RENO, Nev. – Holabird Western Americana Collections will bounce into spring with a five-day marathon sale, May 13-17. Start times all five days are 8 am Pacific time / 11 am Eastern time. Absentee and Internet live bidding will be available through LiveAuctioneers.
This auction – officially titled a Western Americana Signature Sale – is loaded with historical autographs, minerals and mining collectibles, numismatics, stock certificates, Americana, art and more – 3,049 lots in all. “We’re proud to present another amazing offering of fresh material from dozens of collections across America,” said company president Fred Holabird.
The May 13 session will include original artwork, stocks and bonds, and autographs. The artwork will be led by a watercolor painting of the Kennedy Gold Mine in Jackson, California, the site of the heart of the California Mother Lode. Rendered by Ralph Baker (American, 1908-1976) it is estimated at $2,000-$4,000.
Leading the lineup of stock certificates is the earliest known American Express certificate. Bearing the number 46, it was issued in New York City on April 29, 1853 for 12 shares to William R. Osborn, and is estimated at $10,000-$20,000. Another notable example in the sale is a Wells Fargo Company certificate from 1870, one of only five known, and estimated at $5,000-$10,000.
The second session, taking place on May 14, will showcase mining and mineral collectibles, including ore specimens and fossils; railroadiana and transportation items; and philatelic pieces, including covers, stamps, and postcards. A framed collection of 62 U.S. Department of the Interior duck stamps, mostly unsigned, the earliest dating to 1934, should reach $700-$1,500.
The roster for the second day will also list a gold metal and white quartz nugget gathered from the Knob Hill Mine in Republic, Washington. It weighs 6.15 troy ounces and contains about 65 percent gold metal, and is estimated at $7,000-$9,000. Other offerings include a group of about 31 gold nuggets, collected in the 1920s and weighing 26.0 grams, from the J. Miles collection of Ely, Nevada, and the Osceola placer gold camp. Together, they are estimated at $1,500-$2,200.
The May 15 session is dedicated to firearms, military and political memorabilia, cowboy and Western, jewelry, badges and numismatics, a category that covers ingots, coins, medals, so-called dollars, and tokens. Notable lots include a custom 14K gold necklace with diamond bands and emerald eyes in a spotted leopard form, along with a set of gold and diamond earrings and a leopard ring, all estimated at $10,000-$15,000, as well as a silver ingot weighing 5.15 troy oz., engraved around 1870 for Julius A. Turrill, who owned stock in Comstock mines, to his nephew Clayton. The handsome ingot carries an estimate of $8,000-$12,000.
The day three lineup also features an archive of material pertaining to Fremont Spencer, a fireman in Walnut Creek, Calif., from around 1918-1950. It includes gold badges, photos, and a gold Masonic card, and is estimated at $8,000-$10,000; as well as a very rare first model Navy revolver, serial #1, built around 1862 by Bacon Mfg. Co. of Norwich, Connecticut, with a bored through cylinder. It is estimated at $3,000-$6,000.
The May 16 slate will be dedicated to Native American items and general Americana. A complete set of Classics Illustrated Comics, issues #1-#169, offered along with some copies of Classics Illustrated Junior, has an estimate of $3,000-$6,000; and a copy of the Leadville (Colorado) Chronicle Annual from 1862, published by the Leadville Courier, with cover lithographs, should reach $1,000-$3,000.
An archive of black and white photos from around 1917, from a participant in the Mexican Expedition to hunt down and capture the legendary outlaw Pancho Villa, is expected to realize $1,000-$2,000. Also, a pair of vintage Santo Domingo, New Mexico oyster shell heishi and Nevada turquoise stone necklaces, crafted around 1940-1950, should change hands for $700-$1,500.
The fifth and final auction day, scheduled for May 17, will feature bargains and dealer specials, and will include general Americana, philatelic material, stocks and bonds, numismatics, and tokens. Of particular interest is a group of four Russian Orthodox Church bishop’s bells, made in Russia circa 1997-2000, offered as one lot with an estimate of $1,600-$3,200).
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