Introducing The Lip
By Marc Banks RM538, Arturo DelFavero RM552
Carving #1 below is one of four works with very expressive faces by an unknown classic carver that had not been previously nicknamed. While these carvings have a number of characteristic markers, I am bestowing the name "The Lip" after the protruding lower lip on each these specimens. I found example #2 in Dossier 22 on the OHNS web site. OHNS archivist Arturo "Cinco" DelFavero located #3 in a group of hobo nickels posted on the web site back 2010. He also located example #4 while searching through the OHNS archives.
The carving characteristics for "The Lip" are as follows:
- Major modifications to the Indian's profile include: a notch removed at bridge of nose and reshaping of the nose, angular (upward) notch at nostril, an accent line above the nostril and a protruding lower lip.
- The eye has been modified with an eyebrow added; the mouth has been enhanced (open on #1).
- The ears are nicely detailed, but vary somewhat among the four examples.
- Small circular punch marks are used to create a long, funnel-shaped beard that extends towards the rim of the nickel.
- The hair on #1 is carved while #2 and #4 have the hair punched in the same manner as the beard.
- Three of the carvings have domed hats with crescent brims pointed at front and back. Two of these have decorated hat bands. Example #3 is hatless and no attempt was made to remove the feathers and hair details of the host coin.
- Numbers 1, 2 and 4 have double collars and a V-shaped notch for the lapel.
- The fields are neatly dressed. LIBERTY has been removed on Example #1.
- Numbers 1-3 are done on early date Buffalo Nickels, the date is removed on #4.
- It is unclear whether #3 is an earlier work, unfinished or a quick carving.