Irregular Postings on Coin Collecting & Numismatics - Both Canonical & Conanical

A Scion Society of The Baker Street Irregulars

Numismatists Do Not Fear Change

Howard Thomas’s “Elementary My Dear Watson” Hobo Nickel

Howard Thomas’s “Elementary My Dear Watson” Hobo Nickel

“You can’t sit there and play with me like a cat with a mouse”

– The Adventure of the Abbey Grange (ABBE)

Back in 1992, the Original Hobo Nickel Society was formed to promote the collecting of engraved buffalo nickels that had been produced prior to 1980. Most of these “original” nickels were engraved with nails, knifes, files and perhaps some punches. In the years since the OHNS was founded, there have been many modern hobo nickels (and not just nickels, almost any coin) created by talented artists using microscopes and power tools. Depending on the quality of the work, these modern hobo nickels can cost many hundred of dollars.

This example was carvved by Howard Thomas, a prolific engraver of hobo nickels since 2009. Thomas was a regarded scrimshaw artist, but as the laws and regulations regarding the buying and selling of ivory began changing, so he switched over to carving nickels.

This particular design is on the obverse of a 1936 Buffalo Nickel and was done before 2014. I asked how this carving came to happen and Thomas responded that he and his wife were watchiing one of the old Basil Rathbone films on Turner Classic Movies and just ran with the idea.

You can keep up with Thomas on his Facebook Page or on his Twitter feed.  In addition, over 200 of his works can be seen over at The Hobo Nickel Archive with separate boards for his profiles, human portraits, birds, cats (lots of), dogs, mini-men reverse carvings and various other designs.

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