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A daguerreotype of an elegantly dressed, unidentified woman was among the photographs recovered from the fabled “Ship of Gold,” the S.S.  Central America that sank in 1857.  (Image courtesy of Holabird Western Americana Collections.)

Auction of items from the S.S. Central America


Decades after unique California Gold Rush sunken treasure artifacts were retrieved from the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean, the exquisite gold jewelry, vintage clothing, Wells Fargo treasure shipment box and other historic items from the 1857 sinking of the fabled “Ship of Gold,” the S.S. Central America, will be available for the first time in a public auction on December 3, 2022. “Some collectors have been waiting for these extraordinary items to come on the market since the legendary, submerged ship was located in 1988 and Life magazine proclaimed it America’s greatest treasure ever found,” said Fred Holabird, President of Holabird Western Americana Collections, based in Reno, Nevada. Nearly 300 never-before-offered 1850s-era artifacts will be in the auction that will be conducted at the Reno, Nevada Convention Center and online by Holabird Western Americana Collections (www.HolabirdAmericana.com) on Saturday, December 3. A second auction of hundreds of additional one-of-a-kind artifacts retrieved from the famous shipwreck will be offered in February 2023. Holabird Western Americana Collections has prepared an extensive, limited edition 280-page catalog with dozens of previously unpublished illustrations of the S.S. Central America recovery operations, some reproduced in 3-D as shot during the discovery missions with a remote-controlled submersible nicknamed “Nemo.” Copies of the catalog are available while supplies last for $100 each with the price refundable with any purchase from the auction. Auction lots can also be viewed online. For additional information about the recovered artifacts auctions planned for December 2022 and February 2023 and to obtain a printed catalog, visit Holabird Western Americana Collections of Reno, Nevada at www.HolabirdAmericana.com, call 775-851-1859, or email info@holabirdamericana.com.

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