Introducing The Expressionist

By Arturo DelFavero RM552, Chris Dempsey LM64

Many hobo nickels are sort of generic in nature and this includes some in the category of nicknamed artistry. A rare few of these carvings on metal appear to have been created by true artists and engravers. Even fewer have been executed by master expressionists. In 2007 Heritage Auctions was in charge of dispatching two major collections and Lot # 8179 (example 1) just happens to be the gem contained within. If there was ever a coin that could be described as a painting on metal this was it.

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The Carving Characteristics for "The Expressionist" are listed as follows:

  1. Textured three dimensional, high fitted hats with bands and shading.
  2. Well-formed ears that are positioned slightly out of place and surrounded by hair.
  3. Engraved head and facial hair with no moustache.
  4. Added eyebrows over enhanced expressive eyes (two with eyelashes or shading).
  5. Extreme profile alterations that create the effect of a longer head and face.
  6. A larger beak shaped nose with long nostril and back cut.
  7. Well-formed lips and mouth area.
  8. Clean neck with Adam’s apple.
  9. Blended textured collar and shoulder area that obliterates dates.
  10. Extreme sculpted cameo or partial cameo effect, even though LIBERTY is left remaining on one specimen.
  11. Very well-dressed smooth fields.
  12. All should be considered superior in quality.