Introducing Bushy Beard

By Steve Alpert LM10

Here is another early artist who reworked nearly the entire obverse of his hobo nickels. His portraits have a large punched beard which covers most of the neck and area in front of the neck, extending to the border. I have thus nicknamed him “Bushy Beard”. I know of just these two works by him at this time (on VF and XF P-mint nickels).

Click to view enlargment. Click to view enlargment.

The diagnostic characteristics of a hobo nickel by “Bushy Beard” are:

  1. A large bushy beard. The beard and hair behind the ear was formed using a curved punch.
  2. The mouth curves downward and is slightly wider in the rear. A sparsely-punched mustache is above.
  3. The hat has a narrow straight brim, and a wider band with a bow in the center. The dome has fine parallel lines made with a liner tool.
  4. The carved ear is small and C-shaped.
  5. The profile is altered only at the tip of the nose, and bottom of the forehead. A curved groove forms the eyebrow, and enhances the nostril.
  6. The single collar is low, with a small lapel. The collar and shoulder are finely lined (like the hat dome), with the shoulder lines roughly perpendicular to the collar lines.
  7. The date and LIBERTY were removed.
  8. The field is textured with small raised dots (from a beading tool?).