Copy in two halves of a medal of Borso d'Este. The original medal was made in 1471 by Giacomo Lixignolo. This Electrotype copy made circa 1881 by Robert Ready. The original medal was acquired by the British Museum and later exhibited in the King's Library in 1881. It is No. 45 in the catalogue of that exhibition. It is thought that this electrotype was produced in association with that exhibition and publication and acquired by the National Gallery of Victoria where it was displayed in the mid 1880s.
Borso d'Este, Duke of Ferrara and Modena (1450-1471)
"Borso was a reformer of the administration and a great patron of arts and letters...The Unicorn frequently appears upon the medals of Borso d'Este. It is a symbol of purity, its horn being supposed an antidote to poison; and it is perhaps here used to signify the purity of Borso's administration" King's Library Catalogue, 1881 p.9.
Bust of Borso facing left wearing jewelled cuirass and cap; around, + DIVVS . BORSIVS . DVX . [MVTIN]AE . ET . REGII PRINCEPS . FERRARIAE . MARCHIO . E . ACCOMES. RODIGII &c. (Cf. no. 27.) Rev.
A unicorn seated facing left beside a stream, into which he dips his horn; beyond, tree with fruit
Transfer from National Gallery of Victoria (NGV), 15/3/1976
Type of item
64 mm (Outside Diameter)
[Book] Keary, C F. 1881. Guide to the Italian medals exhibited in the King's library.