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Research Coins: Feature Auction

Sale: CNG 64, Lot: 1530. Estimate $500. 
Closing Date: Wednesday, 24 September 2003. 
Sold For $575. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

ITALY, Papal States. Anti-Pope Clement VII. 1378-1394. AR Gros (2.49 gm). Avignon mint. Clement seated facing on throne / Crossed keys. Muntoni IV pg.144, 7; Berman 233. Good VF. Rare. ($500)

The Great Schism, which saw two or more Popes claiming the throne of St. Peter, was prompted by French and Italian factions seeking influence over the church. As the breach widened and involved the other nations of Catholic Europe, the contending popes hurled proclamations of anathema (denunciation of false doctrine) and excommunication (banishment from church sacraments) at each other's supporters, and declaring the other an anti-pope, or a pontiff set against the legitimate line of Peter. Robert de Conti del Genévois (Clement VII) was the first anti-pope of the Schism, opposing Bartolomeo Prigano (Urban VI). There are also earlier examples of particularly odious pontiffs being deposed as anti-popes, but none of these individuals struck papal coins.