Sede Vacante, 1268-1271
Muntoni 1; Berman 162, PCGS graded AU-50
Viterbo. + BEATI PETRI, two keys upright. Reverse: + PATRIMONIV, cross with pellet at each arm.
Following the death of Pope Clement IV, the Throne of St. Peter was vacant from November 1268 until September 1, 1271 as the College of Cardinals met in conclave at Viterbo to elect his successor. This was the longest conclave in Papal history due to the division of the cardinals into factions representing the opposing interests of Charles d’Anjou and the Holy Roman Empire, as well as extensive infighting between individuals. Exasperated by the continuing impasse the people of Viterbo (at the instigation of Philip III of France and Charles d’Anjou) first reduced the meals of the cardinals to bread and water and then removed the roof of the papal palace in which they were sequestered. At last, these privations and the demands of Philip III caused the cardinals to cede their authority to a council of six which elected Teobaldo Visconti as Pope Gregory X.