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The E-Sylum:  Volume 9, Number 39, September 24, 2006, Article 9

BOOK REVIEW: THE LOVETT CENT A CONFEDERATE STORY

Roger Moore writes: "I have been looking forward to reading the
above mentioned book by Harold Levi and George Corell ever since
I was approached two years ago by Mr. Levi about the possible use
of my Maris medal photograph in the manuscript that he was writing.
He explained that he had recently obtained access to some private
letters and artifacts from a relative of Robert Lovett, Jr. and
he was undertaking a study of the controversial Confederate cent.

My interest in all things related to Dr. Edward Maris was immediately
stimulated, since Dr. Maris played a small but significant role in
acquiring the Confederate cents from their maker – Robert Lovett, Jr.
Alas, the new discovery of the Lovett family archives did not reveal
anything new about Dr. Maris, but it did send Harold Levi and George
Corell on a wonderful fact finding trip through history in an attempt
to right some historic inaccuracies and distortions.  I am very happy
to be the owner of the very first copy of the book which was sold.

The Lovett Cent A Confederate Story is a 276-page exploration of the
times and people cutting dies and dealing in coins, primarily during
the mid 1800s to the early 1900’s.  Whether or not one has a direct
and personal interest in the Confederate cents, the book is an easy
and fascinating read which methodically unravels the mysteries and
follows the clues in a scientific manner in order to define the truth
behind the production of these cents.

Perhaps of greater interest to me than finding out the facts behind
the production of the Confederate cents, was the way the book opened
a window upon a time that is now recognized as the origins of coin
collecting in America.  The die cutters such as Lovett and the
dealers he interacted with were central to early numismatics in
the United States.

Of particular interest were the discussions of the rivalries, the
jealousies, the intrigues between key early American numismatists,
such as Edward Cogan, Thomas Elder, John Hazeltine, the Chapman
brothers, William Idler, Edward Maris and many others.  I learned
that Hazeltine’s wife was Idler’s daughter!!  Also, Hazeltine
considered the Chapman brothers to be his most important find.
What about the professional jealousy of Hazeltine by Mason, being
a factor in Hazeltine leaving Philadelphia for a period?  I very
much enjoyed these discussions of the people who were the founders
of our modern numismatics – warts and all.

Finally there is an in-depth look at the Confederate cents that
were produced, their restrikes by Hazeltine, and the copies made
by Bashlow.  Also a chapter on counterfeit Confederate cents reminds
us that the scoundrels of numismatics are still walking among us and
that we need to take care.  The flow of The Lovett Cent A Confederate
Story makes the read quite enjoyable.  I highly recommend it to
anyone interested in the numismatic atmosphere of Philadelphia in
the 1800’s."

[See a previous E-Sylum article for ordering information:
NEW BOOK: THE LOVETT CENT; A CONFEDERATE STORY
esylum_v09n34a02.html
-Editor]

  Wayne Homren, Editor

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