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Railroads, mining, mail lead Dec. 1-3 mega-sale

A Second Phase Navajo chief's blanket, 19th century portrait of Pawnee Bill, and unique London & North Western Railroad pass are among the 2,200+ lots in a Dec. 1-3 auction.

RENO, Nev. – Holabird Western Americana Collections, LLC is gearing up for a huge three-day auction event Dec. 1-3. It features more than 2,200 lots of railroad passes, Express collectibles, Western and postal history. Also among the lots are mining memorabilia, rare bottles, and Americana. 

Start times all three days will be 8 a.m. Pacific time. On-site bidding will take place at the Holabird gallery, 3555 Airway Drive (Suite 308) in Reno.Online bidding is courtesy of,, eBay Live and In addition, phone and absentee bidding is also acceptable. Also, a virtual catalog of the sale in its entirety, showing all lots, can be viewed at

Mining and Railroad Memorabilia Plentiful

The December 1 session will get things started with 735 lots of tokens, numismatics, railroadiana,

Mail company pass

Northwest Mail Company pass with a great red stage vignette, dated 1883, from a company with little known history ($100-$300).

Wells Fargo and other Express, mining collectibles, postal history and philatelic, and gaming. In addition, the railroadiana will feature passes, books stocks and other ephemera. This includes a rare London & North Western Railroad personalized leather pass from 1912 (estimate $500-$1,000).

Also, Wells Fargo, American Express and other Express are hugely popular. A large, 60-piece archive of early Adams Express items, mostly from the 1860s and ‘70s, has a modest estimate of $300 to $700. Also, in the gaming category, a 75-piece collection of billiards and pool hall ephemera from the early 1900s, including Brunswick-Balke-Collender Co. items, may realize $200 to $400.

In addition, mining collectibles will include hard goods (such as candlesticks and signs), books, stocks and other ephemera. Also, among the feature lots is a large (22 inch by 34 inch) map of Rawhide Mining District (Nev.) claims. The printer is Sierra Engineering and compliments of Nevada Mining News, both in Reno ($500-$1,000).

Fresh-to-Market Bottles

The December 2 session will have 44 lots of rare and vintage bottles. Most notable, is a Barney Schow (Willits, Calif.) amber embossed whiskey fifth. The mint condition bottle is a unique find, having spent no time in the ground. It carries an estimate of $300 to $500. In addition, general Americana, comprising 656 lots, will showcase jewelry, art, World’s Fair and Expositions memorabilia, political items, atlases, Black Americana, fire and more. Also, an in-game photo of Babe Ruth with his faint signature should command $4,000-$8,000.

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In addition, the December 3 session will include 167 lots of firearms and weaponry. Among the offerings are ammunition, pistols and revolvers, rifles and shotguns, swords, scabbards, katanas and ephemera. Also, a lot to watch is the Colt .45 caliber Frontier large frame, double-action revolver. It features a birds-head grip, dates to 1886 and has most of its original Colt bluing. Finally, it carries an estimate of $3,500 to $5,500 into the auction. 

Native Americana will be brimming with 361 lots of Alaskan items, plus artwork, baskets, beadwork, rugs and weavings, jewelry, kachinas, points and stone artifacts (including a large Georgia collection), and pottery. Also, a Second Phase Navajo chief’s blanket, made by Navajo weaver Albert Jackson (near Cove, Ariz.), circa 1850s, framed, should make $10,000 to $20,000.

Cowboy Collectibles Coming Before Bidders

In conclusion, the cowboy category will contain chaps, saddle bags, saddles, spurs and other items. In addition, a framed oil portrait of Pawnee Bill (Major Gordon Lillie, who operated a Wild West Show with his wife), circa 1880s, has an estimate of $2,000 to $4,000.

To consign quality bottle, advertising, Americana and coin lots with Holabird Western Americana, call Fred Holabird at 775-851-1859 or 844-492-2766; or e-mail him at Finally, to learn more about Holabird Western Americana’s Dec. 1-3 auction, visit