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Introducing “Rails”     −by Don Wolfe RM981
{ from  Fall 2010 BoTales }
   In December of 2007 I purchased my coin thru eBay from an East coast coin dealer for $208. The second coin I found was Lot #11 in OHNS Auction #16 in 2008 and it sold for $330 (unknown owner at that time). The third coin (the one smoking a cigarette) was found by Art DelFavero in the OHNS archives. Art located a QD form from 2004 that showed it belonged to OHNS member Bob Entlich. All the coins look to be average−high average carvings. After looking and comparing all three together, I thought that the hat band reminded me of a railroad track with the rails and cross ties, therefore the name of “Rails”.
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   The Carving Characteristics for “Rails” are listed as follows:
    1) Domed hat with hatband and bow. Hatband has vertical lines and the bow has both vertical & horizontal lines.
    2) Hat brim is flat or nearly so formed with two lines.
    3) Large ear set back on the head with about half of the ear covered by the hat.
    4) Profile may be altered by notch at top of the nose.
    5) Punched hair and beard.
    6) Stickpin with radiating lines from it on a well defined collar.
    7) Date removed and LIBERTY partially or fully removed.
Introducing “The Flapper”     −by Nick Pyle LM69
{ from  Fall 2010 BoTales }
   Hobo nickels are very intriguing to me. My wife got us started three years ago with interest and the purchase of a Ray Castro reverse dog carving that resembles our Weimaraner “Willow.” We continue to hunt for carved coins regularly and in our frequent travels we seek out coin shops all over in search of hobo nickels and Love tokens − what we consider Americana folk art.
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   The first of the three nickels shown below came to my attention in February of this year in an eBay auction which I was fortunate enough to win for $377.12 including shipping. Shortly after the auction closed, Verne Walrafen called me and alerted me to the existence of a second example by this same (as yet unnamed) carver. That coin is the second one shown below and was Lot 7 in OHNS Auction 13 in January 2005. This carving was deemed Average/Average(H) and executed on an XF 1913 Type 1 Buffalo nickel. This coin sold to a mail bidder for $143. Art DelFavero later located the third example shown below in the OHNS QD archives. Member Jim Nye, RM382, submitted this example for authentication in 1997. It's an Average(H) example executed on a 1913 Type 2 Buffalo nickel. Jim shared that it was one of 21 hobo nickels he purchased from a Mr. R. Hapner at the January 1997 F.U.N. Show. Mr. Hapner was a onetime coin dealer who lived in Florida. I want to thank Verne and Art for helping me to come up with the nickname of “The Flapper”.
   The Carving Characteristics for “The Flapper“ are listed as follows:
    1) A nicely made high collar with a large 揻lap towards the front.
    1) All work done on 1913 dated host coins (thus far).
    3) A well made ear that overlaps the hat brim.
    4) Nicely shaped Derby hat with band (feather remains at the back on two specimens).
    5) Coarsely punched hair, beard, and moustache (appears like pock marks).
    6) Date and LIBERTY remain intact..
    7) Minor changes to the profile.
    8) Fields nicely dressed.
Introducing “Droopy”     −by Marc Banks RM538 with Art DelFavero RM522
{ from  Fall 2010 BoTales }
   Among the carved nickels I brought with me to this past January's Fun Show is one I call “Droopy” after the hobo's lazy eyelid. I had purchased the classic carving at a coin show the previous fall for $150. When I showed the nickel to OHNS QD Examiner Art DelFavero, he said he thought there was a match by the same artist. In no time at all, Art appeared with the 2009 Volume 18 Issue 1 of BoTales. Among the pictures of Hobo Nickels recently purchased on eBay for $124 on page 21 was a carving that clearly had been carved by the same person (2nd specimen below). With hope that a third example might appear, I returned home to Connecticut. Later in January, I received an email from Art with a picture of a third example from the collection of Warren Stabler.
   In addition to the modified eye, the three nickels shared a number of characteristics that show that they are the work of the same previously unnamed artist.
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   The Carving Characteristics for “Droopy” are listed as follows:
    1) Punched eyelid.
    2) Domed hats whose outlines meets the brim which curves back behind the hat creating a three dimensional effect.
    3) Horizontal accent lines across portions of the hats.
    4) A hat band with vertical accents lines.
    5) The left fields of these carvings have been nicely dressed.
           Different portions of the word “LIBERTY” remain in the right field on each specimen.
    6) Punched hair, moustaches and beards and eyebrows.
    7) Altered profiles with enlarge nostrils.
    8) A slightly open mouth.
    9) Ears created with a small punch.
   10) The collars vary from elaborate to a simple double incised line.
   11) The first example brought to the Fun Show has a bow tie added.