Hobo nickel – Wikipedia

An example of a tramp nickel The hobo nickel is a modeled art form involving the creative modification of small-denomination coins, basically resulting in miniature bachelor of arts respite. The US nickel coin was favored because of its size, thickness and relative softness. however, the terminus hobo nickel is generic, as carvings have been made from many different denominations. due to its low cost and portability, this medium was particularly democratic among hobos, therefore the name “ tramp nickel. ”

early altered coins ( 1750s–1913 ) [edit ]

An interpolate british penny

The alter of coins dates back to the eighteenth century or earlier. Beginning in the 1850s, the most common form of mint revision was the “ potty coin ”, engraved on United States Seated Liberty neologism ( half dime bag through trade dollar ) and modifying Liberty into a figure sitting on a chamber pot. This time menstruation was besides the flower of the sexual love keepsake, which was made by machine-smoothing a mint ( normally a silver example such as a Morgan dollar ) on one or both sides, then engraving it with initials, monograms, names, scenes, and so forth, often with an flowery boundary line. Hundreds of thousands of coins were altered in this manner. They were often mounted on pins or incorporated into bracelets and necklaces. The sexual love token fad waned out in the early twentieth century ; love tokens engraved on buffalo nickels are rare. During this time period, tramp -style mint revision could be found outside the United States, primarily in Britain, France, and South Africa .

The Buffalo nickel [edit ]

When the amerind Head nickel, or Buffalo nickel, was introduced in 1913, it became popular among mint engravers. The big native american english head was a radical passing from former designs and would not be seen on any subsequent coins. The big, thickly profile gave the artists a larger template to work on and allowed for finer detail. On earlier coins, the head was much smaller in sexual intercourse to the size of the coin. For exercise, on a Lincoln penny, the head covers about one-sixth of the area. On the Buffalo nickel, the native American ‘s head occupies about five-sixths of the sphere. furthermore, the nickel is a larger coin. Large heads besides adorn the Morgan dollar and the columbian half dollar commemoratives of 1892-93, but these coins were rarely altered due to their high prize. Another component contributing to the Buffalo nickel ‘s popularity was the subject. closely all previous coins had depicted women ( Liberty pass nickels, indian lead cents, Barber and Morgan silver dollars ). A male head has larger, coarser features ( nuzzle, chin, hilltop ) that can be altered in many ways. even the buffalo on the inverse could be changed into another animal or a man with a backpack .

authoritative old tramp nickels ( 1913–1940 ) [edit ]

many talented coin engravers, equally well as newcomers, started creating tramp nickels in 1913, when the Buffalo nickel entered circulation. This accounts for the quality and kind of engraving styles found on carve 1913 nickels. More authoritative honest-to-god tramp nickels were made from 1913-dated nickels than any early pre-1930s date. many artists made tramp nickels in the 1910s and 1920s, with new artists joining in as the years went by. The 1930s saw many talented artists adopting the medium. Bertram Wiegand, known about entirely as Bert, began carving nickels in the teens, and his student George Washington Hughes, known as Bo, began carving in the late teens ( and up to 1980 when he vanished in 1981 [ 1 ] ). During this period, Buffalo nickels were the most common nickels in circulation.

late old tramp nickels ( 1940–1980 ) [edit ]

The 1940s, 1950s, 1960s and 1970s were a transitional period for tramp coin engravers, during which the Buffalo nickel was gradually replaced by the Jefferson nickel. Some veteran nickel carvers such as Bo and Bert continued making tramp nickels in the classic old style. Bo, in fact, did his best ferment in the early 1950s, when he carved many outstanding cameo portrait tramp nickels. During this 40-year period, many new carvers appeared, and vogue and subject matter became decidedly modern. Subjects became more ethnically and socially diverse ( for example, a chinese womanhood with trilateral hat, hippies with farseeing hair and glasses, men wearing floppy hats, and so forth ). Some of these new artists used new techniques such as world power engravers, vibrating tools, and felt marker pens to add color to hair. By the end of the 1970s, most Buffalo nickels had disappeared from circulation, and the majority of engravings were performed on worn coins. Bo, for exercise, was forced to obtain Buffalo nickels from coin dealers, some of whom commissioned carvings .

