Jean, Marquis d'Espinay

Lion Under Tree

Bronze, 46.9 mm Ø, 26.3 g
By Anteo Lotello, 1578.
Obverse:  Bust of Jean d'Espinay facing left, wearing ruff, curiass ornamented with lion's head on left shoulder, and a collar with medal of the Order of Saint Michael. Around, IEHAN · MARQVIS · DESPINAI · CONTE · DE · DVRESTAL (Jean, Marquis d'Espinay, Count of Durtal).
Reverse:  A lion crouching at the base of a tree entwined by a vine. Around, SIC · IONCTI · SVMVS · AMORE (Thus We Are United By Love). In exergue, HOS · DVOS · CONSERVO (These Two I Preserve) at the top, · ANTEO · F · at the bottom. A center line of text is missing from the exergue of this piece due to the poor casting in that area, and should read · 1578 · .

Jean d'Espinay (1528 - 1591), Count of Durtal, was a man of war and Knight of the Order of Saint Michael. He served under five kings of France: Henry II, François II, Charles IX, Henry III, and Henry IV. He was appointed chamberlain of Henry II and light calvary company captain and steward of Albi and Castres. He was rewarded for his services by Charles IX by being made a Knight of the Order of Saint Michael, and Henry III established his lordship at Espinay in 1576. In 1578, his son, Claude d'Espinay, was married to Françoise de La Rochefoucauld, the event to which this medal refers.

An elusive medal, lacking from the British Museum, Bargello, National Gallery of Art, and Berlin Münzkabinett collections.


Morton & Eden 72, 15-16 December 2014, lot 402.


Toderi and Vannel 2000, no. 177