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Circa-1868 dark lime green Dr. Boerhaave’s Stomach Bitters bottle, $8,435

Holabird’s ‘Pike’s Peak or Bust!’ auction reached the summit

Circa-1868 dark lime green Dr. Boerhaave’s Stomach Bitters bottle, $8,435
Circa-1868 dark lime green Dr. Boerhaave’s Stomach Bitters bottle, $8,435

RENO, Nev. – A ten-dollar 1902 red seal banknote from the Farmers & Merchants National Bank in Reno, Nevada sold for $12,500, a runaway slave broadside from 1862 brought $8,750, and a circa-1868 lime green Dr. Boerhaave’s Stomach Bitters bottle finished at $8,435 at a four-day auction held Jan. 19-22, live and online, by Holabird Western Americana Collections, LLC.

The auction, officially titled Pike’s Peak or Bust! Western Americana, Bottles, Numismatics & More, was named in honor of the great Colorado Gold Rush of 1859 and featured a healthy dose of Colorado and Western states material, plus collectibles in many categories, including bottles, railroadiana, Native Americana, mining, numismatics, art, antique stocks and general Americana.

Ten-dollar 1902 red seal banknote from the Farmers & Merchants National Bank in Reno, Nevada, $12,500
Ten-dollar 1902 red seal banknote from the Farmers & Merchants National Bank in Reno, Nevada, $12,500

The 1902 Farmers & Merchants National Bank $10 red seal note was the second-finest known of just the five red seals reported on the bank. It was PMG graded Very Fine 20, with some minor restorations on the reverse, but red seals are coveted by collectors in any condition. It was signed by W. J. Harris and president Richard Kirman, the only president the bank ever had.

Folded slave broadside from 1852, offering ‘a liberal reward for the apprehension of (two) Negroes, who ran away Saturday night,’ $8,750
Folded slave broadside from 1852, offering ‘a liberal reward for the apprehension of (two) Negroes, who ran away Saturday night,’ $8,750

The folded slave broadside, dated Sept. 28, 1852, offered “a liberal reward for the apprehension of (two) Negroes, who ran away Saturday night, the 21st, having stolen fifty dollars in money and a large lot of clothing.” The runaways were women: Eliza, in her 20s, described as “well made, rather on the slender side,” and Fanny, said to be about 50 and “fond of smoking.”

The circa-1868 Dr. Boerhaave’s Stomach Bitters bottle with an applied top was one of “probably less than six known” (Wichmann, 1999) and “extremely rare” (B133 in Ring). Little is known about this very scarce Western bitters bottle. Other examples of just the handful known are amber and yellow-olive. The one sold is possibly the only dark lime green one extant.

Unframed lithograph of the infamous Andersonville Confederate prison in Georgia during the Civil War, $2,625

Unframed lithograph of the infamous Andersonville Confederate prison in Georgia during the Civil War, $2,625

A fuller report on the sale results follow. Day 1, on Thursday, January 19, featured 514 lots of general Americana, which included geographic sort and miscellaneous categories, to include cowboy, sports, books and toys. The runaway slave broadside was the day’s top lot, but other items included an unframed lithograph of the infamous Andersonville Confederate prison in Georgia during the Civil War, titled Sparks From the Campfire. It found a new home for $2,625.

Day 2, on Friday, January 20, had 546 lots of transportation material, such as railroad and steamer passes, and also a selection of bottles and saloon collectibles, featuring Colorado whiskey and medicines.

Near-mint, unlisted variant of a Preble (J 32) Old Kentucky Liquor House shoulder jug, $3,500
Near-mint Preble (J 32) Old Kentucky Liquor House shoulder jug, $3,500

The Dr. Boerhaave’s Stomach Bitters bottle was Day 2’s top achiever. Also sold was a near-mint, unlisted variant of a Preble (J 32) Old Kentucky Liquor House slope shoulder jug with a brown glaze on the top and a lighter glaze on the bottom, which earned $3,500.

Signed, inscribed print of Ansel Adams’s ‘El Capitan Winter Sunrise,’ from an edition of 250, $1,250
Signed, inscribed print of Ansel Adams’s ‘El Capitan Winter Sunrise,’ $1,250

Day 3, on Saturday, January 21, was filled with 533 lots of art, Native Americana, political collectibles, militaria, firearms and weaponry, minerals and mining, and stocks and bonds.

Salvador Dali, ‘The Thumb,’ $2,125
Salvador Dali, ‘The Thumb,’ $2,125

A signed print of the renowned photographer Ansel Adams’s image El Capitan Winter Sunrise, from an edition of 250 and inscribed on the back to Andrea Gray and Gardner/Fulmer Lithograph, changed hands for $1,250; while a framed lithograph by the equally famous artist Salvador Dali titled The Thumb, #12 of 65, reserved for Dali himself and others in his circle, attained $2,125.

Day 4, on Sunday, January 22, was all numismatics, with 13 different Nevada banknotes and continuing with US coins, including Carson City Morgan silver dollars, plus medals and tokens.

1871 silver U.S. peace medal depicting Ulysses S. Grant, almost uncirculated, $4,500
1871 silver U.S. peace medal depicting Ulysses S. Grant, almost uncirculated, $4,500

The 1902 Farmers & Merchants banknote was the session’s star lot, but also sold was an 1871 silver U.S. Peace Medal (Julian IP-42), depicting Ulysses S. Grant on the obverse and the saying “One Earth Peace, Good Will Toward Men” on the reverse, almost uncirculated. It brought $4,500.

Holabird Western Americana Collections, LLC is always seeking new and major collections to bring to market. To consign a single piece or a collection, you may call Fred Holabird at 775-851-1859 or 844-492-2766; or, you can email fredholabird@gmail.com. To learn more about Holabird Western Americana Collections, LLC, visit www.holabirdamericana.com.

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