Introducing Baxter

By Arturo DelFavero RM552 and Chris Dempsey LM64

Back in 2002 I was able to secure a beautiful carving off of eBay (1st coin). As I recall, it was one of only a handful of classic era carvings I possessed at the time. It soon became an instant favorite, and due to the circumstances of it being an exceptional local Michigan purchase, it still is. In 2009 the late Verne Walrafen featured the coin I purchased on eBay in the "It'ss My Preciousss, Yess!" section of the website which he so lovingly tended.

Click to view enlargment. Click to view enlargment. Soon after, Chris Dempsey realized that it was a match to one that his deceased Grandfather had obtained and that now was in the possession of his mother (2nd coin). Chris Dempsey’s grandfather, Jack Baxter, was a rare coin dealer and an avid hobo nickel collector, having amassed hundreds of coins in his collection from 1958 to 1986. In the late 1960’s, Jack’s good friend and concert violinist Stan Kaspyrczik acquired a hobo nickel that bore a striking resemblance to Chris' grandfather and gifted it to him as a Christmas Gift, dubbing it "The Jack Baxter Portrait Nickel."

In early 2019, Chris was able to obtain another match to complete the criteria for nicknaming (3rd coin). It took nearly 20 years to find three works that could be attributed to this fine artist. In the end, Chris and I decided it would be fitting to use the name “Baxter” for the nicknaming in honor of Jack Baxter and Stan Kaspyrczik’s original naming.

Click to view enlargment. Click to view enlargment. Click to view enlargment.

The carving characteristics for "Baxter" are listed as follows:

  1. Derby hats adorned with band and bows, and having pointed end brims with divots.
  2. C-shaped ears with dug out centers.
  3. Punched head and facial hair.
  4. Clean neck area.
  5. Collars with V ends and lapel with button hole.
  6. Defined shoulder area.
  7. Nice smooth work in field.
  8. LIBERTY and DATE left intact.
  9. Use of fine liner tool for shading detail.
  10. Front brim of hat points to left of L in LIBERTY.