27.5.14

Hobo Nickels

Mr. Vague requested I write up a post about that subversive art anomaly: the Hobo Nickel.
They are coins that have been masterfully altered and sculpted to portray whatever picture strikes the artists' fancy.
While this practice has been going on, presumably, since coins were invented, it really picked up steam in the U.S. during the early 20th century, particularly after the circulation of the Buffalo Nickel, in 1913.  The low cost of materials (5¢) and the large Indian head gave "street artists" the perfect canvas to work with.

Here are a few of my favorites, both modern and original.  See if you can guess which is which.




















Many of these images are from the repitoire of the talented Shaun Hughes.
Find more hobo nickels here and here.


tags:  1910s, 1920s, 1930samericanaart, buffalo, coin, currency, dust bowl, great depression, hobo, money, sculpturevague