Medallion with Sultan Mehmet II’s portrait returning to country
The Istanbul Municipality has brought the medallion depicting portraits of Ottoman Sultan Mehmet II made by Italian artist Costanza de Ferrara in 1481 from the U.K. to the country.
The municipality earlier purchased the medallion for 38,000 pounds at an auction in London.
The medallion, which is exhibited in the Victoria and Albert Museum in the U.K., will be brought to Istanbul.
The medallion will be put on display to the public and kept under special protection.
The obverse of the coin with a diameter of 11 centimeters, which was cast in Naples in Italy, contains the inscription “Sultan Muhammad, the Byzantine Emperor, a descendant of Osman” along with the portrait of Sultan Mehmet, which is believed to have been painted while he was alive.
On the reverse side, where the Sultan is seen on a horse, it is written “Muhammad, Emperor of Asia and Greece, Equestrian Portrait on a campaign.”
There are only four copies of the medallion in the world.
The Venetian artist Constanza da Ferrara, who made the medallion in Naples in 1481, came to Istanbul after Sultan Mehmet invited a portrait painter from Italy.
In 1453, Sultan Mehmet II conquered Istanbul, which was the capital of the Byzantine Empire, known as the Eastern Roman Empire at that time and from where the Byzantines ruled their empire for more than 1,000 years.
The conquest transformed the city, once the center of the Byzantine realm, into the new capital of the Ottoman Empire.