RENO, Nev. – A late 1950s Frontier Gasoline “Rarin’-to-Go” single-sided porcelain gas station sign, 6 feet in diameter, sold for $5,375, and an Antique Apparatus reproduction jukebox of a 1940s Wurlitzer Model 1015 finished at $2,875 in a seven-day Summer 2020 Extravaganza Auction held June 25-28/July 10-12 by Holabird Western Americana Collections. Absentee and Internet live bidding was available through LiveAuctioneers.
The sale was packed with important collections of Americana – more than 4,800 lots in all. Categories included numismatics, mining, railroadiana, Native Americana and much more. The event was held live in the Reno gallery and online.
The Frontier “Rarin’-to-Go” gasoline sign (above) was offered on Day 1 and was the top lot of the auction overall. The red, white and black sign, in excellent condition, showed a cowboy on a bucking bronco and was found in the 1950s just south of Eureka, Nevada, covering a septic tank behind an old gas station.
The jukebox reproduction of the Wurlitzer Model 1015, produced by Antique Apparatus, was also sold on Day 1. It was geared to play 45rpm records (the original models played 78s) and the lot included some 45s. It had been tested prior to sale and the lights, bubbles and music all worked. “The jukebox (below) was in good shape and ready for a party,” said Fred Holabird of Holabird Western Americana Collections.
Day 2, on June 26, featured transportation and mining items. A brass Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific Railroad conductor cap badge in good condition went for $322.
Day 3, on June 27, showcased minerals and native gold nuggets and rarities, mining artifacts from an old collection, mine maps, Native Americana, cowboy collectibles, Norman Rockwell early signed prints, and bottles and saloon items from various Western collections. A unique label-under-glass rye whiskey clear glass bottle rose to $1,250.
Another Day 3 top lot was a panoramic chromolithograph, typewritten on the bottom left corner with, “50215 The Golden Gate from Berkeley Heights” (Calif.) and on the bottom right corner, “Copyright 1900 by Detroit Photographic Company.” The 8-by-24-inch lithograph went for $1,125 and included information about the William Henry Jackson Chromo-Lithograph process.
An early 1900s Tucson token for Charles Pick & Co. Dealers (Chicago), marked: “Good for One Bit / Alex / Levin / Tucson / A.T. / at the Bar,” 22 millimeters in width, returned $1,062.
Also sold on Day 4 was an 1885 bullion strongbox out of the Parker-Lyon Pony Express Museum in Arcadia, Calif. ($1,280). The strongbox was reportedly used as a movie prop and sold by RKO Studios in the 1960s. It was painted on the side, “Denver to Albuquerque, Wells Fargo Express.” But Wells Fargo never went to Albuquerque, so it probably was a movie prop.
Day 5, July 10, featured Americana collectibles and a postcard collection from California and the West. One of the more interesting lots of the day was a hand-colored, cartoonish sheet of music from around 1737, an illustrated satire of Italian opera singers and their female admirers, titled The Ladies Lamentation for ye Loss of Senesino (the Italian contralto castrato, 1686-1758). It sold for $344.
Day 6, July 11, contained a wide variety of mining stocks and related material. A San Francisco mining exchange report for Virginia City and Bodie mines gaveled for $238. Trades included H&N (Hale & Norcross) and Julia, Con Vir (Cons. Virginia). Sales included S. Nev (Sierra Nevada). The brokerage firm was Latham & King and the trades were posted on Oct. 23, 1878.Day 7, July 12, included political buttons from the Benjamin Fauver collection; sports items (baseball, boxing, Olympics), firearms collectibles (no guns); art in all categories; and historical maps. A grab bag of California political pin backs and buttons from various candidates hit $750.
Holabird Western Americana Collections is always in the hunt for quality Americana and coin consignments, bottles, advertising and other collections. To consign a single piece or a collection, contact Fred Holabird at 775-851-1859 or 844-492-2766 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
View top auction results on LiveAuctioneers here: https://www.liveauctioneers.com/pages/recent-auction-sales/