The three-day, 1,790-lot auction event will be held online and at Holabird’s Reno showroom.

RENO, Nev. – A big three-day auction comprising nearly 1,800 lots in a wide range of collecting categories – to include mining collectibles, old bottles, postal history, Wells Fargo Express, gold and jewelry, coins and currency, toys, cowboy and Indian, firearms and more – will be held April 28-30 by Holabird Western Americana Collections, LLC, online and in the firm’s Reno gallery.

The gallery is located at 3555 Airway Drive (Ste. 308). For those unable to attend the auction in person, internet bidding will be available via the platforms,,, eBay Live and (specifically for iPhone users). Phone and absentee bids will also be accepted. Start times all three days will be 8 am Pacific Coast Time.

The auction is titled Dynamite, Guns and Gold, but that only scratches the surface. The mining collectibles alone (Part 2 of a major collection; Holabird sold Part 1 in December) will take up a good part of the April 28th session, with enough quality items to fill an auction all by themselves. Also sold that day will be Wells Fargo Express, railroad items and postal history – 659 lots in all.

“The mining collectibles, Part 2 of what we’re calling The Great American Mining Collection, features some of the rarest and most important items of their type ever sold at auction,” said Fred Holabird of Holabird Western Americana Collections, LLC. “The 300 or so different miners’ candlesticks are easily the finest public offering of uniquely American candlesticks in history.”

The sheer volume of the offering, Holabird said of the miners’ candlesticks, is sure to stimulate new collectors in what he called a “once in a lifetime opportunity.” The lots have been roughly organized around Wilson-Bobrink, the breakthrough reference on miners’ candlesticks. In it, people can find new discoveries, personalized sticks and expanded discussions about manufactured sticks.

The mine carbide collectibles comprise yet another collection that is so massive they can’t all be contained in this auction; the carbides will be sold in June (Part 3). The April sale will whet bidders’ appetites, with some large hand-held lamps and a sampling of other lamps. The June auction will contain superintendent-style hand/hanging lamps and cap lamps, relating to carbide/acetylene devices.

The session will also feature miners’ safety lamps, an historic invention creating generations of scientific devices used for all-important gas detection; hundreds of miners’ oil wick lamps, all different; other underground mining devices, to include a vast collection of foreign lamps; and a significant collection of over 100 blasting cap tin boxes – singles as well as original boxes’ full.

There is also a wonderful collection of very “showy” wood blasting and candle boxes, with great variety, from explosives boxes to cap boxes to candle boxes, and a number of the smaller, 25-pound boxes. Also sold will be a fine collection of Western and international mine bell signal signs and other mining enamel signs; three 19th century mining equipment patent models; 18 different blasting machines, and more.

Antique bottles will feature a wide variety of medicines, sodas and milk bottles (the Arizona collection); some rare Nevada items (a small Nevada collection, with more coming in June); some outstanding Western whiskey rarities, not often seen at auction; and a collection out of Leadville Colorado, featuring medicines and soda bottles, nearly every specimen dead mint.

The large collection of material pertaining to postal history and Wells Fargo Express – surefire crowd pleasers in a popular collecting category – plus railroad items, will round out the session.

On Saturday, April 29th, collectors panning for gold will have many opportunities. Lots will feature nuggets from Western sites and high-grade visible gold in ore specimens from major Nevada mining districts (to include Austin and Tuscarora). Jewelry and watches will include a collection of pocket watches, diamond jewelry pieces and gold and Native American jewelry.

The numismatics category (coins and currency) will be led by an 1869 Unionville, Nevada presentation silver ingot, a major Morgan dollar collection (including varieties), U.S. coins (including gold), a U.S. $20 gold note in AU condition, hundreds of U.S. proof and mint sets, fun U.S. currency collectible lots, so-called dollars and gaming items, and a nice variety of tokens.

Toy collectors will be pleased to see a nice selection of trains (including HO sets, more than 60 engines), hundreds of Hot Wheels and other cars, military toy planes, toy boats, original boxed models and more. Documents will feature mining stocks and other great material, rare Western maps, a beautiful Virginia & Truckee Railroad document collection, lots of other key pieces.

The Saturday session will be rounded out by firearms and militaria, to include more than 100 antique firearms and overall a wide variety of collectible firearms, including rarities. The militaria category will have some swords and helmets, with additional pieces coming in June.

The Sunday, April 30th session (529 lots) will be dedicated to cowboy and Indian and Western research. The cowboy collectibles will include some great spurs, including a silver inlay Garcia. The Western research portion will consist mainly of key books and a dozen rare directories.

Coming in June (or later, dates and times to be announced) will be a great Western antique bottle collection, which will be offered in a sale held in conjunction with the Reno Antique Bottle Show, June 16th; about 800 different and highly collectible swords, one of the best collections in America; and, of course, more from the Great Mining Collection (Part 2 of carbide lamps, oil wick lamps, more).

Also on the way is the Appalachian Gold Belt Collection, featuring America’s first gold discoveries dating to 1828 and the finest collection of documents in private hands (this may be a stand-alone sale); plus a special offering of mining properties in Colorado, with fee-simple patented claims in a major gold district, where early gold exploration has produced specimens.

Color catalogs are available on request, by calling toll-free, 1-844-492-2766, or 775-851-1859. Also, anyone owning a collection that might fit into an upcoming Holabird Western Americana Collections sale is encouraged to get in touch. The firm will be traveling through May to pick up collections in California, Arizona, Montana and Colorado (New York-Boston area later in 2017).

Holabird Western Americana is always seeking quality bottle, advertising, Americana and coin consignments for future auctions. To consign a single piece or a collection, you may call Fred Holabird at 775-851-1859 or 844-492-2766; or, you can e-mail him at [email protected] To learn more about Holabird Western Americana’s April 28-30 auction, visit

Star-shaped gold nugget found in the Bradshaw Mountains in Arizona, 0.09 troy ounces.