By Barry Homrighaus RM1548 Joseph "Spit" Scalamoni LM1578 and Art DelFavero RM552
In January of 2021 Heritage Auctions featured thirty or so hobo nickel lots which contained some fantastic specimens. Collector and member Joe Scalamoni nabbed a beauty (Example 1) as did fellow member Barry Homrighaus (Example 3). Both coins proved to be unique works of the same very skilled artist, but were not advertised or listed as such.
A number of hobos have grabbed my attention over the years of acquainting myself with the QD archives and literally thousands of on hand photos (Examples 2, 4 and 5). I had not quite put the match status together until seeing the aforementioned auction lots. I did notice that all sported round rimmed spectacles but that was it.
Our next task was to come up with a nickname for this optically challenged friend and subject. I had loosely referred to him as "Specs" in my correspondences to the parties concerned. Joe Scalamoni mentioned that he would like to pay homage to one of his artist heroes, I. M. Pei (1917-2019). This renowned artist and architect was known for wearing his signature round rimmed glasses and large toothy smile. He achieved many awards over a long career and is recognized for designing the Jacob Javits Convention Center in N.Y., the JFK Library and Museum in MA, Reconstruction of the Louvre in France and numerous other projects. We take great pleasure in introducing "I. M. Specs."
The carving characteristics for "I. M. Specs" are listed as follows:
1) All are wearing Pince-nez round rim spectacles, distinctive for lack of bows over ears.
2) All have a deep notch over the nose to accommodate the eyeglasses.
3) All have various liner tool textured hats sometimes referred to as a recognizable "Tricky" style. All are bow-less and have various long and short pointed end brims on 4 examples.
4) All have engraved head hair extending to forehead and tooled facial hair leaving a clean neck area above collars.
5) All have modifications to mouth displaying a slight smirk or a toothy grin, all jovial in nature.
6) All have nice ears with large lobes and realistic inner detailing.
7) All have extremely modified profiles with heavily worked noses including nostrils enhancements.
8) All have very similar collars, lapels, and tie knots.
9) All fields are well done with no apparent plan to remove or leave LIBERTY and dates.
10) All show nice toning to enhance artistic detailing.