Leadville gold specimen tops Holabird Western Americana sale

Wire gold specimen from the Ibex Mine in Leadville, Colorado. Price realized: $11,250. Holabird Western Americana image

RENO, Nev. – A wire gold specimen pulled from the Ibex Mine in Leadville, Colorado, sold for $11,250, a necklace with 25 gold nuggets and a diamond realized $9,375, an 1890 Hawaii Baseball Association stock certificate made $4,500, and an 1870 Northern Pacific Railroad land grant bond fetched $4,400 at a Don’t Lose Your Marbles Auction held May 16-20 by Holabird Western Americana Collections LLC. Absentee and Internet live bidding was available through LiveAuctioneers.

Marbles was just one of many collecting categories included in the five-day auction, which also featured Western Americana, mining, stock certificates, railroadiana, Native Americana, art, bottles, postcards, postal history, baseball memorabilia, coins, medals and tokens.

Giant onionskin marble in perfect condition, circa 1860s-1880s, 2in. diameter. Price realized: $1,475. Holabird Western Americana image

The sale overall contained a staggering 4,134 lots and grossed around a half million dollars including the buyer’s premium.

Day 1, on May 16 (lots 1000-1839) featured numismatics, mining artifacts, Americana. books, stocks and ephemera.

The Hawaiian Baseball Association stock certificate issued to baseball inventor A.J. Cartwright on June 12, 1890, for five shares, was the day’s top lot. Cartwright signed the reverse.

Hawaiian Baseball Association stock certificate issued to baseball inventor A.J. Cartwright on June 12, 1890, for five shares, signed by Cartwright on the reverse. Price realized: $4,500. Holabird Western Americana image

Also, a stock certificate for the Pacific Pearl Co. (New York) for 25 shares, from 1867, achieved $2,525. The company was a venture to harvest pearls and pearl shells in the Pacific Ocean. The chief engineer, Julius Kroehl, invented a submarine able to dive and resurface on its own, in 1866.

Day 2 was dedicated to Part II of the mining collectibles, which included stocks and ephemera from Colorado and Wyoming. Star lots included a Bill Young Mining Co. (San Juan County, Colo.) stock certificate, issued for 50 shares to C.P. Cogwell on May 1, 1888 ($2,562); and a rare Leadville (Colo.) Mining & Stock Exchange Association stock certificate, issued for two shares to Clinton Bennett on May 13, 1881, signed by H.A.W. Tabor as president ($1,688).

Day 3, on May 18, featured transportation collectibles. The Northern Pacific Railroad Co. land grant bond that fetched $4,400 was the star lot of the day. The $100, 7.3 percent, 30-year land grant tax-free gold bearer bond, due in 1900, was issued July 1, 1870 and featured an embossed seal and attractive vignettes. Also, an early Atlantic & Pacific Aerial Navigation Co. (San Francisco, Calif.) stock certificate for three shares, issued June 30, 1898 to Robert H. Mitchell, uncanceled, with a vignette, hit $1,688.

Northern Pacific Railroad bond issued July 1, 1870, with an embossed seal and attractive vignettes. Price realized: $4,400. Holabird Western Americana image

Day 4, on May 19, was perhaps the sexiest day of the auction, with categories that included sports collectibles, jewelry, furniture, art, Native Americana, textiles, bottles, cowboy collectibles, firearms and weaponry, entertainment, gaming, military, minerals and marbles.

The sale’s overall top lot was the wire gold specimen from the Ibex Mine in Leadville, Colorado that garnered $11,250. It was uncovered by a metal detector within the last 20 years and was most recently in the collection of Bryan Lees, owner of the Sweet Home Rhodochrosite Mine (Colo.).

The gold nugget necklace with 24 small nuggets (1.11 ounces) and one large nugget (1.91 ounces), set with a 0.5 carat round cut diamond, sailed past its estimate of $6,500-$8,500 to finish at $9,375.

Gold nugget necklace with 24 small nuggets and one large nugget, set with a 0.5 carat round cut diamond. Price realize: $6,500-$8,500. Holabird Western Americana image

An oil painting by William A. Moore, titled Pelicans Going Home, showing Winnemucca Lake and Pyramid Lake in Nevada, truly massive at 16 feet in length and 30 inches high, went for $7,500; while a vintage Victor Moses Begay (VMB) Navajo handmade silver, turquoise and coral concho black leather belt from the 1970s, signed, breezed to $2,000.

In the sports collectibles category, a pair of Boston Red Sox stock certificates from 1916, both with ties to Babe Ruth, brought $2,000. One was signed by Joseph J. Lannin, the president of the Red Sox who brought Ruth to Boston; the other was signed by Harry Frazee, who sold Ruth to the Yankees, for $300,000. Also, an autographed Derek Jeter Yankees’ pinstripe jersey from 2000, beautifully framed and signed by Jeter in silver ink, with “00 WS MVP,” rose to $1,500.

Autographed Derek Jeter New York Yankees’ pinstripe jersey from 2000, beautifully framed and signed by Jeter in silver ink, also inscribed by him ‘00 WS MVP.’ Price realized: $1,500. Holabird Western Americana image

And, lest we forget, a giant onionskin marble with mica, circa 1860s-1880s, 2 inches in diameter, a beautiful specimen with multicolored splotches and mica flakes scattered throughout, rolled away for $1,475.

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