Pope Clement XII
Façade of the Lateran Basilica
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.