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Introducing “Dots Beautiful”     −by Fred Avan RM908, Art DelFavero RM552 and Max Zalkin RM961
{ from  Spring 2009 BoTales }
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   In an eBay auction in October of 2006, Art DelFavero won a nice hobo nickel, which was eventually nicknamed “Squiggly” (see BoTales Vol.17 No.3). In November of that year, the same seller contacted Art offering him another coin which the dealer had purchased from a friend. After meeting this dealer, and giving him $350 in cash, Art became the proud owner of the first “Dots Beautiful” specimen shown. Fast forwarding to the O.H.N.S. 2008 FUN show auction, which featured a “Dots Beautiful” as lot #58 gave us our second example shown. This lot sold to Max Zalkin for $577.50. Our third and final rendering came by way of eBay in October 2008, and was won by Fred Avan for the sum of $367. Average price for each was $431.50. Our personal quality assessment of each of these hobo nickel carvings is above average (high).
   In the Summer 2007 issue of BoTales, Art wrote an article entitled “Bert Prisoner Nickel or Unnamed Talent?” That article compared two of these nickels to a specimen featured on page 54 of the Romines second book. Authenticator Steve Alpert stated this in Auction 16 about lot #58, “This specimen is illustrated in the summer 2007 BoTales, but is only slightly similar to the carvings attributed by Romines as Bert prisoner nickels.”
   The carving characteristics for “Dots Beautiful” are listed as follows:
    1) A heavily dotted field made by way of jewelers beading tool, “LIBERTY” and date remain intact.
    2) All are carved on 1913 coins.
    3) All have a lightning bolt shape under top collar line.
    4) All have a curved wide brim high dome derby hat with similar bows and band.
    5) All have nearly identical ears.
    6) Beard and hair is formed by using a crescent shaped punch rotated back and forth to create a wavy feel.
    7) All have slight amendments to the profile and nostril.
    8) All features are engraved and punched.
    9) All eyes are enhanced with a punch mark.
Introducing “Heini Schmidt”     −by Art DelFavero RM552 and Verne R. Walrafen HLM620
{ from  Spring 2009 BoTales }
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   Heini Schmidt is a German slang carrying the connotation of a “simpleton.” Heini, originally a nickname for Heinrich (Harry, and Henry in Anglo-Saxton languages), today in Germany is an unflattering term used to refer as a “goofball” or “moron.” It's a name you would call somebody who is a little dense at times in a funny way, sort of like a “simpleton.” Thus you don't really want to walk around calling Heinrichs Heinis unless they are good friends of yours.
   So engraving “Heini Schmidt” on these coins seems to be in jest, quite similar to having today engraved “Alfred E. Newman” or “Homer Simpson” on a caricature - giving our hobo a Dunce hat if you will!
   In September of 2008 an online auction yielded a beauty to Verne Walrafen for the fine hammer price of $52. At this time this coin seemed to be the third known specimen thus fulfilling the criteria for nicknaming. Shortly after, a fourth surfaced by way of archival O.H.N.S. Quality Designation forms. This coin was purchased by Bob Polk (RM476) from a coin shop during the 1990's for about $100. Our afore mentioned coins matched Lot #32, won in the O.H.N.S 1996 F.U.N. show auction for the hammer price of $190 (also shown on page 35 of the Hobo Nickel Guidebook by Steve Alpert) and Lot #8139 of 2007 Heritage F.U.N. show auction that hammered at $322. The averaging price for these coins is $166 and should be considered a bargain for the product.
   The carving characteristics for “Heini Schmidt” are listed as follows:
    1) A derby hat engraved with the name “Heini Schmidt”.
    2) A deeply engraved outer profile by way of heavy round nose graver.
    3) All on early dated host coins.
    4) Field on top of hat and behind head is nicely done.
    5) Liberty remains intact on all specimens.
    6) All features are engraved and punched.
    7) All have similar collars.
    8) All have random shaped, un-matching ears.
    9) All have hair that extends under front hat brim along with full beards and moustache.
   10) Alterations to mouth area are evident.
Introducing “Spring Beard”     −by Art DelFavero RM552
{ from  Spring 2009 BoTales }
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   While searching eBay in April of 2008, I spotted a gem of a hobo nickel with a $100 Buy It Now listing. Funny as it may sound, I actually waited about twenty or so minutes before committing to the purchase, leaving it unprotected and open for anyone to take. Upon receiving and examining my new hobo, it hit me that I had seen this work before. Having been recently perusing the O.H.N.S. auction catalogues made it a good place to start. Finding a match while flipping through the pages of auction #10 seemed all too easy. The real shock was finding a third match two days later, when I was not really looking for one. I had systematically been reading through old BoTales issues, catching up on articles that I had missed during the years that I was not a member. In the December 1997 BoTales, Vol.6 No.3, I found an article by Gail Baker Kraljevich titled “Ethnic-Style Hobo Nickels.” There was the third specimen of “Spring Beard” (the name that Verne Walrafen used in his description of the first specimen). Now the rest is hobo nickel history. My personal quality assessment is above average (high).
   The carving characteristics for “Spring Beard” are listed as follows:
    1) An erratic spring like looking beard made by way of a multi grooved or tipped punch.
    2) Altered profile to create an ethnic face.
    3) Large strange looking ears.
    4) Lines cut into face (eye, nose, forehead, and cheek) by way of fine round graver to create character.
    5) All have an Adams apple.
    6) A high domed derby hat with a lightly wriggle cut hat band.
    7) All on early dated San Francisco minted nickels (1913, 1914) dates intact.
    8) Long angled collar and shoulder area.
    9) Nicely done fields smoothed then enhanced with fine liner tooling.