101527 | UNITED STATES. "Hobo Nickel" silver Medal.
101527 | UNITED STATES. "Hobo Nickel" silver Medal. Issued 1995. Commemorating an American folk art tradition (39mm, 46.82 g, 12h). Gallery mint.
AN AMERICAN FOLK ART TRADITION / THE HOBO NICKEL, central motif containing obverse of a buffalo nickel reengraved with the Native American sporting a beard and a derby hat, as well as the LIBERTY shortened to "BERT;" all within border of leaves and railroad tracks / Hobo, flicking coin and holding bindle, standing right before locomotive right. Edge: Gallery Mint EUREKA/SPRINGS ARK 1 1/2 TROY 999 Fine Silver No. 29.
Choice Gem Mint State. Highly radiant and argent with a subtle golden tone. Serial number 29 of just 500; includes original ticket.
Though engraving coins had been a pastime enjoyed for quite some time, either as pieces satirizing leaders and current events, as tokens for presentation to a loved one, or as trench art for soldiers while at war, one form that became iconic was the "hobo nickel" after the introduction of James E. Fraser's "buffalo nickel" in 1913. Popularized by train-hopping vagabonds, these pieces of engraved coin art were the perfect distraction for long, lonely hours and offered a great canvas with a much larger head than had traditionally been encountered on U.S. coinage. Oftentimes, the Native American head would be altered with distinctive aspects, such as hats and beards, but the varieties by which they could be re-imagined was seemingly endless. Even the reverse presented a chance to flex one's artistic muscles. This folk tradition continues today, with other coins joining the buffalo nickel as hosts. It is these originals, however, by artists such as 'Bert' and 'Bo,' that always generate the most interest. This medal celebrates that tradition, even featuring a rendition by 'Bert' on the obverse.
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