Modern tramp nickels ( since 1980 ) [edit ]

many carvers who were active during the 1960s and 1970s continued carving Buffalo nickels into the 1980s. Their coins were altered using punches ( dashes, dots, arc, crescents, stars ) and some carve of the profile. The area behind the point is normally boisterous from dressing with a office creature. They created standard design tramp nickels ( bowler hat and beard ), ampere well as many modern subjects, such as occupational busts ( stoker, railroad engineer, pizza chef ), celebrated people ( Uncle Sam, Albert Einstein ), hippies, and others. A major event occurred in the early 1980s, demarcating the transition from “ old ” to “ modern ” tramp nickels. This was the publication of a serial of articles by numismatist Del Romines on the subjugate of tramp nickels. He soon published the first ledger on the subject, Hobo Nickels ( ASIN B0006R7SFW ), in 1982. Both centered on Bo and his carvings. This resulted in some modern artists entering the plain, most of whom just copied Bo ‘s nickel artwork from the illustrations in Romines ‘s script. The two major Bo-style copycats were John Dorusa and Frank Brazzell. together, they produced 20,000 or more modern carved nickels, most of which were copies of Bo ‘s designs. Dorusa even copied Bo ‘s “ GH ” signature ( for “ George Hughes ” ) on many of this early creations. press from big tramp nickel collectors such as Bill Fivaz convinced Dorusa to stop carving “ GH ” and put his own initials or name on his works. Dorusa and Brazzell besides produced original works, featuring non-traditional discipline topic ( conquistadors, Dick Tracy, skulls, and so forth ). The large phone number of Bo copies led many collectors to label all modern carved nickels as “ Neo-Bo ‘s ”, a term no longer in practice. early carvers such as “ Cinco de Arturo ” ( Arturo DelFavero ) besides appeared in the 1980s and 1990s, introducing more advanced subject topic ( cartoon characters, witches, and animals ). Most nickel carvers of the 1980s to mid-1990s are regarded by collectors as average at best, but circa 1995, Ron Landis, an engraver in Arkansas, began creating superior quality carvings. For about four years, Landis was the entirely nickel woodcarver creating superior carvings, at the rate of alone one to two twelve per year ( all signed, numbered, and dated ). many other master engravers have since begun creating tramp nickels. Landis and “ Cinco de Arturo ” are two of four know living artist practicing this craft prior to the year 2000. The others are Sonny Carpenter, and Bill Jameson ( Billzach ), All four are considered superior carvers, and reason breakers that inspired the current rebirth.

Some current fecund carvers are converting from quantity to quality, making fewer pieces of high artistic choice ( as the market is flooded with lower choice quickly-made carvings ). modern carvings of superior timbre sell for about the lapp prices as classic old original carvings of equal quality by unknown artists. From the early 1980s to the give, modern lesser-quality carvings could and still can be purchased for a little as $ 5 to $ 10 each. many new collectors found it arduous to obtain good-quality old master tramp nickels ( as they are then scarce and dearly-won ), so they began collecting the promptly gettable and cheap mod works. About 100,000 ( and possibly vitamin a many as 200,000 ) classical tramp nickels were created from 1913 to 1980. modern artists have created ( and continue to create ) altered nickels in such big quantities that, within the future few years, the count of modern carvings is expected to surpass that of classic old tramp nickels. Most of the 100,000-plus classical old tramp nickels are not so far in the hands of collectors, whereas about all modern carvings are. Among numismatists, the advanced carvings already greatly outnumber the classic previous tramp nickels .

See besides [edit ]

References [edit ]

  • Stephen P. Alpert. Hobo Nickel Guidebook. 2001, 122 pages.
  • Bill Fivaz. “Reverse Carvings on Hobo Nickels”. Nickel News, Fall 1987.
  • Delma K. Romines. Hobo Nickels. Newberry Park, CA: Lonesome John Publishing Co., 1982, 106 pages.
  • Joyce Ann Romines. Hobo Carvings: An Exclusive Upgrade of Hobo Nickel Artistry. 1996, 108 pages.
  • Michael Wescott with Kendall Keck. The United States Nickel Five-Cent Piece: History and Date-by-Date Analysis. Wolfeboro, NH: Bowers & Merena, 1991.
  • Original Hobo Nickel Society, numismatic community interested in carved coins, primarily 1913-1938 Buffalo nickels. Both classic carved nickels and recent carved nickels are generically called “hobo nickels”.
  • SSoIH Carver’s Database, Hobo Nickel Carver Signature Search. Searchable database of carver signatures and examples of their work.
  • Nickel Carver’s ShowCase, a collection of photos showing individual carvers and examples of their carvings where available. Includes currently active carvers, known classic carvers and “nicknamed” classic carvers.
  • Alpert’s Artist Galleries, an expanded and updated online version of Steve Alpert’s Hobo Nickel Guidebook.
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