Introducing The Canadian

By Marc Banks RM538, Owen Covert RM686

It took nine years to find a match to my favorite hobo nickel. The carving of a man with a high domed hat and a pointy beard (left photo) was offered on eBay in the summer of 2003 by a dealer in Vancouver, British Columbia and I was the happy winner with a bid of $257. This year (2012) another carving by the same artist (middle photo) appeared on eBay as a Buy It Now for $400. I quickly purchased it. A short time later Owen Covert told me there was yet another hobo nickel by the same carver. He sent me a photo of a beautiful cameo carving (photo on right) he had sold a couple years earlier. I am nicknaming the carver of these nickels "The Canadian" in part because the first specimen came from British Columbia and in part because my friend Verne Walrafen had called it the "Canadian Hobo" in the 2003 Recent Sales section of the OHNS web site, for the same reason.

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

The carving characteristics for "The Canadian" are as follows:

  1. All examples have a domed hat (of various heights) with a straight brim and a band with decorative vertical lines.
  2. The hair and beard are expertly carved. The beard comes to a distinct point beyond the chin.
  3. Each has ears with raised-metal outer edge with a slight indentation on the front side.
  4. An altered "squinty" eye (with an eyebrow) and modified nose and nostril. The first specimen has crow's feet.
  5. The mouth is enhanced.
  6. Well-carved double collars with notches for the lapel. The dates have been removed. The first two carvings are done on Type 2 Buffalo Nickels.
  7. The fields are completely dressed with LIBERTY removed. The first two specimens are partial cameos and the third a cameo carving. In my opinion, the carvings range from above average to superior in quality.