Introducing Maggot Beard

By Arturo DelFavero, RM552

In February of 2019, I noticed a coin that had made the rounds on eBay a few times (1st shown). In other words, the seller had re-listed it each time with a lesser starting bid. While perusing the 1999 O.H.N.S. Auction 7 catalogue, I spotted that lot 35 was a match (2nd shown). This discovery prompted me to place a snipe bid on the aforementioned nickel which ultimately resulted in a win. Soon after, another match surfaced via the Recent Sales section of BoTales Fall 2012 issue.

One thing that stood out to me about these works was the stylish beard created by longer shaped depression or raised beads. To me they resembled of a bunch of maggots squirming around while feasting. Though not too long on skill, this artist's renderings are quite unique and possess much charm.

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

The carving characteristics for "Maggot Beard" are listed as follows:

  1. Raised beads used to create a beard that resembles maggots.
  2. Long turned down brimmed hats with wriggle cut vertical lines on band.
  3. No ears.
  4. Head and facial hair that extends down front of neck.
  5. No or very limited collars.
  6. No profile alterations, although mouth is affected by artist's technique.
  7. More than likely all on later dated coins (1927 and 1935 available dates).