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Collections Of The Massachusetts Historical Society. Fourth Series Vol 3


Book Summary

Massachusetts Historical Society. COLLECTIONS OF THE MASSACHUSETTS HISTORICAL SOCIETY. FOURTH SERIES. Boston, 1852-1871. A complete set of ten volumes. 8vo, eight volumes in the original matching black cloth with printed spine labels; the first two volumes in later blue cloth, gilt. Over 5000 pages. Ex Andover Newton Theological Library, with their bookplates, ink stamps and spine labels. Some hinges cracked, with one volume taped; overall, very good or so. Very important historical publications by the Massachusetts Historical Society, absolutely essential for any research involving the early history of New England. Perhaps most intriguing are the little-known numismatic nuggets awaiting discovery. A highly interesting letter from Andrew Eliot, of Boston, to Thomas Hollis in England, dated April 18, 1768, includes the following on Massachusetts silver coinage: "I received your commission concerning the New England coin, with the greatest pleasure, but am greatly disappointed in the execution of it. I can find no one who hath ever heard of Massachusetts in pourtraiture of the good Samaritan. I believe it must have been a medal struck on some particular occasion. The sixpence and the penny, some tell me they have seen; but I cannot at present procure them. If they are in New England, I shall have them. Our silversmiths are so careless that they melt up all the old pieces of silver that come into their hands. They tell me of many curious pieces which they have destroyed in this manner. I rescued a crown piece of Edward VI., which, though something worn, has all the figures and letters visible, date 1551--as also a fine medal of George I., struck on occasion of Sir George Byng's victory over the Spaniards in the Mediterranean, anno 1718. This medal is quite fresh. So unknowing am I in things of this nature, that I know not whether these are any curiosity on your side the water or not. I have also all the other New England coin; they are all scarce, except the pine-tree shillings and sixpences, which are plenty. I have several two-pence and three-pence, very well preserved. I have no use for any of these; if they will be agreeable to you, or your friends, they are entirely at your service. I beg, dear Sir, you would command me with the greatest freedom. No commission from you can give me any trouble. It would be one of the highest pleasures I can have in life, to be able to oblige you. There are New England shillings of four or five different dies, which are common." Buried within the tremendous amount of information to be found within these volumes, many of which print letters, diaries and other papers of early Massachusetts settlers, must be other numismatic references, most of which are unknown to readers today.
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