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I'm only taking a stab here... my specialty is not American coinage. I would guess it could simply be categorized as folk art. It looks like a creative person simply took a wheat penny and cut a design on it. It may not have been used for anything except an expression of art.

 

Just my 'one cent'...

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  • 2 weeks later...

I agree with the folk art explanation. Too bad they didn't cut it so the date and mint mark survived. Not that a coin that's been converted like this will keep any of its value as a coin, but it would be nice to know. I also think it's interesting that it was carved on only one side--seems they were using the convex shape of Lincoln's body and the folds of the fabric to add texture to the horse's head, and that doesn't work on the reverse. That also suggests it was meant to be displayed with only the obverse showing: not hanging free on a chain, for instance. And, I suppose that does preclude positioning it so the date remains. But oh well--it's an interesting piece, and I agree with edix2001 that it's an item to keep (just like my 1970s penny with a Batman symbol punched into it).

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