John VIII Palaeologus

probably Italian
probably reproduction of original 15th century
Artist Antonio Pisano (called Pisanello) (Italian, about 1395–1455)

Place of Manufacture: Italy

Catalogue Raisonné

Hill 19. Kress 1.


Diameter and weight: 102 mm (4 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Metal; cast bronze

Not On View





Circular medal of John VIII Palaeologus, emperor of Byzantium (born 1392, emporer 1423-48), who came to Ferrara on 8 October 1438 to attend a council with Pope Eugenius IV on the reconciliation of the Eastern and Western Churches for support against the Turks.

Obverse: Profile bust of John VIII Palaeologus looking to proper left, with pointed beard and wearing tall hat with large brim; inscribed in Greek [“John, king and emperor of the Romans, the Paleologus”].

Reverse: John VIII Palaeologus on horseback looking to proper left, wearing same hat as on obverse; a squire on horseback seen from behind at proper right; landscape in background; inscribed above “·OPVS·PISANI·PICTO/RIS·” and below in Greek.


Obverse: Inscribed at edge in Greek ["John, king and emperor of the Romans, the Paleologus"].

Reverse: Signed above "·OPVS·PISANI·PICTO/RIS·" and below in Greek.


By 1875, C.C. Perkins, Boston; 1909, transferred from C.C. Perkins to Charles B. Perkins, Boston; 1923, sold by Charles B. Perkins to the MFA for $1000 [see note 1]. (Accession Date: April 5, 1923)

[1] MFA accession numbers 23.202-209 were acquired together for $1000.

Credit Line

Lucy Stone Brewer Fund