Italy, Bologna

, 1521-1522

Cf. Berman 293; Friedberg 113, PCGS graded MS-63

BONONI-A DOCET, lion rampant left with banner. Reverse: S PETRVS DE BONONIA, St. Peter standing facing, holding keys.

This gold ducat was struck in Bologna during the vacancy of the Throne of Saint Peter from December 28, 1521, to January 9, 1522. During this period the College of Cardinals met in conclave to decide on the successor of Pope Leo X. The conclave dragged on for almost an entire year due to the capture and ransom of one of the cardinals and the bribery of cardinals by the Holy Roman Emperor and the kings of France and England in an effort to elect their preferred candidates. Ultimately the cost of the conclave became so enormous that the papal tiara had to be mortgaged in order to pay for its continuation. At last, as a compromise between the factions, Adriaan Florensz Boeyens was elected as Pope Adrian VI.