Introducing Eerie

By Barry Homrighaus RM 1548

One of my first hobo nickel eBay wins was the strange looking fellow below (#1) with wavy hair, a very rough beard, and an oddly scooped ear. These features seemed distinctive enough to encourage me to always be on the lookout for a match. A few months ago, I stumbled on the first match (#2 below) in the QD archives, and recently—also in the archives—found match #3. This final coin has been "around the block," having sold in OHNS Auction #25 in 2017, and again in a Heritage auction in 2022.

While these three carvings are not perfect matches, they are clearly the works of the same artist. And while there are many features that could suggest a nickname--like the matching stippling on the hat crowns and collars, or the craggy beards ending in a point below the chin—it is the odd treatment of the ears which seems most compelling.

Regarding the nickname "Eerie", I’m going with my wife Barb's pun. When I showed her these features, she joked, "They’re eerie". Seemed to me like a good choice for a nickname.

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

The Carving Characteristics for "Eerie" are listed as follows:

  1. A high-crowned derby with a narrow, raised brim, no hatband, and stippling.
  2. Forehead carved below the brim to create raised effect, with no other modifications to the profile.
  3. Hair carved in sweeping curves, contrasting with a deeply and roughly punched full beard extending to a point below the chin.
  4. Ears barely visible as they appear to blend with the hair.
  5. High, rolled-back collars with stippling that matches the crown of the derby.
  6. All three carvings on early date nickels with Liberty and the date remaining, and the ribbons from the Indian’s braid intact right of the date.