Holabird’s Massive Western Americana Signature Sale, has Collectibles in Many Categories
Fresh off a February auction that attracted about 7,500 registered bidders and featured around $1 million in collectibles of all kinds, Holabird Western Americana Collections will bounce into spring with another five-day monster sale, planned for May 13th thru 17th, online and live in the gallery at 3555 Airway Drive in Reno. Start times all five days are 8 am Pacific.
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 — a staggering 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.
Collectors panning for gold need look no further. The auction features gold nuggets and high-grade gold specimens from two major collections, one of them the superb collection of William Mayrsohn, a longtime mining executive. Also, the mining artifacts, ephemera and historical items run the whole gamut of material and are inclusive of some of the rarest of their kinds.
Rare books and reference books range from Fremont to a detailed, multi-volume set of the Oxford dictionary. Firearms and military collectibles include a custom-made copper cannon from Michigan’s Copper Range. Numismatics feature medals and tokens galore, from Ron Lerch and other major collectors. And rare silver ingots include a circa 1874 example from Bristol, Nevada.
Ken Prag’s outstanding autograph collection features eleven different Thomas Edison stock certificates, signers of the Declaration of Independence, Harry Houdini and famous financial figures such as J.P. Morgan, Jay Gould and John D. Rockefeller. Also, the American Express collection includes what is believed to be the earliest company stock ever offered at auction.
Early American stocks feature American turnpikes, plank roads and banks and a great collection of Robert Morris material. Also sold will be Republic of Texas document collections, historical breast badges and ribbons, historical photographs (Deadwood, Dodge City, Leadville, eastern Nevada, etc.), gaming collectibles and firefighting collectibles, including California gold badges.
Native Americana will be highlighted by material from the historic Miles family of Ely, Nevada, to include important circa 1920 historical photographs of White River petroglyphs, items from the research library of the Ely Cosmological Society (also from around 1920, much of it inscribed by key Pittman). In addition, a great selection of turquoise jewelry will be on offer.
Day 1, on May 13th, will include original artwork, stocks and bonds (to include mining and non-mining) and autographs. The artwork will be led by a watercolor painting of the Kennedy Gold Mine in Jackson, California (the heart of the California Mother Lode), by Ralph Baker (1908–1976). The painting, housed in a 40 ½ inch by 34 ½ inch frame, should sell for $2,000-$4,000.
The superstar Day 1 lots promise to be stock certificates, such as the earliest known American Express certificate (#46) issued in New York City on April 29, 1853 for 12 shares, to William R. Osborn (est. $10,000-$20,000); and a Wells Fargo Company certificate from 1870, one of only five known, marking the company’s rise as a world-class business entity (est. $5,000-$10,000).
Day 2, on May 14th, will showcase mining and mineral collectibles (including ore specimens and fossils), railroadiana and transportation, and philatelic (including covers, stamps and postcards). A framed collection of 62 U.S. Department of the Interior duck stamps, starting in 1934, mostly unsigned, with a 1979 painting signed by Harry Adamson (#295/850) should reach $700-$1,500.
Day 2 will feature a gold metal and white quartz nugget gathered from the Knob Hill Mine in Republic, Washington, weighing 6.15 troy ounces and about 65 percent gold metal (est. $7,000-$9,000); and a group of about 31 gold nuggets, weighing 26.0 grams, from the J. Miles collection of Ely, Nevada (and the Osceola placer gold camp), collected in the 1920s (est. $1,500-$2,200).
Day 3, on May 15th, will 602 lots of firearms, military and political memorabilia, cowboy and Western, jewelry, badges and numismatics (ingots, coins, medals, so-called dollars and tokens).
Day 3 lots will include a custom 14kt gold necklace with diamond bands and emerald eyes in a spotted leopard, plus gold and diamond earrings and leopard ring (est. $10,000-$15,000); and a silver ingot weighing 5.15 troy oz., engraved from Julius A. Turrill (White River / Pioche, Nev.), who owned stock in Comstock mines, to his nephew Clayton, circa 1870 (est. $8,000-$12,000).
Also up for bid on Day 3 is an archive of material pertaining to Fremont Spencer, a fireman in Walnut Creek, Calif., from around 1918–1950, including gold badges, photos and a gold Masonic card (est. $8,000-$10,000); and a very rare first model Navy revolver, serial #1, built around 1862 by Bacon Mfg. Co. (Norwich, Conn.), with a bored through cylinder (est. $3,000-$6,000).
Day 4, on May 16th, will be dedicated to Native Americana and general Americana. A complete set of Classics Illustrated Comics (1941–1969), #1-#169, plus some copies of Classics Illustrated Junior, has an estimate of $3,000-$6,000; and a copy of the Leadville (Colo.) Chronicle Annual from 1862, published by the Leadville Courier, with cover lithos, 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 (N.M.) oyster shell heishi and Nevada turquoise stone necklaces, crafted around 1940–1950, should change hands for $700-$1,500.
Day 5, on May 17th, will feature general foreign, bottles, sports, and bargains and dealer specials, to include general Americana, philatelic, stocks and bonds, numismatics and tokens. A rare and beautiful group of four Russian Orthodox Church bishop’s bells, made in Russia circa 1997–2000, will be offered as one lot (est. $1,600-$3,200). Bell ringing is a church tradition in Russia.
Internet bidding will be available via iCollector.com, LiveAuctioneers.com, Invaluable.com and Auctionzip.com. Telephone and absentee bids will also be accepted. The full catalog can be viewed online now, at www.holabirdamericana.com. For those planning to attend the auction in person, state and CDC regulations and protocols regarding COVID-19 will be strictly enforced.
Color catalogs are available by calling 1–844–492–2766, or 775–851–1859. Also, anyone owning a collection that might fit into an upcoming Holabird Western Americana Collections auction is encouraged to get in touch. The firm travels extensively throughout the U.S., to see and pick up collections. The company has agents all over America and will travel to inspect most collections.
To learn more about Holabird Western Americana Collections and the Western Americana Signature Sale slated for Thursday thru Monday, May 13th-17th, please visit www.holabirdamericana.com. Updates are posted often.