Introducing Bird Beak 15

By Arturo DelFavero RM552

In January of 2009 I picked up a standard design hobo nickel at the Livonia, Michigan show (Example 1). Fast forwarding a couple of years to 2015 I was fortunate to obtain a match to it from a local dealer that I see quite often (Example 2). In June of 2020 good fortune found me again via eBay where I was able to secure the third match (Example 3).

Although rather generic, these pieces sported a couple of undeniable consistencies. The first that stood out was a bird beak shaped motif that was applied to the front of the collar. The second was that all specimens were rendered on 1915 host coins. These two observations help me choose the name “Bird Beak 15”.

I never dreamed of owning the only three known issues of one artist, even though I am a long-time hoarder of hobo nickels. Fellow collector and friend Marc Banks and I refer to this as the Trifecta Phenomenon. I now present “Bird Beak 15”, my only Trifecta to date.

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The carving characteristics for "Bird Beak 15" are listed as follows:

  1. Similar derby style hats with adorned hat bands (two specimens with air holes).
  2. All hats show shading with liner tool.
  3. Hat brim is a thin line.
  4. Head and facial hair is applied by way of light wriggle cut with use of liner tool.
  5. Two examples sport small kidney shaped ears.
  6. All have very tall collars and similar shaped lapels.
  7. All show a bird beak shaped motif in front of collar.
  8. All are rendered on 1915 host coins.
  9. LIBERTY and dates remain fully intact.
  10. No changes to profile
  11. Very consistent field work and toning.