Introducing Slantz

By Don Wolfe RM981, Marc Banks RM538

I bought the 1913 hobo nickel (1) in early 2006 on eBay for less than $200. I was recently looking at the hobo nickels for sale on Chris Dempsey's website and I saw a hobo nickel on a 1916 nickel (2) that matched the one I already owned. I purchased that nickel for $250 dollars. I was told that Marc Banks had a match to the two I had and obtained a photo (3). Marc's carving, his first hobo nickel, is on a 1916 nickel and was purchased for $15 in the 1990s. We decided to nickname the carver of these nickels "Slantz" after the slanted lines on the hat brims of each carving.

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The carving characteristics for "Slantz" are as follows:

  1. Domed hats on each example have slanted lines cut across the entire length of their slender, crescent-shaped brims. Example 3 has a small feather carved above the brim.
  2. The hair, moustache and beard are all done with the same pointed punch. The beard extends well below chin. An inverted "V" is created where the well-defined hair and jaw lines meet.
  3. Small carved ears are located near the center of the head. Two examples have two dots inside the ear for detail.
  4. Two of the carvings have a punched dot for the eye.
  5. There is no collar, but a cut line outlines the shoulder on all three nickels.
  6. All three carvings are done on early date nickels.
  7. The profiles are essentially unaltered.
  8. The fields are cleanly dressed with LIBERTY left intact. The rim has been developed from top of head to shoulder near date.