Dead on Paper - The Hobo Coin Series

Discussion in 'US Coins Forum' started by Ike Skywalker, Mar 14, 2020.

  1. Ike Skywalker

    Ike Skywalker Well-Known Member

    A few weeks ago I discovered a series of die struck "hobo nickel" type coins from a company called Dead on Paper ( These coins were the result of a series of successful Kickstarter campaigns. So far, there have been three series of coins, and I hope they plan more in the future. The various designs come in a variety of antique finishes, including steel ("silver"), copper, bronze, brass-plated steel and bright brass-plated steel (very shiny!). All of them are 39 mm in diameter, and this larger size really allows for great detail. Some finishes for certain designs are sold out, so I missed out on those. I really dig 'em.

    Last edited: Mar 14, 2020
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  3. Ike Skywalker

    Ike Skywalker Well-Known Member

  4. furryfrog02

    furryfrog02 Well-Known Member

    The last 4 are pretty fitting for today's circumstances ;)
  5. Ike Skywalker

    Ike Skywalker Well-Known Member

  6. Ike Skywalker

    Ike Skywalker Well-Known Member

  7. Mainebill

    Mainebill Wild Bill

  8. Ike Skywalker

    Ike Skywalker Well-Known Member

  9. Islander80-83

    Islander80-83 Well-Known Member

    They're ok. Mine is a cc! :hilarious:

  10. MeowtheKitty

    MeowtheKitty Well-Known Member

    A bit too creepy for Meow. The artwork is nice, but too scary for Cats.
  11. Islander80-83

    Islander80-83 Well-Known Member

    So what you're saying is; you're a pussy! I knew that.
  12. Randy Abercrombie

    Randy Abercrombie Supporter! Supporter

    Not much of a cat person but I’ll agree with meow on this one. Don’t care to have “angel of death” imagery in my collection. The artwork is phenomenal, just a little too dark for my tastes..... On the other hand, the @Islander80-83 piece is quite attractive!
    Islander80-83 likes this.
  13. Sealgair

    Sealgair Member

    A comment of personal aesthetics here: I have a few examples of the genuine phenomenon, distinctively American so far as I know, and unquestionably the work of ordinary individuals of varying talent using generally a limited number of primitive tools. These offer, to me, a unique window into a time and culture I will otherwise never experience directly. The series here, on the other hand, are commercial, glib, and superficial. I suppose owing one or two to prove that almost anything can be trivialized might be worth a little, but very, very little.
    hotwheelsearl likes this.
  14. Ike Skywalker

    Ike Skywalker Well-Known Member

    And yet these were created because of THREE successful Kickstarter campaigns. To you they may be worth little, but plenty of other people think otherwise. Don't be so obtuse to the changing hobby. The old ways of thinking are fading, and the hobby will be better for it.

    So, what are your thoughts on the pornographic Chinese fake hobo coin that was posted above? You took the time to write a whole paragraph concerning those that I shared. Care to comment?
  15. messydesk

    messydesk Well-Known Member

    I sort of like these, but I'd like them better if they had artwork that looked more sculpted than drawn -- higher relief in general. "The Aviator" shows this rather flat look the most. The antiquing also hides whatever luster came from striking. For me, the Zombucks rounds that were produced by Provident are pretty close to the gold standard in this market niche.
  16. Mainebill

    Mainebill Wild Bill

    I like the whole angel of death feel. But then I like a lot of imagery with skeletons zombies and other things of the like. But then I’m often seen wearing various heavy metal shirts too
    Ike Skywalker and Islander80-83 like this.
  17. Sealgair

    Sealgair Member

    Skywalker: please note that I prefaced my remark by stating it was a statement of PERSONAL aesthetics. It was limited to one tiny offshoot (illegal when most exx were produced, since they “defaced government currency”) of coinage matters overall, and silent about all the rest. I actually deeply admire the skill of today’s computer-aided designers for whom the NARRATIVE of the design is central (e.g., Canada’s several WW I and II historical series, and I buy those regularly). However, I find the iconography of most of the original exx in this thread to be pretty trite and superficial (the blended face on the obverse of “White Rabbit” is an exception) or just confusing (exactly why the High Plains Indian skeletons of “Bad Mojo” were chosen for a LOVE token, which is what mojo charms are, is far from obvious). On the other hand, the original “hobo art” coins are essentially individual expressions from a distressed and seriously disadvantaged segment of the American population, originating almost a century ago, and deserve serious consideration along with “Grapes of Wrath” and the photographs of Lange and her fellows as windows into that period. If I could step well beyond the areas of my own expertise, I might suggest that the design exx here appeal to the same sorts of people who engage in cosplay in which they imitate others—comic book characters, etc.—as opposed to creating fantastic new images for themselves. One group finds a personal social and aesthetic area of expression to be desirable, while the other apparently prefers to identify with masses of others. I happen to be an old Maine farm kid so I suppose it’s not surprising that I am more drawn to individual expressions than to mass adoptions. So, one of my personal pleasures is in finding exx of artists who manage to convey highly individual images (e.g., among ancients veiled/mourning faces, and the rare early Celtic obverses with more “realistic” faces). But, as I said before, that is a PERSONAL aesthetic, one not shared by others.
    hotwheelsearl likes this.
  18. Conder101

    Conder101 Numismatist

    My feeling are the same as Sealgair's. The original hobo nickels to me are and entirely different art form. I truly wish they would not call these modern engraved coins "Hobo" as the methods of manufacture, and the artists, are completely different. I also find the modern artists fascination for skulls/skeletons to be rather lacking in imagination/creativity.

    Was not illegal, at least not in the United States. Only time defacing coins was illegal was for a short time in the late 19th century during the love token fad. Defacing coins was made illegal for a short time to put a damper on the practice.
    alurid likes this.
  19. alurid

    alurid Well-Known Member

    My first thought, and then why do they use and debase someone else's art form.

    I truly wish they would not call these modern engraved tokens "Hobo" as the methods of manufacture, and the artists, are completely different. They do not fall into any category of Hobo Coin. JMO

    You post all these tokens and call someone else's a fake hobo coin.
  20. Ike Skywalker

    Ike Skywalker Well-Known Member

    Because that’s what it is. It’s a Chinese casting of an original piece. The coins I posted are all original, die struck pieces. Sure, these aren’t hobos in the true sense of the word, and I never said they were. But it doesn’t surprise me that some old timers here would take offense to it. This sort of negativity toward new and interesting things is part of the hobby, and it sucks. I just have to deal with it.

    You guys need to get over the fact that the term “hobo” is going to stick with pieces like these. Don’t be afraid of change. Embrace it, and embrace getting out of an archaic way of thinking.

    MODS: I can see where this is going, so I request a lock on this thread. Thank you.
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2020
  21. GDJMSP

    GDJMSP Numismatist Moderator

    Request denied.

    If, and when such action is warranted, in our opinion, it will be done. But until then it remains.
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