Constantine the Great

French (Burgundy)
Medieval
early 15th century
Possibly by Michelet Saulmon (French)


Object Place: France

Catalogue Raisonné

Kress 524

Dimensions

Diameter and weight: 88 mm (3 7/16 in.)

Accession Number

57.170

Medium or Technique

Metal; silver (95% silver, 5% copper)

Not On View

Collections

Europe

Classifications

Medals

Circular medal of Constantine the Great (Roman Emperor AD 307-37). One of a pair, probably made for Jean, Duc de Berry, after designs by Pol de Limbourg.

Obverse: Equestrian figure of Constantine the Great looking to proper left, wearing a long robe; inscribed at edge “CONSTANTINVS·INXRO·DEO·FIDELIS·IMPERATOR·ET·MODERATOR ROMANORVM·ET·SEMPER·AVGVSTVS” and below horse “234”.

Reverse: Fountain composed of basin of water, plant, and cross (possibly Fountain of Life); flanked by clothed, older woman on proper right and semi-nude younger woman on proper left, both seated; inscribed at sides of cross “Z” to proper right and “T” to proper left and at edge “·MIHI·ABSIT·GLORIARI·NIS·IN·CRVCE·DOMINI·NOSTRI·IHV·XRI·”

Inscription

Obverse: Inscribed at edge "CONSTANTINVS·INXRO·DEO·FIDELIS·IMPERATOR·ET·MODERATOR ROMANORVM·ET·SEMPER·AVGVSTVS" ["Constantine, faithful in Christ our God, emperor and ruler of the Romans forever exalted"] and below horse "234".

Reverse: Inscribed at sides of cross "Z" to proper right and "T" to proper left and at edge "·MIHI·ABSIT·GLORIARI·NIS·IN·CRVCE·DOMINI·NOSTRI·IHV·XRI·" [God forbid that I should glory in anything save in the Cross of our Lord Jesus Christ" from Galatians 6:14].

Provenance

Wilhelm IX, Landgrave of Hesse-Kassel (b. 1743 - d. 1821) [see note 1]. 1957, Leopold Blumka, New York; 1957, sold by Blumka to the MFA for $1,500. (Accession Date: March 14, 1957)

NOTES:
[1] According to information supplied by curator Hanns Swarzenski at the time of the medal's acquisition.

Credit Line

Theodora Wilbour Fund in memory of Zoë Wilbour