RENO, Nev. – A big four-day auction comprising about 2,500 lots in a wide range of collecting categories – to include numismatics, California Gold Rush items and mining artifacts – will be held December 9-12 by Holabird Western Americana Collections, LLC, online and in the firm’s gallery located at 3555 Airway Drive (Ste. 308) in Reno. The auction is titled Americana Safari.
In all, 29 collecting categories will be featured in the auction. These will include gaming, tokens, autographs, taxidermy, ivory items, firearms, militaria and related items, Western cutlery (from circa 1855 to circa 1880), antique bottles, maps, railroadiana, watches and jewelry, currency and scrip, Native American artifacts, cowboy items, stamps and postal history, original art and more.
The California Gold Rush collectibles, from the 1840s and 1850s, will include an 1856 Vigilance Medal that’s expected to realize $25,000-$35,000, rare Clipper cards and an 1848 solid brass belt buckle, made and engraved for a Philadelphia man who left the city that year to capitalize on the Gold Rush by forming a new company in California. The buckle was a farewell gift from friends.
The mining artifacts, which will include maps and stocks relating to the California Gold Rush, will also feature carbide underground mining lamps, teapot lamps, stocks and ephemera – a major collection that could fill a truckload and is being sold at public auction for the first time.
Numismatics will feature gold tokens, a collection of Mexican coins in Brilliant Uncirculated condition, dies, and thousands of pieces from the American Numismatic Association, including the largest collection of badges (gold, silver and bronze), medals and ephemera ever offered. The trove includes three of four known ANA badges from the organization’s inaugural year of 1915.
Antique bottle collectors will be pleased with a selection that includes some historical flasks, a fresh-to-the-market blue Bodie soda bottle, about two dozen additional rare Western sodas, a few Western whiskeys, some colored Nevada drug store bottles, bitters bottles and other rarities.
Gold and silver enthusiasts will be treated to a major collection of gold nuggets and specimens, Comstock gold and silver specimens, silver ingots and medals, to include a major collection of hundreds of large silver medals, mostly art medals from various organizations and created for their aesthetic beauty, not for currency, typically only sold within the numismatic community.
Gaming collectibles will feature rare chips, a pre-1910 roulette table from Virginia City, Nevada and ephemera. Tokens, most of the m Western, will include the last of the Swoboda Montana Collection, some major California pieces (including Bodie) and Alaska nugget and gold tokens.
The largest Native American section Holabird Western Americana Collections has had in a decade will be up for bid, with items including rugs, baskets and hard goods. The cowboy category will be large as well and will include a major collection loaded with spurs, bits, saddles, leather goods and ephemera. Maps will feature a collection of Gold Rush-era Western maps.
The taxidermy selection is certain to excite bidders and hard-core Man Cave dwellers, with about 100 wildlife mounts, including some top ten trophy size examples, pulled from across the globe but primarily the American West and Africa. Most are shoulder mount taxidermies, and the inventory includes grizzly bears, two moose heads and a grand slam of Western sheep and deer, plus the iconic polar bear, a full mount example that stands an impressive eight feet-plus tall.
Over 50 antique firearms will cross the auction block, as will a sword belonging to Caleb Young of the US Constitutional Convention, plus other militaria. Paper money will feature Confederate bills, unlisted Haxby notes and scrip. Railroadiana and Express collectibles will include rare Western locks and documents. Stamps, postal history and revenue documents will also be sold.
Autograph hounds will be able to add to their collections names like Sharon-Mills-Ralston, Gen. George A. Custer and Ben Holliday, plus Comstock dignitaries, famous mining men (Flood and others) and various Western political figures. The art category will feature bronzes, Western oil paintings, 1940s-era custom-painted copies for casinos by C. A. Russell, and other artworks.
Just recently consigned was a bronze sculpture, probably an original, by the Austrian artist Carl Kauba (1865-1922). Kauba was born in Vienna but lived and worked in the United States for a good portion of his life. He was renowned for his Western figural and Native American-themed sculptures. Kauba was part of the 19th century tradition of polychrome bronze sculpture works.
The auction will also feature ivory items, to include a 19th century carved Henry VIII ship and two large elephant tusks; watches and jewelry; memorabilia pertaining to the Chinese in California; major ephemera collections (California, Colorado and Nevada); and other items.
For those unable to attend the auction in person, internet bidding will be available via the online platforms iCollector.com, Invaluable.com, Auctionzip.com, eBay Live and AuctionMobility.com (specifically for iPhone users). Phone and absentee bids will also be accepted. Color catalogs are available on request, by calling toll-free, 1-844-492-2766, or 775-851-1859. Hours of the auction will be 8 am Pacific Coast time onward each day, with a preview planned for Thursday, Dec. 8th.
Holabird Western Americana is always seeking quality bottle, advertising, Americana and coin consignments for future auctions. To consign a single piece or a collection, you may call Fred Holabird at 775-851-1859 or 844-492-2766; or, you can e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org. To learn more about Holabird Western Americana's Dec. 9-12 auction, visit www.fhwac.com.
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Holabird Western Americana
3555 Airway Drive
Holabird Western Americana
P: (775) 851-1859