Pope Clement XII

Façade of the Lateran Basilica

Gilt Bronze, 71.5 mm Ø, 163.3 g
By Ottone Hamerani, Regnal Year 3 (1733).
Obverse:  Half-figure of Clement XII facing right, hand raised in benediction, with tiara and decorative cope. The cope features a scene of a praying Saint Andrew Corsini and below, the papal coat of arms. Around, CLEMENS · XII / PONT · MAX · AN · III (Clement XII, Supreme Pontiff, in his Third Year). Below, on truncation, OTTO · HAMERANI · F · .
Reverse:  Frontal view of the façade of the Lateran Basilica. Around, ADORATE · DOMINVM · IN · ATRIO · SANCTO · EIVS (Adore the Lord in His Holy Court). In exergue, MDCCXXXIII (1733). Within cartouche, the ground plan for the basilica's façade and narthex, and the inscription LATERAN · BASIL · PORTICVS (Portico of the Lateran Basilica). To the sides of the cartouche, on the left · O · , on the right · H · . On the entablature, CLEM · XII · P · M · AN · IIII / CHRISTO · SALVATORI / ET · SS · IOAN · BAPT · ET · EV · (In the Fourth Year of the Supreme Pontiff Clement XII, to Christ Our Savior, and Saints John the Baptist and the Evangelist). On the border at the bottom, ALPX · GALILÆVS · ARCH · INV · .

Foundation medal for the construction of the façade of the Basilica of St. John Lateran, engraved by Ottone Hamerani. The reverse illustrates the planned design for the façade by the architect Alessandro Galilei, likely taken from an engraving by Stefano Pozzo released in October of 1733. Though generally matching the completed façade, the papal coats of arms on the windows of the second level on the medal are not present on the finished façade. The inscription on the entablature indicates the dedication from the pope who commissioned the façade and the expected completion in Clement's fourth regnal year (though it was not completed until 1735, and thus the inscription on the completed façade has the correct regnal year of V). The inscription dedicates the structure to "Christ Our Saviour and Saints John the Baptist and Evangelist". An example of this medal was placed in the foundation on December 8, 1733.

A contemporary or early strike, with a pristine reverse die. Later strikes feature several large die cracks that formed on the bottom through the cartouche, with the latest strikes showing three strong cracks as well as significant rim cuds.


Patrignani 1939, no. 19

Whitman and Varriano 1983, no. 168