Introducing Cinco Dashes

By Marc Banks RM 538, Joe Scalamoni LM1578 and the late Art Del Favero HLM 552

This new nicknamed carver has special meaning to Joe and I, as our good friend the late Art DelFavero, OHNS Archivist and QD Examiner, worked with us to find the third match. At the 2020 FUN Show in Orlando, Joe showed me some of his recent hobo nickel acquisitions. I immediately recognized one of these (1), a carving of a man with neatly punched hair, moustache, beard and eyebrow wearing a textured derby with a decorated band and crescent-shaped brim, as a match to one I had sold about a year earlier. I remember wishing I hadn’t done that. Fortunately, I had saved a photo of that carving (2). Examples 1-6 all have five small punch marks (2 for the Crow’s foot behind the eye, two at the front of the collar and 1 for the button hole on the lapel) that add to the character of the carving. After the FUN Show, I sent photos of the carvings to Arturo who found a photo of the third carving in the OHNS Archives (3). In July of this year, I acquired another specimen by this carver on eBay (4). More recently, Joe came up with yet another example (5). Example 6 is a photo Art sent me of a carving previously residing in Ralph Winter’s collection. Example 7 from Art’s collection appears to be a more elaborate rendition of the same character and may be the work of the same carver.

We are nicknaming this carver "Cinco Dashes" after the five small accent marks and in memory of our generous friend Arturo, and his passion for hobo nickels. Arturo carved hobo nickels under the name "Cinco de Arturo." Dashes also reminds me of Arturo and I dashing around the bourse floor at the Fun Show to beat each other to any hobo nickels that were for sale.

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The carving characteristics for "Cinco Dashes" are listed as follows:

  1. The derby has band decorated with vertical lines and a crescent shaped brim. Dressing of the crown varies.
  2. Oval ears coming to a point at top and bottom have punched inner detail placed just below the hat brim.
  3. The front of the brim points to the B in LIBERTY.
  4. All examples have neatly punched hair, moustache and trimmed beard.
  5. Modifications to the eye include a punched eye ball and a thick eyebrow. Two short punch marks form a crow’s foot behind the eye.
  6. The profile (nose) is unaltered.
  7. Examples 1-5 all have a high shirt collar with detail (small punch marks) added at the front possibly to create a fold. All examples have a lapel with a button hole.
  8. The fields are cleanly dressed (peened on two examples) and recessed creating a cameo appearance.
  9. With the exception of Example 4 with no date, carvings are done on 1913 nickels.  Example 4 does have a weak LIBERTY which is characteristic of 1913 nickels.
  10. The dressing of the field behind the head varies.