Auction PR Publicity Announcements News and Information
Auction PR Publicity Announcements News and Information


The auction will be held online, via several bidding platforms, and in Holabird’s Reno gallery.

RENO, Nev. – Fresh off a two-day, 400-lot antique bottle auction on June 16th and 17th that saw several records fall and grossed more than $120,000, Holabird Western Americana Collections, LLC will climb right back in the saddle with an even bigger sale: a three-day auction on July 8th, 9th and 10th, featuring mining collectibles, numismatics, Americana, Western art and much more.

The auction will be conducted online, via the platforms,, eBay Live and, as well as in Holabird Western Americana Collections, LLC’s gallery located at 3555 Airway Drive (Ste. 308) in Reno. Phone and absentee bids will also be accepted.

The Saturday, July 8th session will start at 8 am Pacific time, and is packed with 729 lots in the following categories: saloon, cigar and tobacco; bottles and insulators; gaming; numismatics, coins and Western belt buckles; railroad and express; philatelic and postal history; and tokens.

The Sunday, July 9th session, also with an 8 am start time, will feature 656 lots of mining items, to include mine lighting devices (safety lamps, carbide lamps, oil wick lamps and more); mine signs; explosives; assay; mining artifacts; and ephemera (which will be sorted by city and state).

The Monday, July 10th session, also with an 8 am start time, will comprise 613 lots, in these categories: Native Americana and Western art (beadwork, baskets, pottery, rugs, jewelry, points, tools, ephemera, kachinas, sculptures and Native & Western art); taxidermy; general Americana (miscellaneous, sorted by city/state, dealer specials). To view all the lots, visit

Vying for top lot honors will be a pair of numismatic-related offerings. One is a spectacular gold nugget belt buckle with two $10 gold coins (1893, 1881) and one 1904 $20 gold coin surrounded by up to three ounces of gold nuggets, with 226.8 grams total weight (est. $5,000-$10,000). The other is one lot comprising two three-coin sets commemorating the Israeli leader Yitzhak Rabin, each set having two silver coins and one 22-carat (16.96 grams) gold coin (est. $3,000-$6,000).

Mining collectibles will feature a personalized and engraved Davy-style safety lamp from the American Safety Lamp & Mine Supply Company (Scranton, Pa.), with a brass reflector (or fire damp) at the base and hand-applied gingerbread patterns throughout (est. $200-$500); and a large Dew-R-Lite hand-held underground light, or carbide lamp, in fine shape (est. $100-$200).

A copy of the first Nevada County (Calif.) Directory, with a heavy emphasis on mining in the county and showing lots of advertising in its 406 pages, signed by Edward F. Bean (the County Assessor and publisher of the Daily Gazette), should command $3,000-$6,000. Also, a rare U.S. Senate executive document reporting on The Colorado River of the West (36th Congress, 1st Session), published in 1861, with a beautiful hard cover showing a gold etching of a riverboat and maps and lithograph illustrations (some of them in color), should realize $2,000-$4,000.

A Howell reprint of an original Grafton T. Brown lithograph, showing a territorial overview of Virginia City, Nev., published by C. Kuchel (San Francisco), showing mines and the buildings around them, hand-colored and nicely framed, 36 inches by 43 inches, has an estimate of $3,500-$7,500. Also, a payroll receipt from 1878 issued to Ah Jack, a labor contractor of Chinese men working on the Virginia & Truckee Railroad (out of Reno Camp, Nevada), for $254 for 254 days of work (a dollar a day), signed by foreman J. L. Hayward, should change hands for $200-$300.

A fascinating group of four letters, written in 1875 at the tail end of the California Gold Rush and chronicling exchanges between eager British financiers and William Ralston, head of the Bank of California, one of them demanding that Ralston confirm or deny rumors of the bank’s pending collapse (his suicide pretty much gave them their answer), will be sold as one lot (est. $2,000-$4,000). Also offered will be a St. Lawrence Gold & Silver Mining Company (the Inyo Mining District, Calif.) stock certificate, dated Dec. 1, 1863, for five shares (est. $1,000-$2,000).

An early 20th century official railroad loaner watch from the Ball Watch Company (Cleveland, Ohio), made for the V & T Railroad and attached to a fob etched with “Keller Loaner” (a Reno watch merchant), is expected to sell for $1,200-$2,000; while an authentic Tonopah & Tidewater Railroad lock that came from a former T & T employee who passed it down to his son, made by Adlake and in perfect working condition, including short change, should bring $1,000-$2,000.

A few, but not many, bottles will come up for bid. An example is an A. M. Cole (Virginia City, Nev.) aqua patent medicine bottle with an applied top and in pristine condition, produced circa 1865-1870 and one of fewer than a dozen known (est. $900-$2,000). Also sold will be a canceled stamped envelope dated 1863, from the Esmeralda, Nevada territory, with a letter that contains some interesting observations on whether Esmeralda is in California or Nevada (est. $150-$300).

Native American objects will feature a pair of vintage Plains Indian beaded buckskin moccasins with a simple beading design (and a few of the beads missing), 10 ¼ inches long (est. $2,000-$4,000); and a beautiful bronze sculpture of a kachina dancer in motion by Tucson, Arizona artist William Klesert (#10 of 30), 11 ¼ inches tall on a swivel wood stand (est. $1,000-$2,000).

How many auctions feature both a player piano and a sheep taxidermy? This one’s got both. The shoulder mount of the dall sheep is 28 inches in height. The sheep was killed in Alaska sometime prior to 1988 and has resided in a Western museum since then (est. $2,400-$5,000). The Mason player piano, with a stool, comes with 300 music rolls, playing mostly jazz, blues and ragtime tunes. It was fully restored in 1976 and has been given a light color finish (est. $1,000-$2,000).

A spectacular beer advertising painting with Native American artwork for Indian Maiden Beer, 32 inches by 44 inches in the frame, probably done around 1920 or later, is expected to sell for $3,000-$7,000. The lower right reads, “William Tilghman proprietor, Dodge City,” indicating that Indian Maiden Beer may have been served in Mr. Tilghman’s saloon in Dodge City around 1882. Also, a large, modern resin composite Cigar Store Indian (“Cigars and Tobaccos”), overall 75 inches tall (the Indian is 53 inches tall), on wheels for easy moving, should hit $2,000-$5,000.

A Chuck-a-Luck dice game with table boasting a nice felt top, a very striking piece with the dice game itself separate, having three six-sided dice inside a cage, has an estimate of $1,500-$3,000. Chuck-a-Luck, also known as “birdcage,” is a game of chance using three dice. It’s more of a carnival game than a casino game. Also sold will be a Pace Comet 10-cent slot machine, made around 1936, appearing fully intact, with the back and lock both replaced (est. $1,000-$2,000).

An exquisite 1940s-era round glass display case, once housed in Joe Zemansky’s Club Fortune gaming parlor in Reno, consigned directly from the Zemansky family and having painted gold, cured glass and three French-style scenes, is expected to sell for $500-$700. Also, a rare silver flatware set of four dinner forks, made circa 1862-1865 by W. T. Eaves (Virginia City, Nev.), four of only a handful of Eaves silver pieces still in existence, should coast to $1,000-$1,500.

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, LLC auction is encouraged to get in touch. The firm travels extensively throughout the U.S., to pick up collections. It will be in Boston and New York later on, sometime this year.

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 July 8-9-10 auction, visit

Howell reprint of an original Grafton T. Brown lithograph, showing a territorial overview of Virginia City, Nev., published by C. Kuchel of San Francisco (est. $3,500-$7,500).