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

Holabird ends 2023 on a high note with a highly successful Christmas Chronicles auction, Dec. 7-10

An early 1900s Miller Brothers 101 Ranch performer’s beaded gun belt sold for $10,000, while a circa 1940 handmade buckskin and beaded ceremonial Nez Perce dress hammered for $9,062.

RENO, Nev. – An early 1900s Miller Brothers 101 Ranch performer’s beaded gun belt sold for $10,000, a circa 1940 handmade buckskin and beaded ceremonial dress made by native Nez Perce woman V. Morris brought $9,062; and a button-shaped silver ingot made in Arizona in 1882 changed hands for $13,125 at a massive, four-day Christmas Chronicles auction held Dec. 7-10 by Holabird Western Americana Collections, LLC, online and live at the gallery in Reno.

The mega-event – the last of the year for Holabird – was packed with over 2,500 lots in a variety of collecting categories, starting at 8 am Pacific time each day. The categories included saloon, bottles, brewery, mining, numismatics, philatelic, general Americana, stocks and bonds, fine art, display minerals, vintage toys and more – something for novice collectors to seasoned veterans.

Internet bidding was provided by, and Telephone and absentee bids were also accepted. All prices quoted include the buyer’s premium.

Day 1, on Thursday, December 7th, contained 555 lots of art, photography, Native American art, imported collectibles, home items, souvenir plates, silverware, jewelry, Native American artifacts, maps, books, entertainment and musical instruments – a strong start to the auction.

The Day 1 top lot was a four-piece group featuring a gold necklace with a gold nugget engraved in gold, “George’s Gulch 1909” (no doubt a trophy for its owner); 8.3-gram and 1.7-gram gold nuggets with quartz; and a 12.2-gram gold watch chain ($9,062). The runner-up lot was the hand-made Nez Perce buckskin ceremonial dress with beautiful detailed beadwork in a rainbow of colors, 52 inches long, produced by V. Morris, a native Nez Perce female artisan born in 1900.

Also sold on Day 1 was a Native American quilled pipe bag made of elk hide and covered in quillwork in the Medicine Wheel Crow pattern, along with a pipestone and a contemporary pipe with a bag original to the 1880s ($3,250); and a historically significant Placer County (Calif.) MTP (Master Township Plat) from the time of the Civil War, the maps all hand-drawn with ink and hand-colored, showing camps, mining towns, timber camps, rivers, lakes and more ($2,875).

Day 2, on Friday, December 8th, was loaded with 587 lots of minerals, mining, cowboy, bottles, saloon, tobacciana, gaming, firearms and weapons, military items and political memorabilia.

Leading the way on Day 2 was the beautiful leather beaded belt and two pistol holsters likely worn by a Native American performer in a Miller Brothers Wild West show at the 101 Ranch, near Stillwater, Oklahoma, beautifully framed; and one of only a few known photographs of John Henry Holliday, better known as Doc Holliday, along with his longtime companion Kate Horony, better known as “Big Nose Kate”, an historical 1870s tintype in nice condition ($5,625).

An early version of a passport, signed by then Secretary of State and future President John Quincy Adams in 1823, allowing the bearers to sail his ship through particular foreign waters, issued to a Massachusetts sea captain, hammered for $2,500. Also, a Central Vermont Railroad special train advertising broadside for Buffalo Bill’s Wild West performance to take place in Rutland, Vermont on July 27, 1895, 10 inches by 21 inches and in a frame, finished at $1,500.

Day 3, on Saturday, December 9th, contained nearly 600 lots of sports, tokens, badges, coins, numismatics, currency, ephemera, ingots, exonumia and medals, SS Central America items, transportation, general collectibles, tools, general store and geographically sorted ephemera.

The button-shaped silver ingot, marked “Arizona / A.F. E./ 1882”, 21mm in diameter, 7mm thick and weighing 20.3 grams was the auction’s overall top lot, proving once again the popularity of gold and silver. Also, an entire set of 70 Franklin Mint: Official Bicentennial ingots, First Edition sterling silver proofs in specially-postmarked commemorative cachets with stamps, postmarked 1973-1981, over 130 ounces of silver, each ingot weighing 1.89 oz., in an album, made $4,000.

A St. Gaudens U.S. $20 gold coin from the Rough Rider Hoard of 1908, PCGS certified MS 64, not showing a motto but including a photo of Theodore Roosevelt in his Rough Rider uniform, changed hands for $2,875. Also, an extremely rare Montana Territorial token (“King & Ward / (elephant) / Miles City / M.T. // Two Bothers / Saloon / (handshake) / San Antonio / Texas”), quite possibly unique and in extremely fine or better condition, 30mm, gaveled for $4,500.

The auction’s final day, on Sunday, December 10th, featured 582 lots of stocks and bonds (including mining, railroad and other subjects), philatelic and postal history; postcards, US and worldwide stamps, Wells Fargo & Express, firefighting memorabilia and fraternal organizations.

Stock certificates dominated the Day 4 list of top lots, led by an Alhambra Mining Company stock datelined Dec. 8th, 1860, Virginia City, Utah Territory – perhaps the oldest Comstock Mining certificate known, certificate # 39 for 45 shares ($5,125); and an 1879 stock certificate for The Pittsburg Coal Mining Company, #71, issued to Helena M. Kent for 18 shares at $100 per share. The company, out of Contra Costa, Calif., was incorporated in October 1861 ($2,125).

A rare nickel mining stock issued in 1866 by Frederic Nickel & Copper Mining Co. (Missouri), #32, for 500 shares at 25 cents per share, showing a brown adhesive Internal Revenue stamp as well as underground and above-ground miner vignettes, rang up $2,125. Also, a stock certificate for the Haul-Off and Jump-Up Mining Company dated April 16, 1861, 14 days after the Nevada Territory won its independence from Utah Territory, #40 for 8 shares to John Vignot, hit $1,687.

Anyone owning a collection that might fit into a Holabird Western Americana Collections, LLC 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.

To consign a single piece or an entire collection, you may call Fred Holabird at 775-851-1859 or 844-492-2766; or, you can send an e-mail to [email protected]. To learn more about Holabird Western Americana Collections, LLC, please visit

Alhambra Mining Company stock datelined Dec. 8th, 1860, Virginia City, Utah Territory – perhaps the oldest Comstock Mining certificate known, certificate # 39 for 45 shares ($5,125)