John VIII Palaeologus

John VIII Palaeologus. Emperor of Constantinople. Born in 1390, was Emperor from 1425 until 1448. The Paleologo was an aristocratic Byzantine family; they reigned over the Byzantine Empire from 1258-1453.

Antonio Pisano (known as Pisanello) — Painter and Sculptor, 1395-1455

He was born in Pisa, worked in Rimini, Venice, Naples, Ferrara and Mantova. Pisanello is considered ‘The Creator’ of the Renaissance medals.


Obverse: · Ἰωάννης Βασιλεύς · καί · Αὑτο/κρἀτωρ · Ῥωμαἰων · ό · Παλαιολόγός · (John, king and emperor of the Romans, the Palaeologus ). Bust facing right, with beard and moustache, wearing hat with tall crown and large upturned brim, pointed in front; vest and cloak with falling collar, hair in long curls.

Reverse: Along the top: · OPVS · PISANI · PICTORIS · ; below, in sunk bank: · Ἕργον · του · Πισἀνου · Ζωγρἀφου. The Emperor on ambling horse, facing right, wearing hat as on obv., has bow at left, quiver at right side; raises folded hands as he passes wayside cross; behind him a page on horseback seen from behind; in background, rocks.


The medal, was originally cast by Pisanello in Ferrara (1438-39) where Paleologus went for the “Council of the Two Churches”.

95 mm. Bronze cast.
Good patina and cast.
Hill 19; Armand I, 7, 20; Pollard 1 = Kress 1; Bargello 2; Syson/Gordon 71, p. 31, fig. 1.35; Cordellier 119.