RENO, Nevada – Holabird Western Americana Collections, LLC is famous for its five-day auctions featuring thousands of collectibles in a rainbow of categories, but the company will end 2021 with a good deal three-day row, from December 17 to 19. , online and in the Reno Gallery, featuring over 1,900 lots of rare books, art, mining, numismatics, stock certificates, postcards and more.
The December Dreams: Premier Americana Auction will begin at 8 a.m. PT every three days. Highlighted collections include other parts of the Ken Prag Postcard Collection, the Bill McIver Token and Medal Collection, the MacKenzie Montana Collection, and the Ron Lerch Western Collection. These will be complemented by world-class rarities from other collections.
Day 1 will contain more than 600 lots of philatelics (stamps); military, political and firearms; game collectables; and model railroads and toys. The postcards, many of which are from the Ken Prag Collection, will include examples from California (especially the wine country), Hawaii, Disney, the Titanic, and the Pioneer.
The games section includes items from the Shirley Bovis Cowboy Museum in Tombstone, Arizona.
Of the 500 sets of postcards in the Ken Prag collection, around 350 are California-related, but around 40 are Hawaii-themed. Lot 1361 – nearly 80 first postcards from Hawaii and South Seas Curio Co., including cards from the Aloha Nui series – has an estimate of $ 300 to $ 600; while lot 1447, a group of ten Titanic-related postcards from the time of the tragedy, is expected to fetch $ 700 to $ 1,500.
Lot 1552, a well-used holster from the 1880s to 1890s, appears to have been designed for a medium mount revolver with a Buntline length barrel (estimate: $ 800 to $ 1,600). No maker’s mark is visible, and it would be difficult to determine the ownership of the rare case, but the right guesses are lawyers Wyatt Earp and Bat Masterson.
The spinning tops in the firearms category are lot 1551: a Gewehr 88 model 1888 rifle (aka a commission rifle) made at the Amberg arsenal, Germany in 1891, in very good condition with bluing on the casing of the barrel and the magazine well (estimate: $ 800 – $ 1,000). A must-have for original European weapon collectors, the rifle has a Mauser-inspired design but Mauser Arsenal did not design this model.
Day 2, December 18, contains 683 bundles of books (comprising Part 1 of the Ron Leach Western Yearbook Collection; Mining and Ephemeral Artifacts; and Stock Certificates and Bonds, including Mining and the Road There are approximately 200 repertoires from this first installment of the Ron Lerch Collection The repertoires are considered a “primary source” and, as such, are essential aspects of historical research.
Two flagship pieces of the Lerch collection are the Wells Fargo & Co. Chinese Home Express Directory (all in California) from 1878, one of the most sought after of all Western directories; and one Montana Territory History and Business Directory from 1879, when Montana was not yet a state, 218 pages, with original fold-out map. Both have estimates of $ 3,000 to $ 6,000.
Other highlights of Day 2 included a prospectus published by Wells Fargo in 1866 extolling theft of company money used by several agents to bet on mining stocks (estimate: $ 2,000 to $ 4,000) ; and a Britton & Rey lithograph depicting scenes from the life of gold miners in the 19th century, entitled Bar Room in the Mines and Tom long, one of five known copies (estimate: $ 1,000 – $ 2,000).
From the collection of Joe Elcano mining stocks is a certificate for the Grosh Consolidated Gold & Silver Mining Company (Virginia City, Nevada), for one share, issued to Benjamin Nickerson, issued December 31, 1864, signed by the president of the company and secretary, showing two vignettes: an allegorical shirtless woman and a walking gold digger (estimate: $ 1,200 – $ 2,000). The certificate is important because the company was a fraudulent market game on Comstock’s original discoverers, the Grosh Brothers.
Day 2 lots 2455-2514 are Nevada mining stocks; the majority are from the massive Elcano collection. This is the first in a series of auctions featuring the Elcano Nevada mining inventory collection. The entire mining section of Day 2 is solid, however, and contains some really good material from the California Gold Rush (including letter sheets), a huge section from Colorado, as well as Montana and Nevada.
