LEVICK, JOSEPH NAPOLEON TRICOT

Copyright 2011-2019 John N. Lupia, III


Fig. Civil War photo of J. N. T. Levick recovering from injuries in May 1863. His U. S. Army pension payment card says "Army Invalid".


Joseph Napoleon Tricot Levick (1828-1908), was born in New Orleans, Louisiana. However the GAR Muster Roll of December 16, 1892 lists him as 58 years of age making him born in 1834. His photo did not appear in April 1869, Mason's photographic Gallery.

His Philadelphia Period

About 1855, he moved to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and a member of that city's and the nation's first numismatic club – the Philadelphia Numismatic Society.  He worked in an office on Front Street in the same building where Ebenezer Locke Mason, Jr., also worked. The two became good friends socially and in coin and stamp collecting.

Fig. 
 A rare newspaper clipping from The New York Times of the December 1859 Ed Cogan coin sale of J. N. T. Levick, and also mention of the robbery of J. J. Mickley, though both collectors are unnamed. Courtesy Lupia Numismatic Library.

His collection of 976 lots sold through Edward Cogan 5thsale on December 19-20, 1859. Adams rating B+

His Civil War Period



During the Civil War Levick enlisted as a private on April 19, 1861, and subsequently was mustered in on June 15, 1861, at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania as a 2nd Lieutenant. He had previously been a private for 30 days in Company "H", 7th New York Militia. On June 20, 1861, he was assigned to Company "I", 70th New York Volunteer Infantry Regiment, Sickle's Brigade (a.k.a. the 1st Excelsior Regiment of the Excelsior Brigade). He was promoted to First Lieutenant on April 30, 1862. On May 5, 1862 he saw action for the first time at Fort MacGruder. The next day he was brevetted to Captain for conspicuous gallantry in battle. Levick was discharged on  May 18, 1863, with the rank of 1st Lieutenant.  

His New York Period


 In 1860 he moved to New York and was an agent for Woodgate & Company, importers of liquor, wines, gins, etc., at 83 Water Street. 

A Woodgate & Company Store Card. One specimen, not specified which variety, sold at the Alfred S. Robinson sale October 15, 1869, Bangs, Merwin & Company, for $5.50. 

Fig. The proverbial "Fat Cat" puffing a cigar with the legend : NO PLEASURE CAN EXCEED THE SMOKING OF THE WEED (Miller NY 428). 

He issued a brass store card with his name on the reverse. He also seems to have been a dealer in Regalias tobacco and cigars with a token "The Smoker" NY-429, with an address at 904 Broadway, New York.

In 1864, after service during the Civil War he was located at 119 South Front Street, New York; 76 William Street, New York; Box 4318, New York, Banker. He was the ANS member who proposed a monthly journal be published in 1866, which became the American Journal of Numismatics. New York, Treasurer of the ANS 1867-1874. Life Member of the National Philatelic Society. Sold at auction several sales 1859-1908. He was a dealer in tobacco and a representative of the Woodgate & Company liquor dealers in New York around 1860. He is Captain Joseph N. T. Levick, Excelsior Brigade, during the Civil War. On June 11, 1861, Levick was commissioned 2nd lieutenant of Company I of the 1st Regiment, Sickles' Brigade, later redesignated the 70th New York State Volunteer infantry a.k.a. the 1st Excelsior Regiment of the Excelsior Brigade.

He was a charter member of the Numismatic and Archaeological Society of Philadelphia. He served in the U. S. Army during the Civil War and obtained the rank of captain. In the summer of 1863, twenty-seven Oak and Pine Tree coins were unearthed in Roxbury. These came into the possession of J.N.T. Levick, and would appear at W. Elliot's auction the following year. During the Restoration in 1864 he moved to New York working as a banker. 


His 1865 coin auction catalog was postponed due to the assassination of Abraham Lincoln on April 14th.The sale was held on May 29, 1865 and realized $2,090.03.  Sold his collection of 1667 lots through Bangs 41 page catalog on 05/29/1865.


In December 1865, he joined the ANS.


 In March 1866 he proposed the first numismatic journal in the United States – the American Journal of Numismatics – and served as its first editor. Publication of the ANJ began in May 1866.  In addition, he also served the ANS as its treasurer, a position he held from 1867 to 1875.    


Fig. Ebenezer Locke Mason, Jr., correspondence with J. N. T. Levick, postmarked Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, November 28, 1868, franked with Scott #65 with perforation error, fancy cancel. Courtesy Lupia Numismatic Library. $500. Write John@numismaticmall.com


In October 1868 he published a survey of 1793 cents.


