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Introducing "Hobosapien"
By Chris Dempsey, LM64 and Stephen Alpert LM10


It's no secret amongst collectors who know me that my favorite character subject for hobo nickels is the Irishman. When I stumbled upon the owner of the first coin, I was fortunate that I was able to convince him to part with it. The second coin pictured was one of the highlight coins in the 2006 OHNS Auction, Lot number 1, and sold for a very respectable $2,299 including buyer's premium. The third coin belongs to Steve Alpert, and appears on page six of the OHNS guidebook.

This carver gives his coins several unusual and interesting features. The lower portion of the face is very apelike, with the sloped nose, pipe, and beard placing the character firmly as an Irishman. Because of the unique ape-like features this carver utilizes, I have chosen the name "Hobosapien."

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The carving characteristics for "Hobosapien" are listed as follows:

1) High, rounded derby with stippled texturing.
2) Hatband comprised of parallel and sometimes crosshatched lines.
3) Hair, beard, and eyebrow are cut with long straight lines.
4) Stubble around the mouth consists of fine stippling.
5) Highly detailed and anatomically accurate ear.
6) Profile is heavily altered, with a sloped nose, punched eye, long upper lip, large mouth, and short chin. Overall the profile alterations give these carvings a very ape-like feel.
7) A simple line cut above the date acts as a shirt line.
8) The subject is smoking a pipe in all known examples at the time of this write-up.
9) Field is nicely dressed above and behind the head.
10) Finishing work is expertly done.
11) Date is left intact, while LIBERTY is removed.