By Marc Banks RM538
The first hobo nickel I purchased at the 2012 FUN Show in January was an interesting carving of a hobo with a high domed hat with three vent holes, an angular nose and scraggly beard. I thought it was a bargain at $75. It is shown on the left. I knew I had seen at least one other example by this carver sold on eBay and after a search on the OHNS web site and assistance from OHNS Archivist Art "Cinco" DelFavero (RM552) two other examples were found. The second specimen (center photo) was purchased on eBay for $187 by OHNS Member Don Wolfe (RM981) and is pictured on in DeZwerver Dossier #35 on the Original Hobo Nickel web site. The third specimen (right photo) is among a group of coins that appeared on the OHNS site in 2008 under "Classic Carvings going to a San Diego Coin Show" by Owen Covert. All are clearly the work of the same carver who I have named "Hawk Eye" after the raptor shaped nose and punched eye found all three examples.
The carving characteristics for "Hawk Eye" are as follows:
1) A high domed hat with a slightly downturned brim.
2) Two or three vent holes on the hat.
3) A wide hat band with a bow and vertical lines.
4) Punched eye, eyebrow and full beard with dreadlock-like spikes.
5) A pronounced bend in the nose and a modified nostril.
6) Two examples have no ear. The third has an oval ear low and back on the head.
7) The collar forms an upside down V at the front.
8) Well-dressed fields.
9) All three coins are carved on 1913 Buffalo Nickels.