John VIII Palaeologus, Portrait of one of the last Emperors of the Byzantine Empire.

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by BenSi, Jun 17, 2021.

  1. BenSi

    BenSi Well-Known Member

    A cast Medallion of John VIII Palaeologus , it is a late creation , I am guessing 1900 because it is only one sided. The original was done the 1440’s. I am framing it to display Pisanello's artwork and an excellent portrait of an emperor.

    It was the first cast medal made in Italy, before this all of them were struck. It is impressive at 104mm but what is very cool is it is a literal portrait of the next to Last Byzantine Emperor, the art of the empire was abstract in keeping with the rules of spiritualism, true beauty is from within.

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  3. The Trachy Enjoyer

    The Trachy Enjoyer Well-Known Member

    Indeed. Its not often that byzantine historical figures receive justice like this in terms of realism. Great pickup!
  4. Iosephus

    Iosephus Well-Known Member

    Certainly one of the most important medals in the history of art. Here is my example:

    Lead, 101.6 mm Ø, 504.4 g

    From the Michael Hall collection.
    Exhibited in The Currency of Fame (1994 exhibition held at the National Gallery of Art in Washington DC and the Frick Collection in New York).
    Ex Rudolph Lepke (Berlin), 28-29 April 1931, lot 347 (W. von Dirksen collection).
  5. Mat

    Mat Ancient Coincoholic

    That's neat, very cool.
  6. BenSi

    BenSi Well-Known Member


    John VIII AR Stavraton 7.14g, abstract as noted in my op.
  7. ValiantKnight

    ValiantKnight I AM the Senate! Supporter

    John VIII Palaiologos, Byzantine Empire
    AR stavraton
    Obv: IC-XC, Facing bust of Christ, surrounded by eight dots
    Rev: IWANHC DECPOTIC O PALEOLOGOC QV XAPITI AVTOKPATOP in two lines around nimbate facing bust of the emperor, dot to left and right
    Mint: Constantinople
    Date: 1425-1448
    Ref: SB 2563
    Size: 6.66 gr.


    John VIII Palaiologos, Byzantine Empire
    AR half-stavraton
    Obv: IC-XC, Facing bust of Christ
    Rev: IWANHC DECPOTIC Q PALEOLOGOC, nimbate facing bust of the emperor
    Mint: Constantinople
    Date: 1425-1448
    Ref: SB 2565
    Size: 3.3 gr.

  8. sand

    sand Active Member

    It is striking, the difference between the Italian medal, versus the Byzantine stavraton. Both have portraits of John VIII. Both were created during approximately the same time period. Certainly, the Byzantine coin portraits were abstract/stylized, because of the Byzantine spirituality, as BenSi mentioned. Also, the times were increasingly desperate, for the Byzantine Empire, which may also partially explain the crudeness of their later coins.
    Here is a Wikipedia article, about the Italian medal.
    Here is my John VIII stavraton.
    Date = 1425 AD to 1448 AD, maximum diameter = 23 mm, weight = 6.76 grams, Sear 2563, obverse = bust of Jesus Christ, reverse = bust of John VIII
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2021
  9. ancient coin hunter

    ancient coin hunter 3rd Century Usurper

    The Renaissance vs. the 1200 year old Byzantine empire.
    BenSi and sand like this.
  10. BenSi

    BenSi Well-Known Member

    I have to redo one of the painted corks but i think the display came out nicely.
    sand likes this.
  11. sand

    sand Active Member

    Very nice, BenSi.
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2021
  12. sand

    sand Active Member

    Last edited: Jun 20, 2021
  13. BenSi

    BenSi Well-Known Member

    @sand , you are correct , this is only my first attempt with the medallion, I will fix it next weekend. The coin is inside a shadow box that has a built in light. I tried to buy one from my framer after I saw a display model in his shop. The product was discontinued so he gave me the display model ( I do a lot of framing there.) I had originally used it for a Type A Anonymous follis but that was to small, this coin just fits at 104mm.
    My biggest problem was getting the coin to display properly, I had originally used a cylinder and fish tank epoxy for the follis. This was way to heavy for this medallion, so we used four cylinders to displace the weight, and small nails for it to rest upon. One is misplaced. I still like the look.
    It will end up on my desk, nice conversation piece.
    sand likes this.
  14. sand

    sand Active Member

    Thank you for the information, BenSi. I'm sorry, that I deleted my questions above. I thought my questions might be annoying, so I deleted them.
  15. sand

    sand Active Member

    Wow. A shadow box with a built in light. I had no idea. I guess that's why I was confused. It certainly is an interesting effect.
    BenSi likes this.
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