1860 Rarest Civil War Token Inspired Confederate 1 Cent Robert Lovett Jr For Sale
This rare token was made in 1860, just prior to the start of the Civil War, andserved as the basis for the design of theultra-rare Confederate States of America One Cent piece. This is the store card of Robert Lovett Jr. from 1860. Robert Lovett Jr. was a well known engraver and die sinker and was in business from 1839-1876 in Philadelphia. In 1861 he was commissioned by a jewelry firm to create the dies for a Confederate one cent piece. He used his store card from 1860 as the basis for the one cent piece's design - THIS is that store card from 1860! The story behind this token and the Confederate States One Cent piece is fascinating, and I have included as much information about this token as possible, as well as extra large photos that show the token in great detail.
The obverse features the head of Minerva in a six-starred Phrygian cap, her locks hanging freely below. On the obverse of the 1860 store card, the text around the head reads "R. LOVETT, JR. ENGRAVER & DIE SINKER. 1860" On the reverse, the text reads: "METALLIC BUSINESS CARDS PHILADELPHIA." and inside the wreath of corn "200 SO. FIFTH ST."
When creating the die for the Confederate 1 cent piece, Lovett changed the obverse text to read "CONFEDERATE STATES OF AMERICA. 1861" He struck only 12 Confederate 1 cent coins with his dies, before becoming afraid of the consequences for helping the enemy, especially while he was working from Philadelphia…very much a northern city. There is an extensive story behind the Confederate 1 cent piece, and I will post some of it below. In 1874 restrikes were made from the original dies - 55 Copper pieces, 12 silver, and 7 gold. Only a select few of these 1874 restrikes have come on the market - in 2001 one of the 55 copperrestrikessold at sale for$12,075.00at Ira& Larry Goldberg's "The Benson Collection Sale".The original 1861 Confederate one cent pieces of which there have only ever been 12 are valued at approx.$150,000 USDand the 1874 Restrikes between $25,000 - $60,000USD.
These 1860 R. LOVETT, JR. store cards arevery rare as well, and have great historical significance. In true sale style, I will start the offerding at just $0.99 and let the buyers decide the value. This beautiful example is one of the best I have seen. It is no wonder that Lovett chose to use the same bust of Minerva for the Confederate States One Cent coin - it's a regal design that would have certainly looked appropriate on official coinage.
The photos accurately describe the token's condition - the rim and detail is very sharp & the token hasn't been cleaned in any way.
ON SHIPPING: First class mail with insurance & delivery confirmation is FREE for this item!
Pictured in the two images below is the obverse and reverse sides of the Confederate 1 cent restrike from 1874 that sold for $12,075.00 in 2001. This sale is obviously not for the Confederate coin, and the images are provided for comparison and reference purposes only.
A brief history of the Confederate Cent:
In 1861 the jewelry firm of Bailey & Co (later known as Bailey, Banks, and offerdle) was contacted by an official of the Confederate States of America, who wanted a die cutter capable of crafting a CSA cent. Robert Lovett, Jr. was the man chosen — an excellent choice since he had years of experience working as a die engraver. Lovett made use of the head of Minerva, which he had used on an earlier one cent sized token from 1860 — this store card! On the CSA cent, he added a wreath of Southern agricultural products including a bale of cotton. 12 coins were struck by Lovett using the current Union alloy of copper and nickel used on Indian cents. Fear quickly caught up with Lovett, who was afraid that he might be arrested for working with the Confederates. He cancelled the project and hid the dies and the dozen coins he had struck. After the end of the war, he used one of the coins as a pocket piece and in 1873 he accidentally spent the Confederate cent while at a Philadelphia bar. The coin was spotted as unusual by the barkeep who supposedly showed it to a numismatist friend. Somehow, Edward Maris, a coin collector of prominence from Philadelphia learned about the coin and where it had come from — he contacted Lovett, purchasing both the remaining coins as well as the dies. Captain John Hazeltine and his business partner J. Colvin Randall learned about the dies and coins and procured them, planning to coin restrikes. Philadelphia die sinker Peter Kinder was hired to make the restrikes and a pamphlet proclaimed that 7 gold, 12 silver, and 55 copper restrikes were produced, with the dies breaking on the 55th striking of the copper coins. To preserve the integrity of Lovett's originals, no copper nickel restrikes were made. Nearly a century later, NY entrepreneur Robert Bashlow took the rusting dies and had copies of them made by transfer process. These restrikes are unlike the 1874 restrikes and have irregular surfaces. Lovett's original dies are now housed in the Smithsonian Institution.
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