Introducing Percy


By Stephen P. Alpert LM10

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This is an early hobo nickel carver with a distinct style, who I am here nicknaming “Percy” because of the pursed or puckered lips on one of the three specimens illustrated here.

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$753 on eBay • Dec 2011

"Percy" hobo nickels have these diagnostic features:

  1. A derby, slightly flat on top.
  2. A hatband with vertical lining and no bow.
  3. A crescent-shaped hat brim with pointed ends that project just a short distance past the head. The front brim points to E of LIBERTY.
  4. A narrow small ear with some internal detail.
  5. Short and neat hair-beard-mustache, made using a rough or textured punch. The chin is rounded.
  6. There are parallel liner tool accent lines on the shirt collar, coat collar, shoulder, and usually also on the neck.
  7. The profile is altered, with a rounded nose and enhanced nostril. The lips may be pursed or puckered. The eye may be altered.
  8. Found on early-dated buffalo nickels.
  9. The nickel may be holed at top.