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Medals

Reference:4608 Chiara Gonzaga, Countess of Montpensier and Delphina Auvergne, c. 1495

Bust right, wearing a coif tied under the chin, an over veil falling to the back; and a bodice cut square in front, over a chemise. CLARA. DE. GONZ. COMITI. MONTPENSERII. ET. DELPHINA. ALVIE. A continuous pearled border. Reverse: en cavo. By Bartolommeo Melioli. Bronze, cast. 59 mm. in diameter.

Condition: Very fine, with an even dark-brown patina; a large casting flaw on the truncation, but, nonetheless, a superb cast, with the smallest details on the portrait evident and the extensive legend beautifully figured.

Notes: Chiara Gonzaga 1464-1503), eldest daughter of the marquess Federico I. She married Gilbert de Bourbon, Count of Montpensier and Dauphin d'Auvergne in 1481. Hill dates the medal to the 1480s, but Pollard suggests 1496, when Gilbert de Bourbon died, or thereafter, presumably based on the veiled dress of the sitter. Although unsigned, the medal has stylistic parallels with Bartolommeo Melioli's other signed medals of the Gonzaga family; most closely - and unequivocally - with that of Maddalena Gonzaga, wife of Giovanni Sforza (Hill 197).

References: Hill 200; Kress 70; Pollard (Nat. Gallery of Art) 108; Armand II, 85,5.