Introducing Deep Pockets

By Marc Banks RM538, Candace Kagin LM777, Chris Dempsey LM 64

In 2013 I purchased an above average classic carving (#1) with a very prominent nose as a Buy-it-Now on eBay. Chris Dempsey acquired a second carving (#2) of a man with a turned up nose wearing a nightcap listed by the same seller. Although the carvings were quite different they shared a number of the same carving characteristics linking them to the same talented, unknown carver. Particularly striking were punch marks creating deep pockets accenting the face. I have not seen this type of punching on any other carvings. Since that eventful day several additional works have by this artist have appeared. The third example, a more traditional carving, was shown to Chris at a coin show. The fourth example (#4) was identified in the collection of Candace Kagin. I was also able to obtain a photo of a fifth example (#5) by this artist. I have nicknamed this carver "Deep Pockets" after the distinctive punch marks displayed on these carvings.

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The carving characteristics for "Deep Pockets" are as follows:

  1. The carvings display very distinctive punch marks that terminate in a deep pocket/scoop-shaped depression that is very pronounced behind the eye. Some examples have a number of these marks.
  2. All examples have nicely shaped and detailed ears.
  3. The carvings have nicely carved or punched hair and or beards, enhanced eyes, modified noses and mouths.
  4. Four examples share collars whose outline resemble the wings of a seagull.
  5. Four examples have domed hats with a crescent-shaped brim, two have bows on the hat band. Example #2 is wearing a cap which shares the same accenting as example 1.
  6. All are done on early date nickels (1913-1919).
  7. Fields are well dressed.
  8. LIBERTY has been removed on examples 4 and 5.