RENO, Nev. – An archive of material pertaining to Old West author, artist and historian Ernest L. Reedstrom (1928-2003) sold for $2,625; a USS Utah photo diary of the Tampico Affair of 1914 and the invasion of Veracruz, Mexico brought $1,750; and a circa 1894-96 Oriental coffin flask out of Lamar, Colorado, lavender in color, realized $1,500 in Holabird Western Americana Collections, LLC’s Treasures from the Shelves auction held February 18th-19th, live and online.
The auction featured over 1,400 lots in many collecting categories, to include mining, bottles, stocks, philatelic, militaria, Native Americana, numismatics and general Americana. More items from important collections that were featured in past sales, such as those of Gary Bracken, Ken Prag and Stuart MacKenzie, came up for bid. It was an ‘autopilot auction’; all lots opened at $10.
Day 1 – on Saturday, February 18th – contained 757 lots in the categories minerals and mining, general Americana and bottles. The Ernest L. Reedstrom archive was one of the top lots. The archive consisted of seven boxes of materials, including manuscripts and drafts of book chapters and other articles written by Reedstrom. All were from the period of time between 1960s-1990s.
Reedstrom wrote several books about the American West, including Apache Wars: An Illustrated Battle History; Historic Dress of the Old West; and Custer’s 7th Cavalry: From Fort Riley to the Little Bighorn. As an artist, he was known for his paintings and drawings of the Old West. The most intriguing pieces in the collection were original illustrations done by Reedstrom.
In early April 1914, the USS Utah was sent to the Gulf port of Tampico to take aboard American refugees who were caught up in the diplomatic conflict. Later that month, the Utah was part of an invasion force sent by US President Woodrow Wilson to capture the Mexican port of Veracruz. The photo diary in the Holabird auction was a veritable time capsule of those events.
The 91 Real Photo Postcards (RPCs) and handwritten notes on the back appeared to have been written by USMC Charles ("Chas") Range to his beloved Bea. His rank and military assignment are unknown. But the images and notes were a unique and powerful, first-person photo diary of events that unfolded in the dispute between the US and Mexico during the Mexican Revolution.
The 6-inch tall Oriental lavender coffin flask (Preble S104) had an unmarked base and a top with a collar. The interior was hazy (to be expected considering its age). It just needs a good cleaning.
A five-piece Tiffany “Zodiac” desk set, including a rare match safe, climbed to $1,000. In the early 1900s Louis C. Tiffany designed 24 different patterned desk sets. The pieces were sold individually, to meet customer demand. Some patterns are rarer than others, making them highly desirable. Nearly 1,000 different set pieces were made from 1900-1933 in all patterns combined.
A high-grade gold ore slab from the Hishikari Gold Mine near the southern tip of Japan changed hands for $1,000. The slab, long at 6 inches by 2 inches by 1 inch, weighed 249 grams showed the characteristic banded nature of the ore body, with the high-grade material concentrated in the dark wavy features across the example. In 2008 Hishikari was Japan’s only operating gold mine.
Hundreds, if not thousands, of reports, correspondence and maps of various mining claims in Colorado, New Mexico, Oregon, Montana, Washington, California and possibly other states, mostly sent between George Gluck and other individuals involved in the mining industry, discussing the various mining properties in great detail, in four huge binders, fetched $812.50.
An archive of material from 1900-19409 pertaining to Harold R. Moss, a mining engineer and metallurgist who lived and worked in Montana during the early 20th century, comprising one box full of six binders – perhaps over 1,000 documents in all – went for $687.50. Correspondence between Moss and the Arnold Exploration Company in Montana dominated this collection.
A variety of ledgers, notebooks, and documents of historical, geological, and metallurgical noteworthiness from the Nevada Consolidated Copper Corporation (NCCC) and Kennecott Copper Corporation (KCC), which purchased NCCC in 1932, found a new owner for $625.
A 448-gram gold ore slab from a high-grade portion of the Cannon Mine in Wenatchee, Wash., showing the characteristic banded structure with visible gold and electrum (a grayish silver-gold alloy) of the ore, settled at $593.75. The slab measured about 6 ¼ inches by 3 inches by 1 inch.
Day 2 – on Sunday, February 19th – featured 722 lots of gaming and tobacciana, jewelry, stocks and bonds, transportation, philatelic, military and firearms, Native Americana & cowboy. The USS Utah photo diary of the Tampico Affair and the invasion of Veracruz was a Day 2 top lot.
A set of 25 "Hitleriada Furiosa" & "Hitleriada Macabra" prints by Stanislaw Toegel, from 1945 and 1946, commanded $1,500. Toegel was a lawyer, amateur artist and Polish Army reservist officer. Captured after the fall of Poland in 1939, he escaped and served with the Polish resistance until being taken prisoner once again in the aftermath of the ill-fated Warsaw uprising.
Sent to a labor camp at Gottingen, Germany, Toegel was forced to work at a paper mill where, at the risk of instant execution, he drew cartoons ridiculing Hitler and his cohorts, some depicting the atrocities meted out by Hitler's henchman and the cruel depravity of their regime. In 1946, the cartoons were compiled and published in limited quantities. Each print is 10 by 13 inches.
A 1 ¼-inch gold in quartz oval pendant that would open to two small photos, garnered $812.50. No photos were present, but this appeared to have been for small tin-type photos, possibly from the 1860-1865 period. The two small stones at top and bottom of the jeweler's design were triangles of tiger-eye, which would have been equally rare as the gold of the mid-19th century.
Anyone owning a collection that might fit into a Holabird Western Americana Collections auction is encouraged to get in touch. The firm travels throughout the U.S., to see and pick up collections. The company has agents all over America and will travel to inspect most 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.
Holabird Western Americana Collections
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