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Introducing Sly Dog


By Art DelFavero RM552

Back in 2020 good friend and fellow collector Marc Banks and I ventured to the table of a dealer at the Orlando F.U.N. show. Both of us were trailing the ever illusive classic hobo nickel and this dealer usually had something to satisfy our hunger. Marc and I quickly spotted a nicknamed artist that he needed plus another to add to his collection. The dealer handed me a stack while my counterpart perused his displayed inventory.

It didn't take long before I spotted a classic where the subject had sly looking features, and artistic characteristics of others I had seen before (example 2). I ended up purchasing two coins as I remember, and all while having this nagging feeling that I must figure out where I had seen others to match. All at once it hit me, years before a posting on the O.H.N.S. website displayed a carving where the artist utilized some of the same techniques.

When I arrived home I went to work, and within fifteen minutes a match was identified, (example1). In 2021 I secured a third specimen from within the QD archives (example 3). Member and collector Joseph "Spit" Scalamoni came up with another that closely resembled example two, right down to lettering in the field (example 4). I’ve decided to nickname this carver "Sly Dog" based mainly on the sly slick look created by the very defining eye treatment.

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1 2 3 4

The carving characteristics for "Sly Dog" are as follows:

  1. Nice high domed hats with elliptical shaped, pointed end brims.
  2. All hats show added accent lines for shading.
  3. Engraved and stippled head and facial hair.
  4. A less than greater than eye adornment which creates a sly look (˂).
  5. Crows feet on example 1 and 2.
  6. Different sized engraved ears that resemble a backward 3 or script E.
  7. Alterations to profile.
  8. Nearly exact collars, lapels, and shoulder areas, all similarly shaded.
  9. Lines over forehead on all.
  10. Perpendicular cut behind nostril on all.
  11. A bulbous nose on 2 specimens.
  12. Scraggly looking beards.
  13. LIBERTY and dates removed on all.
  14. Well-dressed fields, deeper and squared off to rim behind head. Two examples display the letters FL which appear also behind the head.