Introducing Punchy

By Arturo DelFavero RM552

While at the 2012 Livonia Michigan coin show I made contact with a late-arriving dealer that had three Hobo Nickels. All were very nice specimens and I was excited to view them. My excitement soon turned to horror when the dealer said that he could not sell them until offers were approved by their owners. Needless to say I gave my offer, $625.00 for the lot of three. By the following week both owners and the dealer had approved my offer and the coins were mine. One of the specimens stood out because of his obvious broken nose, I had seen this character before.

I found two more examples searching the QD archives, and some photos that Steve Alpert had sent me some years before. The expression of the subject and his nose led me in one direction for a nickname. He looked like a man who had been in numerous hobo jungle scraps. I thought of many names that referenced boxing, but the one that stuck was "Punchy."

Click to view enlargment. Click to view enlargment. Click to view enlargment.

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

  1. Broken crooked nose with nostril and highlight added.
  2. Liberty and date left intact.
  3. Hat that sits low on the back of the head and high on the forehead.
  4. Hat with adornment lines and pointy-ended brim ( front of brim points just left of LIBERTY ).
  5. Engraved in ears.
  6. Circle-punched head and facial hair that runs down to the collar.
  7. Simple double line collar.
  8. Down turned mouth.
  9. Alterations to the profile.
  10. Smooth field work (field a little choppy on one example).
  11. Early-date nickels used.