Pope Clement VIII

Velino River and Marmore Falls

Bronze, 40.1 mm Ø
By Giorgio Rancetti, 1600.
Obverse:  Bust of Clement VIII facing left, bareheaded, wearing copy decorated with the figure of a saint and arabesques. Around, CLEMENS · VIII · PONT · MAX · A · IX · (Clement VIII, Supreme Pontiff, in his ninth year). On truncation, · GIOR · RA · .
Reverse:  View of the Velino river, the Marmore Falls, and the surroundings. Around, · VELLINO EMISSO · A · MDC · (Vellino Sent Forth, in the year 1600).

The Velino river flows over the Cascata delle Marmore (Marmore Falls), with a drop of 165 meters. However, the violent splashing at the bottom of the waterfall would cause vast flooding. Additionally, the large amounts of salts deposited in this way made the flooded areas uncultivable. Although the ancient Romans had built a drainage ditch, the problem worsened in recent times. Clement VIII hired the architect Giovanni Fontana to solve the problem, who ended up simply cleaning up the ancient Roman ditch. There was some improvement, but the issue again required intervention in the late eighteenth century.


Thesaurus 6 "Andromeda", 8 October 2011, lot 1152.


Modesti 2006, no. 1005