Introducing Hawk Eye

By Marc Banks RM538

The first hobo nickel I purchased at the 2012 FUN Show in January was an interesting carving of a hobo with a high domed hat with three vent holes, an angular nose and scraggly beard. I thought it was a bargain at $75. It is shown on the left. I knew I had seen at least one other example by this carver sold on eBay and after a search on the OHNS web site and assistance from OHNS Archivist Art "Cinco" DelFavero (RM552) two other examples were found. The second specimen (center photo) was purchased on eBay for $187 by OHNS Member Don Wolfe (RM981) and is pictured on in DeZwerver Dossier #35 on the Original Hobo Nickel web site. The third specimen (right photo) is among a group of coins that appeared on the OHNS site in 2008 under "Classic Carvings going to a San Diego Coin Show" by Owen Covert. All are clearly the work of the same carver who I have named "Hawk Eye" after the raptor shaped nose and punched eye found all three examples.

Click to view enlargment. Click to view enlargment. Click to view enlargment.
Click to view enlargment. Click to view enlargment.
Hawk Eye Varients

The carving characteristics for "Hawk Eye" are as follows:

  1. A high domed hat with a slightly downturned brim.
  2. Two or three vent holes on the hat.
  3. A wide hat band with a bow and vertical lines.
  4. Punched eye, eyebrow and full beard with dreadlock-like spikes.
  5. A pronounced bend in the nose and a modified nostril.
  6. Two examples have no ear. The third has an oval ear low and back on the head.
  7. The collar forms an upside down V at the front.
  8. Well-dressed fields.
  9. All three coins are carved on 1913 Buffalo Nickels.