Alaska gold nugget brings top dollars at Holabird auction

Large gold nugget from the Atlin mining district, just east of Skagway, Alaska, 2½in x 1½in. Price realized: $10,845. Holabird Western Americana Collections image

RENO, Nev. – A beautiful 4.51-troy-ounce Alaska Gold Rush gold from the Atlin mining district, located just east of Skagway, Alaska, climbed to $10,845, and an oil on board painting of two miners on mules loaded with various items, titled Panhandlers, signed by Texas artist William Forrest Martin, realized $8,540 at Holabird Western Americana Collections’ massive Holiday Treasures Auction held Dec. 5-9. Absentee and Internet live bidding was available through LiveAuctioneers.

The auction was packed with a staggering 4,379 lots in an array of collecting categories. The painting and gold nugget were the two lop lots in a sale that grossed $270,272. Over 5,000 registered bidders participated online.

Oil on board painting of two miners on mules, titled ‘Panhandlers,’ signed by Texas artist William Forrest Martin, nicely framed. Price realized: $8,540. Holabird Western Americana Collections image

Day 1, Dec. 5, was the sale’s busiest day, in terms of the sheer number of categories. A top achiever was the original 1909 poster mounted on linen promoting “Pawnee Bill’s Great Far East combined with Buffalo Bill’s Wild West,” which sold for $4,375. The 30- by-40-inch framed poster advertised the brief partnership between Gordon William Lillie (aka “Pawnee Bill”) and the legendary Buffalo Bill.

Original 1909 poster mounted on linen promoting ‘Pawnee Bill’s Great Far East combined with Buffalo Bill’s Wild West,’ 30in x 40in, framed. Price realized: $4,375. Holabird Western Americana Collections image

A Parsons & Co. Assayers (Colorado) gold ingot, one of four known examples, marked “1860” and “Twenty Dolls,” changed hands for $3,615. It most certainly would have realized more if it could be proved the ingot was real, but it can’t because there is no provenance for that one or the other three either. Still, two of the four are in museums (one is in the Smithsonian). Little is known or documented regarding Mr. Parsons, who operated out of a remote mine in Colorado.

Parsons & Co. Assayers (Colorado) gold ingot, one of four known examples. Price realized: $3,615. Holabird Western Americana Collections image

A group of 40 ancient Chinese coins, dating to hundreds of years B.C., gaveled for $3,500. These included a “Nose” or “Ghost-head” bronze imitation of cowrie shell, used from 700-200 B.C. throughout central and eastern ancient China. Eleven were unattributed. Also, a vintage, one-of-a-kind Navajo necklace and earrings set rose to $1,562.

Vintage Navajo necklace and earrings set. Price realized: $1,562. Holabird Western Americana Collections image

Two lots posted identical selling prices of $1,000. One was a stock certificate for Ediphone Service, Inc. (N.J.), issued to Thomas Edison (and his brother Charles), for one share, dated July 16, 1928, canceled, with Thomas Edison’s bold signature on the reverse. The other was a large group of DC Comics, featuring characters such as Karate Kid, Justice League, Flash, Green Lantern, Batman and Ghosts. The comics were not heavily researched and none was graded.

Day 2, Friday, Dec. 6, featured stocks and bonds (mining stocks, petroliana stocks and other stocks), railroadiana, transportation, minerals and mining – 737 lots in all. The Skagway gold nugget sold on Day 2. Also sold was a one-share free trading stock certificate from 1856 for the Minnesota Mining Co., the first mine in Ontanogan County, Mich. The certificate, signed by Joseph Henry de Palma (president) and James D. Mansfield (treasurer), finished at $4,250.

One share free trading stock certificate from 1856 for the Minnesota Mining Co., the first mine in Ontonagon County, Mich. Price realized: $4,250. Holabird Western Americana Collections image

For details contact Fred Holabird at 775-851-1859 or 844-492-2766 or email fredholabird@gmail.com.