The "Biggest Little City in the World" is set to host the biggest little collectibles auction to come along in awhile, as Holabird's Western Americana Collections will put more than 1,300 reasonably-priced items on the block Dec. 7 and 8.
The auction, which will take place simultaneously on iCollector.com, is attempting to fill a void by offering antiques and collectibles from the American expansion into the West at prices that are lower than what can be found at most sales of this kind. With most of the more than 1300 lots listed at well below $500, there will be plenty of opportunities for the everyday collector to bring home pieces that will complement their personal inventory.
Scripophily – the collecting of old bonds and stock certificates – is one of the most intriguing niches on the collector's market, and anyone who appreciates the way these old documents can make the past come alive will surely find themselves engrossed by some of the items in the Holabird auction.
A $1,000 bond issued by the Nevada Southern Railway in 1881 (lot #257) is an excellent window into the expansionist era of the late 19th century. It is rife with details that delve into the mechanics of the railway building boom that took place in those years.
Mining was, of course, another important part of the early West. A stock certificate issued by the Betty O'Neal Mining Company in 1881, and made out to one R.W. Heath (lot #334), is another artifact that creates a connection to American history.
The popularization of the camera was a development that ran concurrent to the country's westward expansion, and some photographs from that era will also be up for bid come December.
A dual portrait of two buildings from one of the most infamous towns in the history of the American West – Deadwood, S.D. – circa 1890, will be available (lot #545). They show how the town's City Hall and famous Gilmore Hotel appeared during the heart of Deadwood's notoriety.
Artifacts of all kinds
The stocks, bonds and photos are just small parts of an inventory that ranges from autographs to medals to an official government report on the territory of California dated 1850 (lot #772). And with the world-renowned Western Americana expert and auctioneer Fred Holabird at the helm, the sale promises to be both fulfilling and enjoyable. But for those who can't make it to Reno, there is always the partnering online auction on iCollector.com to help collectors find their perfect match.