Covella (Camilla) Sforza

Camilla Sforza, “Signora” of Pesaro; wife of Costanzo Sforza who married her in 1475; she became widow in 1483 and died in 1499.

Sperandio of Mantova — Sculptor, Painter, Architect, Goldsmith (1435-1520).

The most prolific medallist of the 15th Century (48 medals), lived mostly in Ferrara; 5 years in Venice and 10 years in Bologna. Also worked in Milano, Faenza and Padova.


Obverse: · CAMILLA · SFOR · DE · ARAGONIA · MATRONAR · PVDICISSIMA · PISNRI.DOMINA · Bust three-quarter facing left with widow’s veil covering forehead, falling on shoulders; bodice with triangular opening over undergarment. Plain border.

Reverse: · SIC · ITVR · ADASTRA ·, and below OPVS SPERANDEI. Scene: female figure with girdled tunic, seated in front between the head of a unicorn and a hound; long arrow in right hand; a serpent with dragon head in left hand that threatens her.


Cast between 1483 (when Costanzo died) and 1489 when she retired to Torricella. The unicorn and the hound on the reverse stand for chastity and fidelity.

81.8 mm. Bronze cast.
Rough patina; some wear, lacks details, filled hole.
Hill 399; Armand I, 74, 43; Pollard 90 = Kress 130; Bargello 114.