Federigo Da Montefeltro

Federigo Da Montefeltro, “Duca” di Urbino, 1422-1482.

Sperandio da Mantova — Sculptor, Painter, Architect, Goldsmith, 1435-1520.

Sperandio da Mantova lived mostly in Ferrara and was the most prolific medallist of the XV century, responsible for 48 medals.


Obverse: DV · FE · VRB · DCS · MOTE · AC · DR · CM · REG · CP · GE · AC · S · RO · ECCL · CN · INVICTI. Bust facing left wearing flat cap.

Reverse: OPVS · SPERANDEI. Scene: Federigo riding to the left in full armour, sword at side, holding the baton in right hand.


The inclusion of the word DIVI in the obverse legend (which reads Of the divine Federigo, Duke of Urbino, Count of Montefeltro and Durante, royal captain-general and unconquered gonfaloniere of the Holy Roman Church) may imply, following ancient Roman tradition, that the medal was made posthumously and the portrait would therefore have been based on existing images of the duke after his death in September 1482. Hill pointed out the similarities that exist between the reverse design and that of Sperandio’s medal of Giovanni II Bentivoglio, Lord of Bologna (Hill 391, see following two lots) and that one must have been used as the model for the other. On 12 April 1482 Federigo was reappointed captain-general of the Italian League and Giovanni Bentivoglio served under him in the failed defence of Ficarolo in June of that year. The present medal is extremely close in fabric and size to the specimen in the British Museum, ex George III collection, and illustrated by Scher, p. 100.


The inscription dates the medal after 1474, likely cast in 1482 to commemorate his death.

90.0 mm. (Max. Diameter reported: 91 mm.); Bronze cast.
Good patina; Some wearing on reverse; Filled hole at top; Probably an original cast.
Hill 389; Armand I, 71, 29; Bargello 108; Johnson/Martini 509-511; Scher 25.