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Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor

  • Object:


  • Place of origin:

    Germany (made)

  • Date:

    1521 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Krafft, Hans the Elder, born 1481 - died 1542 (maker)
    Dürer, Albrecht, born 1471 - died 1528 (designer)

  • Materials and Techniques:


  • Credit Line:

    Salting Bequest

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    Medieval & Renaissance, Room 64, The Wolfson Gallery, case SS, shelf 3

Intended to show the excellence of Nuremburg craftsmanship, this medal was designed by Albrecht Dürer on the advice of Willibald Pirckheimer. The city council of Nuremburg commissioned it in 1521 for a proposed visit by the newly crowned Emperor Charles V to celebrate the first Parliament to be held there. The medal was never presented to him. He is shown wearing the imperial crown and Order of the Golden Fleece. The coats of arms on the rim are those of the Habsburg territories. By the time the emperor finally arrived in 1540, the youthful image was out of date.

Physical description

The imperial double-headed eagle on the reverse has the arms of Austria and Burgundy on its breast.
Around the circumference of the obverse are fourteen crowned coats of arms of the states in the Spanish Empire: Castile, Aragon, Leon, the Kingdom of Naples, the county (Grafschaft) of Tyrol), the Kingdom of Sicily, the Kingdom of Jerusalem, Andalusia, New Castile, Galicia, Valencia, Toledo, Granada and Navarre. Between the arms of Navarre and Castile are the pillars of Hercules with a scroll inscribed 'PLVS - VLTRA' (yet further).
Around the cicumference of the reverse are 13 crowned coats of arms of states in the Spanish Empire: Sardinia, Cordoba, Corsica, Murcia, Jaen, ALgarve, Algeciras, Mazarron, an empty shield for the New World, Minorca, Majorca, the Canary Isles, and Gibraltar. A wreath encircling an 'N' between the arms of Algeciras and Mazarron stands for Nuremberg.

Place of Origin

Germany (made)


1521 (made)


Krafft, Hans the Elder, born 1481 - died 1542 (maker)
Dürer, Albrecht, born 1471 - died 1528 (designer)

Materials and Techniques


Marks and inscriptions

Charles V [Holy] Roman Emperor
Latin; Obverse

yet further
Latin; On a scroll on the obverse

On the edge of the medal


Diameter: 7.2 cm, Weight: 205.6 g, Depth: 1 cm, Weight: 0.21 kg

Object history note

Provenance: Salting Bequest. George Salting (b. 1836; d. 1909), an Australian who settled in England, bequeathed a large collection of works decorative art to the Museum in 1909.

Descriptive line

Medal, silver, Charles V Holy Roman Emperor, by Hans Krafft the Elder after a design by Albrecht Dürer, Germany, dated 1521

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

Trusted, Marjorie. German Renaissance Medals - a Catalogue of the Collection in the Victoria & Albert Museum. London: Victoria & Albert Museum, 1990, p. 64, no 91
Mende, M. Dürer-Medaillen. Nuremberg, 1983, p. 185
Habich, catalog, I, 1, p. 5, no. 18
Scher, Stephen K, The Currency of fame: portrait medals of the Renaissance, New York, National Gallery of Art (U.S.), Frick Collection., 1994



Subjects depicted

Emperor; Crown; Eagle (double headed); Bust; Order of the golden fleece; Escutcheon (coat of arms); Armour; Wreath


Coins & Medals; Portraits; Royalty; Sculpture


Sculpture Collection

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