Mohammad II, Sultan of the Turks

Mohammad II, Sultan of the Turks, (1430 – 1481)

Costanzo da Ferrara — Neapolitan School c. 1475-1500, Painter as well as medallist.

Worked chiefly at Naples, although his family remained at Ferrara. From Naples he was summoned to Constantinople (at an unknown date) to paint the portrait of Mohammad II; the painting has not survived, but we have the medal.


Obverse: (leaf) SVLTANI · MOHAMMETH · OCTHOMANI · VGVLI · BIZANTII · INPERATORIS · 1481 · Bust facing left, with moustache, wearing turban and cape. Inscription on sunk hand between double plain circles in relief, interrupted by point of head-dress.

Reverse: (leaf) MOHAMETH · ASIE · ETGRETIE (leaf) INPERATORIS · YMAGO · EQVESTRIS · INEXERCITVS. The Sultan in turban and robes, scimitar at side, bâton in right hand, riding to left, on horseback; in background, rocky landscape with two leafless trees and castle in distance; below, on the ground, OPVS CONSTANTII.


Cast circa 1481. On the ground that Mohammad on this medal looks of powerful physique, whereas early in 1481 he was already suffering from the disease which brought about his death on 3 May.

112.8 mm. Bronze cast.
Some wear, likely original cast.
Hill 322; Kress 102.