 In April 1869 Levick and Sylvester Crosby, produced an article describing the 1793 varieties and a plate depicting the various obverses and reverses. 


He purchased three items for $103.50 total : an 1847 Proof Set for $45.00 an 1849 Proof Set for $42.50 and a Washington Indian Peace Medal for $16.00, at the MacKenzie Sale in New York held by Cogan on June 9, 1869. 



In January of 1870 he opened a bank in the same building as Mason at 54 Wall Street. (IV 47) That same year he helped form the New York Numismatic Society. Some months afterwards the Society merged with the American Numismatic Society to form the American Numismatic and Archeological Society. Levick continued as a member of the combined organization.  In March 1866 he proposed the first numismatic journal in the United States – The American Journal of Numismatics– and served as its first editor.  Publication of the ANJ began in May 1866.  In addition, Levick also served the ANS as its treasurer, a position he held from 1867 to 1875. 


Fig. Ebenezer Locke Mason, Jr., published a notice in Mason's Coin and Stamp Collector's Magazine, March 1870, page 47, that J, N. T. Levick opened a banking house at 54 Wall Street, and was selling rare coin catalogues.


He was a member of the National Philatelical Society founded 1874, and became the president.


A donor, in 1878, to the ANS library.


In 1879, he was a rifle shooter for the North British Mercantile Team.


The January issue of the Coin Collector’s Journal called him one of the first collectors in the country who is authoring a monograph on the tokens of 1837 for the magazine.


Levick sold his collection of tokens, which included more than 20,000 pieces, in 1884. He observed and discovered various varieties of the 1793 Large Cent and prepared a table published in his N. Y. Journal of Numismatics. He was perhaps the first to refer to the edge impression on the 1793 Large Cent as Vine and Bars instead of the Stripes and Bars assumed by the general numismatic community. He would not grant Mason permission to publish his personal photograph at Yorktown during the Civil War as part of the Numismatic Photographic Gallery. 



In the American Journal of Philately, Vol. 1, No. 6, June 15 (1888) : 196, his address is given as 54 William Street, New York City, New York.


He was also a stamp collector and is listed in McClean’s Stamp Collectors’ Guide (1889) and his address is given as Box 43, New York.


The New York Herald, January 16, 1885, lists J. N. T. Levick as a messenger for the North British Insurance Company, New York.


                He attended the philatelic exhibition at the Lincoln Club, 56 Clinton Place, New York on August 5, 1890. “Postage Stamps Exhibited. Annual Convention of The Philatelic Association,” The New York Times, Wednesday, August 6, 1890, page 8


In April 1892 he was taken very ill as it was reported in the May 15, 1892, issue of The Post Office, on page 21 :  “We understand that Mr. J. N. T. Levick has been quite sick, and he is now in North Carolina for his health.” 


On December 16, 1892 he mustered in GAR (Grand Army of the Republic) pension.


 New York City Directories from 1888-1894  list him living at 244 East 86th Street, working in insurance at 54 William Street.


In 1898, he was on the Executive Committee of the Collector's Club in New York, together with Hiram E. Deats and Henry L. Calman.




November 7, 1900 he filed suit against the firm of Hatch & Foote, stockbrokers, in the amount of $2,177.00. “Against Hatch & Foote,” The New York Times, Wednesday, November 8, 1900, page 10.


Letter to Tom L. Elder, 1907, published by Elder in The Elder Monthly, June-July 1907 :


Some day there will be a grand house cleaning and the junk man and the scavenger will have a cinch shoveling all my gatherings for the last 50 years. There's no man in my neighborhood can boast of such a collection as my tin foils, wrappers, graphics, beers (unbottled), cigarettes, (smokeless), and tax paids. Then I must have a hogshead of entire embossed envelopes saved for forty years past; theatre play bills, programmes, photographs, car and ferry tickets, 30 to 40 years old; 200,000 or more postmarks with stamps attached; engravings, philatelic literature, numismatic library, coins and stamps, catalogues- let alone match and medicine and other revenues; U S Postage, plate numbers. Then there are books, books, books, from one end of the house to the other. I want the numismatic, philatelic, and curio world to know that I have to throw up the sponge and be counted out. 




