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

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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.

The Medals of the Hansoms of John Clayton

The Medals of the Hansoms of John Clayton

“We hired a hansom …” – The Adventure of the Naval Treaty (NAVA) Recently, we posted a HolmeWork Assignment asking about the 1997 DISI Award Medals, and Brad Keefauver, the 41st Garrideb, was quick to respond that DISI was the Downstate Illinois Sherlock Invitational that took place for two years, starting in 1996. Brad then posted on… Continue Reading

NCLT Coins Featuring Robert Downey, Jr. as Iron Man

NCLT Coins Featuring Robert Downey, Jr. as Iron Man

“… iron-faced men …”  – A Study in Scarlet (STUD) I never realized that South Pacific Islanders were so fanatical about the Marvel Comic Universe and the movies that have been produced about those characters. Seriously, we have been reminded that we did posts featuring the non-circulating legal tender (NCLT) coins featuring Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman,… Continue Reading

Lapel Pins from Elementary’s Sherlock

Lapel Pins from Elementary’s Sherlock

“… spoke of the meticulous care in dress for which he was famous.” – The Adventure of the Illustrious Client (ILLU) Lucy Liu and Jonny Lee Miller – Elementary Season 2 promo picture The internet is a vast and wondrous place. Having a little bit of free time lately, your editior has found online collections… Continue Reading

Faces of Holmes: Charlie McCarthy, Detective

Faces of Holmes: Charlie McCarthy, Detective

“… all were equally puppets in his hands.” – The Adventure of the Solitary Cyclist (SOLI) Comedian and actor Edgar Berggren was born in Chicago in 1903. Begining at the age of 11, Edgar began to self-learn ventriliquism and during his late teenage years would be given daily lessons by the famed ventriloquist Harry Lester for… Continue Reading

Fun With Serial Numbers

Fun With Serial Numbers

“He is looking up at the numbers of the houses.” – The Adventure of the Beryl Coronet (BERY) We have recently received a telegram from the 33rd Garrideb, Al Gregory. It read, Here’s a cutie from my collection! I was sitting around one day and the thought came to me, “How about a US bank… Continue Reading

Some Mistakes Were Made

Some Mistakes Were Made

“Possibly there is some mistake.” – The Advenure of the Creeping Man” During the process of striking several thousand coins for circulation, it is quite likely that few error coins will slip through. One of the most common errors to be found are incomplete planchet errors, more commonly known as “clips.” As the above illustration… Continue Reading