Introducing "El Progresso"
By Art DelFavero RM 552, Stephen Alpert HLM 10, Marc Banks and Ralph Winter


The process of nicknaming an artist is usually a joint effort taken on by a panel of four persons at present. Currently QD examiners Marc Banks and I and former QD Examiner Steve Alpert and BoTales editor Ralph Winter make up this panel. Most times it is very clear when works of one artist can be identified and then be memorialized as a nicknamed artist within our quarterly publication. On rare occasions it gets much more difficult, such as in this case.

In 2008 I purchased a hobo nickel labeled Americana Token on the 2X2 holder it was encased in (example 4). Over the subsequent years I found others that seemed to exhibit some similar features and at the same time nothing concrete. This is where the aforementioned panel of four judges really comes into play.

As we know, all artists go through a learning process and have a starting place and an ending place, no matter what genre or medium they are involved in. I submitted four photos of coins in an order of what I thought was a progression, starting from early to later in a career. I asked the panel to focus on the collars and shoulder areas of each rendering which I believe link the carvings to the same artist. In the end, it was decided that these were indeed the works of the same artist.

As I've mentioned, this is an extreme example of one artist's journey, a progression if you will. I thought it was appropriate to nickname the finished works "El Progresso" (The Progress). As fellow members and collectors I ask that you study the photos closely, and see if you agree.

Click to view enlargment. Click to view enlargment. Click to view enlargment. Click to view enlargment.


The carving characteristics for "El Progresso" are listed as follows:

1) Punched derby style hats (three with bands).
2) Crude U-shaped ears.
3) Carved in head and facial hair on two examples and dot punched on two examples.
4) Similar shaped punched collars and shoulders, all with the same lay-out.
5) Similar groomed neck areas.
6) Date removed on all examples.
7) Full or partial LIBERTY.
8) Similar dressing of the fields. Characteristics 9-18 are TRENDS over time
9) The angle of the hat brim tilts upward with time.
10) The hat band curves with time.
11) The rear of the hat brim moves closer to the shoulder.
12) The roundness of the top of the hat dome improves in quality.
13) The hair behind the ear diminishes to none.
14) The ear quality improves with time.
15) The bare neck becomes more distinct.
16) The upper collar lowers from touching the chin.
17) The dome of the hat gets taller.
18) The hat brim gets closer to the eye.