 He died on Monday, September 7, 1908. He was survived by his wife Mary Louise Gardiner Levick (1827-). Funeral services were held September 9, 1908 at 7:30 PM at the Chapel of the Holy Trinity Church East 88th Street, between 1stand 2nd Avenues, Manhattan, New York. His death notice was published in The New York Times, Tuesday, September 8, 1908, page 9.

In June 2018, the ANA inducted him into the ANA Hall of Fame.


His Sales:                

Ed Cogan - December 19-20, 1859, Bangs, Merwin & Co.  (89 large cents)

Ezra Hill, September 12, 1860, Bangs, Merwin & Co.

Ed Cogan - September 15-17, 1863 (130 large cents)

W. E. Woodward - October 18, 1864

W. E. Woodward - May 26-29, 1864, Bangs & Co., Merchant Tokens,  (190 large cents)

Ed Cogan - April 27-29, 1865, Postponed due to Death of A. Lincoln

Ed Cogan - May 27-28, 1865, Bangs, Merwin, & Co., Coins & Medals

W. E. Woodward - October 18-22, 1864, Leavitt (130 large cents)

W. E. Woodward - December 19, 1865, Cooley

Bangs, December 9, 1878, Catalogue of a fine and rare collection of foreign and domestic postage and revenue, match and medicine stamps

W. E. Woodward - May 26, 1884, Bangs 

W. E. Woodward - December 16, 1885, Bangs (380 large cents)

T. L. Elder - October 14-15, 1907

T. L. Elder - February 26-27, 1908


Work :

Joseph N. T. Levick, A Table, American Journal of Numismatics

Joseph N. T. Levick, "REMINISCENCES OF COIN-COLLECTING," American Journal of Numismatics



Bibliography :


American Journal of Numismatics, Vol. 1, No. 1, May (1866) : 2

Emmanuel Joseph AttinelliNumisgraphics (New York :1875)

Proceedings of the American Numismatic and Archaeological Society, of New York At the Annual Meeting, March 18, 1879: page 13

Mason's Coin and Stamp Collector's Magazine, I, No. 3, June (1867) : 21; No. 5, August (1867) : 46a; II, No. 9-12, December (1868) : 91d; Cited by his initials J. N. T. L., I, No. 10, January (1868) : 94c; III, No. 3, March (1869) : (Vine & Bars) 25b; III, No. 2, February, (1869) : 16c No photo appeared; No. 4, April (1869) : 44d; III, No. 6, June (1869) : Levick plate 66b-c; III, No. 7, July (1869) : Levick buyer 73c, 77b; (Woodgate & Co. store card) III, No. 11, November (1869) : 123d; IV, No. 3, March (1870) : banking house 47; V, No. 1, January (1871) : subscriber 18; VI, No. 1, January (1872) : Levick buyer 16; “Sale of the Smith Cabinet,” (Mason), H-II, No. 3, December (1880) : 18c; M-I, No. 1, June (1884) : 12; M-I, No. 12, May (1885) : 122. 

Coin Collector’s Journal, January (1880) :1

American Journal of Philately, Vol. 5 (1892) : 120

 The Numismatist, Vol. XV, No. No. 3, March (1902) : 87

Proceedings of the American Numismatic and Archeological Society(1903) : 26

Gnecchi, Ercole and Francesco, eds.,Guida Numismatica 4thedition. (Milano : U. Hoepli, 1903. Edition) : 555, no. 5753

Adelson, Howard L., The American Numismatic Society, 1858-1959. (New York, ANS, 1958); 

Bowers, Q. David, The History of United States Coinage As Illustrated by the Garrett Collection. (Los Angeles, CA : Bowers & Ruddy Galleries, Inc., 1979) :19

Gengerke, Martin, American Numismatic Auctions, 8thedition (1990) : 10, 42;

Adams, Vol. 1, 20, 26, 28, 33, 34, 147-149. Levick, J. N. T.  (1712), Mickley Sale. 

Q. David Bowers, American Numismatics before the Civil War 1760-1780 (Wolfeboro, 1998); 

Pete Smith, American Numismatic Biographies, (Rock River, 1992)

Fanning, David F. “Collectors who Served in the Civil War,” The Numismatist117.11 (November 2004), pp. 44-48, illus

Smith-I 143-144

Pete Smith, “American Numismatic Pioneers : An Index to Sources,” Asylum Vol. XXII, No. 3, Consecutive Issue No. 87, Summer (2004) : 294; 

Scott Valentine, Military Images, Jul/Aug 2004

http://www.numismatics.org/archives/levickbio.htm





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