Leonello D’Este

Leonello D’Este, Marquess of Ferrara, born in 1407, became “Signore” of Ferrara in 1441 until 1450. He was the natural son of Pope Niccolo’ III.

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: LEONELLVS MARCHIO ESTENSIS; the words are separated by olive branches. Bust facing right, with short curly hair, wearing surcoat with scale decoration over mail.

Reverse: OPVS PISANI PICTORIS, depiction of head comprised of three infantile faces. A knee piece hanging from olive branches adorn either side.


Since a fresco by Giovanni Basile, showing the same portrait of Leonello was painted in 1443, this medal was cast prior to 1443.

66.0 mm. (Max. Diameter reported: 69 mm.); Bronze cast.
Good patina; Slight wear; Filled hole at top; Likely an original cast.
Hill 24; Armand I, 3, 4; Pollard 6 = Kress 6; Bargello 7.