The ancient art of the hobo nickel has been around since the 18th century, but Russian artist Roman Booteen keeps the craft alive with his extraordinary coin carving designs. From a gold bug with moving wings to a mechanical beating heart, Booteen is a modern master at turning old coins into extraordinary bas relief sculptures. His latest design is no exception—he’s meticulously modified a U.S. dollar coin (from 1921) to feature a 3D glove and sword with a secret mechanism.
Hand-cut and engraved from the center of the coin, Booteen’s incredibly intricate design features a metal armor glove with decorative, hand-engraved details. The glove is holding onto a sword that seems to be plunged into the side of the coin. The piece is already impressive as a still sculpture; however, once the hidden button on the outer edge of the coin is pressed, the metal components come to life. An integrated spring allows the fingers of the glove to move, as if it’s gasping the sword’s handle.
Check out Booteen’s incredible hobo nickel below, and find more from his ever-growing portfolio on Instagram.
Russian artist Roman Booteen transformed an old U.S. dollar coin into this incredibly intricate hobo nickel design.
The miniature bas relief sculpture features a hidden button on the side that triggers a secret mechanism.
Watch the metal components come to life!
Check out more of Booten’s extraordinary hand-carved coins.
My Modern Met granted permission to feature photos by Roman Booteen.