Introducing The Lip

By Marc Banks RM538, Arturo DelFavero RM552

Carving #1 below is one of four works with very expressive faces by an unknown classic carver that had not been previously nicknamed. While these carvings have a number of characteristic markers, I am bestowing the name "The Lip" after the protruding lower lip on each these specimens. I found example #2 in Dossier 22 on the OHNS web site. OHNS archivist Arturo "Cinco" DelFavero located #3 in a group of hobo nickels posted on the web site back 2010. He also located example #4 while searching through the OHNS archives.

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

  1. Major modifications to the Indian's profile include: a notch removed at bridge of nose and reshaping of the nose, angular (upward) notch at nostril, an accent line above the nostril and a protruding lower lip.
  2. The eye has been modified with an eyebrow added; the mouth has been enhanced (open on #1).
  3. The ears are nicely detailed, but vary somewhat among the four examples.
  4. Small circular punch marks are used to create a long, funnel-shaped beard that extends towards the rim of the nickel.
  5. The hair on #1 is carved while #2 and #4 have the hair punched in the same manner as the beard.
  6. Three of the carvings have domed hats with crescent brims pointed at front and back. Two of these have decorated hat bands. Example #3 is hatless and no attempt was made to remove the feathers and hair details of the host coin.
  7. Numbers 1, 2 and 4 have double collars and a V-shaped notch for the lapel.
  8. The fields are neatly dressed. LIBERTY has been removed on Example #1.
  9. Numbers 1-3 are done on early date Buffalo Nickels, the date is removed on #4.
  10. It is unclear whether #3 is an earlier work, unfinished or a quick carving.