Introducing Slim Shady

By Arturo DelFavero RM552

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This is another case where a bad photo yielded a great nickel. Back in 2001 when eBay was sort of new, and also when it was less easy to take a nice close up picture for an auction listing, I got lucky on a hobo nickel purchase. Due to a very poor photo I stole a great specimen from a much overlooked auction (hammer price $85.00). Upon receiving this hobo nickel from the East Coast (Massachusetts to be specific), I felt greatly rewarded for taking the gamble. My new acquisition became one of my all time favorite derby style hobos due to its clean engraver style artwork. Upon inspection, I noticed that this artist used a number of techniques to shade areas. The result is a very unique style of finished product. This use of shading prompted me to name this carver “Slim Shady”.

It took about seven years for two more matches to show up, the first was Lot #1 in the 2007 O.H.N.S. auction (hammer price $176), and the second was from the February 2008 Heritage auction at the Long Beach Show (hammer price $184). The average price for all three is $148.33.

The carving characteristics for “Slim Shady” are listed as follows:

  1. Identical Derby hats with a bow, accented with a liner tool following the rounded contour.
  2. Similar ears with a flat center area.
  3. Wriggle cut shading behind the head.
  4. Very detailed collars and shoulder with similar components, also shaded with a liner tool.
  5. Dates removed.
  6. No alteration to the profile.
  7. Hair and beard created with fine dotted pattern over wriggle cutting.
  8. Added eyebrow.

My personal assessment quality for this carver is above average high.