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Introducing “Notch Nose”     −by Fred Avan RM908, Marc Banks RM538 and Arturo DelFavero RM522
{ from  Summer 2010 BoTales }
   Two long lost brothers were united at the 2010 Fun Show after nearly a century! Both Art DelFavero and Marc Banks brought examples of carvings by an unknown artist now nicknamed “Notch Nose” after the pronounced notch/broken nose displayed on his art work. The nickels are similar in nearly every detail. Presuming that this carver carved created these pieces in the early 1910's and they were separated shortly thereafter, it may be close to 100 years since the two carvings appeared in the same place together. Perhaps more of the family will be reunited in the future.
   A couple of days after the inspiring 2010 F.U.N. show, both Marc Banks and Art DelFavero were contacted by an excited Fred Avan. He told them that he had been doing some research on matching artist nickels that they both owned, and that he had good news. Fred had ventured to the “Recent Sales of Nickel Carvings,” an on-line listing of eBay and private sales from 2001-2005, and found a 1913 host coin carving matching Marc's 1915, and Art's 1913. Of course this was not only good news, it was also a hobo nickel history making find.
   Listed on the “Recent Sales” link dated 6/02/2002 is a carving titled “Gables Nickel” which was purchased by an unknown owner for $86.27. Said rendering matches a nickel purchased by Marc Banks on 7/13/2009 for $190.27 and a nickel obtained by Art DelFavero on 10/18/2009, for the price of $243, making the average price of these nickels $173.18. These incredible classic pieces depict a bearded man with a broken nose wearing a derby hat.
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   The carving Characteristics for “Notch Nose” are listed as follows:
    1) Early date host coins.
    2) High dome derby hat with a curved narrow brim.
    3) Wide hatband with “>” ornament and three vertical lines.
    4) Punched eye.
    5) Notched nose with a bump.
    6) Narrow oblong ear.
    7) Enhanced nostril.
    8) Punched eyebrow, hair, beard, and moustache.
    9) Beard extends to edge of coin.
   10) Engraved line collar with minor differences.
   11) Nice clean field with Liberty and date remaining intact.
   12) A mixture of engraved and punched features.
Introducing “Curly”     −by Verne Walrafen HLM620
{ from  Summer 2010 BoTales }
   In January 2010 I purchased on eBay the first hobo nickel shown (on the next page) on the left for $529. I was certain that I had already seen other carvings done by this same carver so I asked my friend Art DelFavero to search the OHNS QD Archive for us. He found the next two carvings shown; the first from June 2001 and the second from October 2005. I was not 100% convinced that my specimen was done by the same artist as the two Art found so we showed the three to Steve Alpert. Steve confirmed Art's considered opinion that all were done by the same hand. He further informed us that he had a fourth example on his desk from its owner at that moment for the purpose of creating a QD.
   If you watch a currently active carver develop their skills over time, as I have with a number of them, artists change their style as they progress. They don't normally carve the exact same design over and over again. So I am willing to concede that, more likely than not, all four of these carvings were done by the artist I am nicknaming “Curly.” Quite clearly the last three carvings certainly were done by “Curly” so I have met the requirements necessary to establish a valid nickname.
   My carving “feels” more accomplished to me as the others seem much cruder in their execution. For that reason, plus the fact that it has both the 1916 date and the LIBERTY legend remaining, it seems to me that this carving may have been accomplished later in “Curly's” career regardless of being shown first here simply because I encountered it before the other specimens. Then again I may well be allowing my personal preference/prejudice for carvings with dates and legends to affect my impression.
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Article Expansion
   The carving characteristics for “Curly“ are listed as follows:
    1) All have curly hair and beards with no moustaches evident.
    2) Three dimensional hats angled towards the back of head.
    3) All seem to be depictions of Orthodox Jewish men due to side curls of hair called peyos.
    4) All have long noses with nostril alterations.
    5) All have accentuated lips.
    6) Total profile alterations.
    7) Engraving, peening, and punching techniques used to create a sculpted appearance.
    8) Collar/shoulder work (with three specimens displaying an upside down triangle motif     at bottom).
    9) Liberty and date removed on three specimens.
Introducing “Zee Gouger”     −by Arturo DelFavero RM552
{ from  Summer 2010 BoTales }
   On May 10, 2009 I purchased a hobo nickel off of eBay for the price of $68 including shipping. As I remember, the photo for this auction wasn't the best which, in my belief, worked to my benefit by yielding me this better hammer price. Recognizing this artist's work, I was willing to pay much as $175 which was my bid cap for this auction.
   Shortly after receiving my coin, Owen Covert contacted me and told me that he had a similar rendering that he had purchased for $57, and that he would be emailing me a photo for confirmation. Owen turned out to be correct and of course this prompted a massive search for the other specimen that I had remembered seeing. Frustrated and exhausted, after exploring all the usual avenues, our search came up fruitless. At this point Owen and I decided to submit our coins to the “Three is a Match” section in the upcoming Fall 2009 “BoTales.” This decision turned the tide, and shortly after receiving his “BoTales”, Don Wolfe produced two more matches, one of which he had purchased for $47, thus bringing our average price to $57.33.
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   The carving characteristics for “Zee Gouger” are listed as follows:
    1) A gouged* or scooped out large ear.
    2) A running or lazy looking side ways Zee* on the collar (three specimens).
    3) Enhanced nostril.
    4) Minor changes to profile.
    5) High collars.
    6) A domed Derby hat with vertical lines on hat band (three specimens).
    7) Punched hair, beard and moustache with hair running atop of forehead.
    8) Use of gravers point, round, and liner.
    9) Liberty remains on all date removed on three.
   10) A wedge shaped head between hat and collar.
   *Zee Gouger” name was derived from the running Zee collar and the gouged out ear.