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Introducing Ich Kibibble


There are many hobo nickels with “Ich Kibibble” (in various spellings) engraved or punched on the obverse. This Yiddish phrase means “I should worry?” Here I am nicknaming the early hobo nickel artist who added ICH KIBIBBLE in upper-case letter punches above the hat, and am nicknaming him “Ich Kibibble” based on this phrase and its spelling.

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The diagnostic characteristics “Ich Kibibble” hobo nickels are:

  1. ICH KIBIBBLE is letter-punched in the field above the hat.
  2. The hat is shallow (to create room for the punches), with a thin curved brim. The brim wraps around in the back, but doesn't project much (if at all) beyond the forehead.
  3. The ear is narrow.
  4. The hair-beard-mushtache is formed by circular punches, and is trim and neatly bordered.
  5. A distinctive simple collar with lapel.
  6. The field is nicely dressed and smooth, much more so than the neck and collar.
  7. The profile is unaltered, except for top of nose, and the forehead. Eye is unaltered.
  8. Found on early-dated hobo nickels (1913 or 1914).

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1996 OHNS Auction 4 Lot 48