RENO, Nev. – A U.S. one-cent stamp commemorating the Pan American Exposition of 1901 with an inverted center – an error stamp and one of the great philatelic rarities – sold for $5,500 at Holabird Western Americana Collections, LLC’s four-day Western Americana Auction held April 21 through April 24.
The stamp, Scott Catalog #294A, was the star of the Day 1 session, held on April 21. It was green in color and came with a service certificate from the American Philatelic Expertising Service dated May 19, 1976. It showed a graphic of a steamship, upside down, in an oval above the words “Eastlake Navigation.” The stamp probably would have sold for considerably more, but it wasn’t well centered, a strike against it with collectors.
Another Day 1 top achiever was a circa-1970s-1980s Navajo squash blossom turquoise and coral necklace with a matching set of earrings signed by the famed Navajo artist Victor Moses Begay, which realized $1,438. It was a double-sided set with turquoise on one side and coral on the other.
Day 2, conducted on April 22, was distinguished by a group of 32 photographs taken by E. A. Hegg (1867-1947), a Swedish-born photographer who worked the Alaska-Klondike Gold Rush from 1897-1901 and in the process became one of the most famous photographers of the period. From his studio in Skagway, Alaska, he ventured all over the Alaska-Klondike regions, specializing in Dawson, Skagway, Bennett and scenic views associated with the railroad. The group gaveled for $2,000.
Also, a circa-1901 original Elks Whiskey painted raised metal sign, pulled from the Tombstone Museum and featuring a beautiful painting of an elk in a mountain forest setting, finished at $1,560.
Day 3, which took place on April 23, also saw brisk activity. One of the star lots of the day – and the auction as a whole – was a US Mint San Francisco 23.06-ounce silver ingot, 999.75 fine, with original Mint patina strong throughout. The San Francisco small oval punch was at the top center, as usual. The ingot achieved $8,125.
In addition, a silver example of an unlisted U.S. Mint medal believed to have been struck in 1901, commemorating the assassination of President McKinley, found a new owner for $812.
The auction’s final day, Sunday, April 24, contained more than 600 lots, including stocks and bonds, advertising, tobacciana, 3D collectibles, toys and model railroading, photography, postcards, more stamps, maps, general Americana and the ever-popular bargains and dealer lots.
A Yosemite Valley (California) Railroad $1000 gold bond dated 1907 with a vignette of Yosemite Falls and an attached sheet of 22 coupons (one attached with tape), hand-signed by the president and secretary, issued and uncanceled, earned $1,062.
Concluding the highlights from the four-day sale was a Mount Braly G & S Mining Company (Aurora, Nevada) stock certificate #1, for 50 shares, issued to Gardiner S. Chapin in 1862, with vignettes showing miners and Native Americans, which rang up $1,000.
To consign a single piece or a collection, call Fred Holabird at 775-851-1859 or 844-492-2766; or email to firstname.lastname@example.org. To learn more about Holabird Western Americana Collections, visit www.holabirdamericana.com.
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