Introducing The Rabbi
By Marc Banks RM538
In 2010, I tried unsuccessfully to win a classic carving of a Rabbi (photo on left) which was offered in a small auction. The carving sold for $253. A short time later I found a match (middle photo) to the carving while looking through the 2001 OHNS auction results in Steve Alpert's Hobo Nickel Guidebook. It sold for $160. These two specimens appeared in BoTales Volume 20 Issue No. 2 (Summer 2011) "Three's A Match." In 2011, a third example (photo on right) sold on eBay for $513. Unfortunately for me, I was the under bidder to OHNS member Chris Dempsey (LM64). I am nicknaming this carver simply "The Rabbi."
The carving characteristics for "The Rabbi" are listed as follows:
- A Yarmulke with a seam along the middle and a sewn and/or decorative design along edge.
- The hair, beard, eyebrow and peyot (braid) are all carved.
- The beard extends forward beyond the chin.
- The nose has several wrinkles across the bridge.
- The eye is punched and has an outline around it.
- The mouth is slightly open at the corner.
- The fields behind the head are cleanly dressed and LIBERTY is left intact.
- There is no collar.
- All three specimens are on early date nickels (1913 and 1914).