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, a Hawaii Baseball Association stock certificate issued to baseball inventor A.J. Cartwright in 1890 made $4,500, and a Northern Pacific Railroad Company land grant bond from 1870 fetched $4,400 at a Don’t Lose Your Marbles Auction held May 16-20 by Holabird Western Americana Collections, LLC.
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 sports memorabilia, coins, medals and tokens. The sale was held online and in Holabird’s gallery, located at 3555 Airway Drive (Suite #308) in Reno.
The sale overall contained a staggering 4,134 lots and grossed around a half million dollars, to include buyer’s premium. For those unable to attend in person, Internet bidding was facilitated by iCollector.com, LiveAuctioneers.com, Invaluable.com, AuctionMobility.com and Auctionzip. More than 4,600 people registered to bid online. Telephone and absentee bids were also taken.
Day 1, on Thursday, May 16th (lots 1000-1839) featured numismatics, to include books and checks, coins, currency, ingots, medals and scales; Part I of the mining category, to include mining artifacts and books, stocks and ephemera, mostly from Alaska and California; and general Americana, to include assorted books, fire, postal history, geographic sort and more.
The Hawaiian Baseball Association stock certificate issued to baseball inventor A.J. Cartwright on June 12th, 1890, for five shares, was the day’s top lot. Cartwright signed the reverse. Also, a stock certificate for the Pacific Pearl Company (N.Y.) 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 re-surface on its own, in 1866.
Other Day 1 top earners included an 1831 gold ducat coin from the Netherlands, showing a helmeted figure with a sword on the obverse and words in all capitals on the reverse ($1,000); and three quicksilver (mercury) flasks from New Almaden, Calif., made of iron and rusted from exposure ($812). The tallest bottle of the three was 14 ½ inches; a 12-inch one was marked “N ALMADEN”, a reference to the New Almaden Quicksilver Mine in Santa Clara, Calif. ($812).
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 Company (San Juan County, Colo.) stock certificate, issued for 50 shares to C.P. Cogwell on May 1st, 1888 ($2,562); and a rare Leadville (Colo.) Mining & Stock Exchange Association stock certificate, issued for two shares to Clinton Bennett on May 13th, 1881, signed by H.A.W. Tabor as president ($1,688).
Day 3, Saturday, May 18th, featured transportation collectibles, to include airplane, automobile, steamer and railroad; Wells Fargo and Express; and tokens, which included tokens from brothels.
The Northern Pacific Railroad Company land grant bond that fetched $4,400 was the marquis lot of the day. The $100, 7.3 percent, 30-year land grant tax-free gold bearer bond, due in 1900, was issued July 1st, 1870 and featured an embossed seal and attractive vignettes. Also, an early Atlantic & Pacific Aerial Navigation Company (San Francisco, Calif.) stock certificate for three shares, issued June 30th, 1898 to Robert H. Mitchell, not cancelled, with a vignette, hit $1,688.
Day 4, on Sunday, May 19th, 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 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 ozt) and one large nugget (1.91 ozt), set with a .5 carat round cut diamond, sailed past its estimate of $6,500-$8,500 to finish at $9,375.
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 tall and in a light wood frame, 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.
And, lest we forget, a giant onion skin marble with mica, circa 1860s-1880s, two inches in diameter, a beautiful specimen with multi-colored splotches (mostly darker pink) and with mica flakes scattered throughout the body, in perfect condition and pontiled, rolled away for $1,475.
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. Last year it visited Boston, Florida, Seattle and New York.
Holabird Western Americana is always seeking quality Americana and coin consignments, bottles, advertising and other fine collections for future auctions. To consign a single piece or an entire collection, you may call Fred Holabird at 775-851-1859 or 844-492-2766; or, you can e-mail him at email@example.com. To learn more about Holabird Western Americana, LLC, and the firm’s calendar of upcoming events, visit www.fhwac.com. Updates are posted frequently.
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3555 Airway Drive