RENO, Nev. – A rare American flag with 37 stars, showing an interesting star pattern and in very good condition, made sometime in 1867 upon the admission of Nebraska as a state, sold for $10,625 at a huge, four-day Rush to the Rockies auction held August 25th-28th by Holabird Western Americana Collections, LLC, online and live at Holabird’s spacious gallery in Reno.
The 37-star flag is quite rare, as a 38-star flag was introduced to celebrate the 1877 Centennial with Colorado added later in the year. The flag sold by Holabird measured 48 inches by 90 inches and had hand-sewn stars. The flag company logo patch was sewn near a bottom grommet. It followed no known 37-star pattern. The “Great Star” pattern became official in July 1867.
The auction, boasting more than 2,000 lots in a wide array of collecting categories, was headlined by Part 2 of the massive collection of Gary Bracken of Ponca City, Oklahoma. Part 1 was held in July, where records were set in numerous categories, including Colorado and Oklahoma bottles, rare ancient coins and Western tokens. More of same were offered in Part 2.
Following are additional highlights from the auction. Internet bidding was facilitated by iCollector.com, LiveAuctioneers.com, Invaluable.com and Auctionzip.com. Phone and absentee (left) bids were also accepted. All prices quoted in this report include the buyer’s premium.
A pictorial archive from the Mormon polygamist Peter Johnson, consisting of three framed portrait charcoal sketches of Mormons imprisoned for polygamy (including Johnson), plus a fourth mammoth plate photo of the building of the Temple in Salt Lake, Utah, also framed, all from Box Elder County in Utah and ranging from the 1870s-1890s, changed hands for $4,750.
A rare original box with about 30 original candles from E. Schneider & Company, circa the 1880s, gaveled for $5,002. The candles would have been used by miners to light underground mines. A red label on the box read, “Original / Stearic Wax / Candles / Trade Mark / E. Schneider & Co.” Schneider was incorporated in 1881. The box was 14 ½ inches by 10 inches.
Paleo points (arrowheads) proved to be popular with collectors. A collection of around 90 points that included a wide variety of shapes and materials, including porphyrite rock, one large knife and one drill, high-grade flints of mostly lanceolate structure, in three display cases, hit $8,750.
Another collection of Paleo points, about 60 pieces in all boasting interesting color in stone, went for $7,812. The group included Midland, Goshen, Allen, Plainview and Cody material and several of the points had certificates of authenticity from Partain, Jackson and Dwain Rogers.
A great collection of more than 40 Archaic Period stone knives, including many fine Alibates and Haraheys, all show percussion and pressure flaking all in one display, finished at $2,375.
Rare antique bottles were also a hit with bidders. A rare, two-town whiskey flask from around 1895, for Thos. R. Heibler, misspelled on the bottle as “Hiebler” (“Pure Old Sour Mash / Whiskey / Thos. R. Hiebler / Montrose & Ouray / Colo.”), 5 ½ inches tall, rose to $4,125.
A circa 1898-1908 Vota & DeHeines pocket whiskey flask, light purple with black lettering and a ground top with a metal cap, 5 ¾ inches tall, went to a determined bidder for $4,375. Johnnie DeHeines and Ludwig Vota were co-owners of the County Club saloon in Silverton, Colorado.
Rare ancient Roman coins found their way into the list of Day 4 top earners. A few examples:
- Sestarius of Galba – Galba served as Roman emperor for just seven months (68-69 AD), having previously been governor of nearer Spain for eight years. The coin, in gorgeous EF condition, showed a legend encircled by an oak wreath on the reverse ($6,037).
- 12 Caesars silver coins – all in about fine to fine condition. The group included an elephant denarius of Caesar celebrating his victory over the Gauls and August denarius celebrating his grandsons' coming of age (son to be poisoned by grandma) ($5,878).
- Aureus of Nero – Nero (54-68 AD) persecuted Christians and famously executed Peter and Paul so they could become saints. Jupiter is shown seated on the reverse ($4,500).
A group of 22 Montana tokens left the room for $1,708, to include Rosebud: The Owl Saloon; Billings: Billings Bar; Belgrade: M & L Bar; Basin: Eagle Bar; Lima: Mint Bar; Anaconda: The Condor; Milltown: Midway Saloon; Roundup: Frank Preshern; Wibaux: William Woodburn; Billings: Brunswick Bar; Laurel: Wright & Jacobs; and Bonner: Midway Saloon, among others.
Holabird Western Americana Collections, LLC has a wonderful series of auctions planned for the rest of 2022, to include two in the fall that will feature items from the S.S. Central America. The firm is seeking treasure-related items, ingots, gold nuggets and Gold Rush collectibles to add to these sales, which will feature “Treasures from the Land & Sea”. And, of course, it is always looking for consignments from mining, railroadiana, Native Americana, numismatics and bottles.
Anyone owning a collection that might fit into a Holabird Western Americana Collections auction is invited to get in touch. The firm travels extensively to see and pick up collections.
Holabird Western Americana Collections, LLC is always seeking new and major collections to bring to market. It prides itself as being a major source for selling Americana at the best prices obtainable, having sold more than any other similar company in the past decade alone. The firm will have its entire sales database online soon, at no cost – nearly 200,000 lots sold since 2014.
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