en costume de magistrat; au-dessous du buste : M.DC.XXX.

Sans revers, font 50mm-Br. Cab de France.

H. de la Tour, Medaille modernes, etc., dans la Rev. numismatigue, 1892, p. 496.

Mazzerole 858


Cast bronze medal, which has a museum or collectors number 89 on the reverse. The reverse has had the excess of the casting marks removed recently but the itself medal appears to be original from 1630. The example in the French National Collection is also unifaced.


Chevalier, baron of Crissé, was a successful diplomat in late sixteenth-century France and like his distinguished fifteenth-century ancestor Étienne Chevalier, had been appointed as French ambassador to England and Italy. He was variously; Vice President of Parliament, First President of the Court of Aides, Master of Request of the King's Household & the Chancellor to the Queen, Anne of Austria(wife of the French King), he was also Superintendent of Navarre & Bearn. A true renaissance man, he had also been a lawyer, financier, poet, orator and soldier.


We are luck to have an image of his coat of arms from a vellum book cover(he possesed the greatest collection of books in France) note the double C monograms emphasising his surname's initial letter. One other thing of interest is his collar, this style was not in vogue for very long but here is Philip IV of spain wearing the same collar from that period.



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I am totally amazed. Since I am new to the field of exonumia I would never have guessed that medals go that far back and of such quality. In 1630 a medal of such quality must have cost a pretty penny or you had to be an person of noteriety to receive one. I suppose there are medals back to the roman times?

This one is just fantastic!

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Thanks Roger, if you click on the tag "RENAISSANCE MEDAL" you will see more of my medals from this period.


This from the British Museum;


"Pisanello's medal of John VIII Palaeologus

Diameter: 103mm Cast bronze medal of John VIII Palaeologus, Emperor of Byzantium, by Pisanello

Ferrara, Italy, about AD 1438-42

The first Renaissance medal?

According to art historical tradition, this is 'the first true portrait medal of the Renaissance'. However this belief reflects more the desire of art historians to identify precise moments in the 'progress' of the visual arts, than the actual documented history of medals.

We do, however, know the very precise circumstances of the medal's manufacture: the visit of the emperor John VIII Palaeologus (1392-1448) to Ferrara in October 1438 at the invitation of Pope Eugenius IV, for the Council intended to unite the Greek and Latin churches. Plague in the city forced the council's removal to Florence in February 1439 and thus the piece's inception, if not its actual execution, can be precisely dated. Pisanello's presence in the city is documented by the eye-witness drawings he made of the emperor and his entourage. The fact that the subject is an emperor depicted has been often stressed. The idea for the medal's production was likely to have come from the court of the Este (the ruling family of Ferrara) but it is generally thought that it was inspired by two medals of the Roman emperors Constantine and Heraclius, of early fifteenth-century French workmanship, then thought to have been antique"


I recommend "The Currency of Fame, Portrait Medals of the Renaissance" it is a fabulous introduction to the cast medals of the renaissance, beg, borrow or steal a copy!

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Were they uniface due to a intention to have them mounted onto something?


Many, though not all, of the Italian renaissance medals were double-sided, the French in contrast produced many unifaced examples. I don't think the unifaced ones were made to be mounted, just the medallist, or whoever commissioned the medal, only wanted/needed the portrait of the personage displayed.

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