Sede Vacante, 1555
Muntoni 2; Berman 1030, PCGS graded AU Details
Rome. SEDE VACA-NTE AN 1555, canopy and crossed keys over shield. Reverse: S PETRVS ALMA ROMA, St. Peter standing facing, holding keys and Gospels.
Upon the death of Pope Julius III, the Throne of St. Peter fell vacant and the College of Cardinals met in conclave to choose his successor between April 5 and April 9, 1555. The cardinals were divided into three major factions, those supporting the interests of France in Italy, those backed by the Holy Roman Empire, and those with an Italian national agenda. Contrary to the wishes of Emperor Charles V, Cardinal Marcello Cervini was elected in short order with a mandate to remain neutral in conflicts between the European powers. He ascended the Throne of St. Peter after a mere 5 days in conclave.