The final day of the auction, December 19, promises to be busy, with 614 lots of Native American art, art (featuring Ansel Adams, Salvador Dali, Thomas Kincaide, Japanese art and more), numismatics (including coins and change, medals, etc. – referred to as dollars), tokens (comprising part 2 of the Bill McIvor Nevada token collection) and General Americana.
As always, there will be a strong Native American section, with baskets (more to come at the next sale), jewelry, and art. The works of art will include three early lithographic engravings signed by Salvador Dali and a magnificent group of woodcuts and Japanese prints, many of which are signed.
Old photography is a key category for collectors. Day 3 will feature historic and perhaps unique Western stereo view maps and photographs, led by a fabulous group of original Ansel Adams photographs from his Yosemite series (all signed) including Moon and half dome (1960), print no.10, considered to be one of Mr. Adams’ finest photographs (estimate: $ 10,000 – $ 20,000).
The Bill McIver Nevada Token and Medal Collection offerings are not to be missed. They include the centerpiece of his collection: perhaps the finest known 12.5-cent token from The Payteller (Rhyolite, Nevada), showing a bearded miner with a pickaxe, shovel and lunch bucket, plus a mountain. and a rising sun (estimate: $ 7,000 – $ 10,000), octagonal in shape and 30mm wide.
The MacKenzie Montana collection continues with historical records and ephemera. A spectacular handcrafted large pot by Montana artist Randall Blaze (b.1949), 17 inches tall, is expected to fetch between $ 4,000 and $ 8,000. The pot comes from an exhibition titled Shields by Randall Blaze, 16 Oct-Dec November 11, 1988, at the Museum of the Plains Indian and Craft Center in Browning, Mont.
A great numismatic rarity is found in an 1851 letter. Before the establishment of a branch of the United States Mint in California, private companies made their own gold coins. Some were criticized in 1851 for not containing enough gold. These firms, including Dunbar & Co., have been âattackedâ in the local press, damaging their value. Reacting directly to this adversity, a letter here explains how Dunbar would heal and fail. It is the first original document found to date to discuss this important period.
The letter is signed by Dunbar & Co. and dated March 31, 1851, noting the receipt of 192 9/16 ounces of gold powder at $ 17.125 per ounce payable in coin (gold) from Dunbar & Co. on demand , “or if said coin does not pay at par at the time of such request, the amount will be refunded to the Dodge & Co. office in cash in the hands of Henry D. Cogswell”, is expected to be $ 3,000 – 7 $ 000.
One numismatic treasure is lot 3389: a 6th century BC ring of one troy ounce solid 14k gold, carefully holding a 1/3 stater gold coin with a lion motif (estimate: $ 7,000 – $ 8,500). The ring has 12 diamonds, six on each side in rows of two, with a combined weight of 0.84 ct. It is one of the first gold coins in the world, it is in very good XF + condition and comes with a certificate of authenticity.
Online auctions through iCollector.com, LiveAuctioneers.com, Invaluable.com and Auctionzip.com.
The complete catalog can be viewed online now at www.holabirdamericana.com. For those planning to attend the auction in person, regulations and protocols regarding COVID-19 will apply.
Color catalogs are available by calling 1-844-492-2766 or 775-851-1859. In addition, anyone with a collection that may enter a future Holabird Western Americana Collections auction is encouraged to contact us. The company travels extensively across the United States to view and collect collections. The company has agents throughout America and will travel to inspect most collections.
Holabird Western Americana Collections, LLC is always on the lookout for major new collections to bring to market. It prides itself on being a major source of Americana sales at the best prices available, having sold more than any other similar company in the past decade alone. The company will soon put its entire sales database online, free of charge – nearly 200,000 lots sold since 2014.
To consign a unique piece or collection, you can call Fred Holabird at 775-851-1859 or 844-492-2766; or, you can send an email to [email protected] To learn more about Holabird Western Americana Collections, LLC and the December Dreams: Premier Americana auction December 17-19, please visit www.holabirdamericana.com. Updates posted often.