Holabird Western Americana is in preparation for an incredible 4 day auction from March 15th to 18th, 2018. This 5-day sale features over 3000 lots in multiple collecting categories including Mining, Minerals, Native Americana, Bottles, Gaming, Cowboy, Tokens, Numismatics, Railroad & Express, Postal History & Philatelic, Firearms & Military, and General Americana. It prominently features the Al Adams Gold Rush Memorabilia Collection and a number of other prominent collections.
Mr. Adams has been collecting for over 40 years, and along the way assembled perhaps the best collection in private hands, making this sale a “Once in a Lifetime Event.” His specialty is an area few Americans ever knew about- the Georgia – North Carolina gold rush, c1799-1840’s, literally decades before the California Gold Rush. Just think about some of the great pieces in this collection:
*The first Gold Company stock certificate (1807)
*1830 Letter from Georgia Bank to US Mint asking what to do with the gold coming in
*Gold Lottery Tickets for Georgia land
*Gold Lot Deeds with Medals rarely seen by collectors
*Pigeon Roost Mining Co. scrip collection (1835-1838), possibly the finest assembled
*Belfast Mining Co. scrip collection (1830’s), finest assembled
*Dahlonega, Charlotte, San Francisco, Carson City, Denver, New Orleans, Philadelphia Mint gold bullion receipts
*Gold Rush era private assayer bullion receipts from California, Nevada, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Oregon and Arizona
*1840’s, 1850’s and 1860’s mining company stock certificates from both the east (Appalachian gold belt) and the West (California, Nevada, Colorado) – the best offering to date.
*Over two dozen different Nevada territorial stock certificates.
These tidbits are part of this unique sale, which makes it the best offering of its kind in history. The Gold Rush sale is nothing short of phenomenal.
Here is the setting under which the gold discoveries in Georgia and North Carolina were made:
…Imagine a world before the civil war, before the gold rush, right after the United States was formed. We had just created our first coinage in the early to mid 1790’s. As a country, we had just 16 states by 1800, which crept up to 24 states by 1821 and remained there for 15 years! Development of the areas south and west of and in the original 13 states was slow. It was called the “western frontier”. The “America” then consisted of Native Americans and expats from western Europe looking for a better life. Most were farmers or merchants. The “scientists” of the western world remained in western Europe. Mankind dint know much about geology- indeed, the first geologic map was printed in Europe in 1799, and it would take another 25-30 years before we had anything similar in America. The science of ore deposits was not well understood, and was only just recently out from under the mystique of Alchemy.
Enter the discovery of a gold nugget in North Carolina in 1799. It took fully 29 years before substantive gold discoveries were made in Georgia and North Carolina. Here is the amazing part- these discoveries were made from good-old American ingenuity. Not one single miner had an education in mining in Europe. As far as is known, not a single man in the Georgia, North Carolina gold rush had been a miner. These men developed the ability to look for gold and mining systems on their own in the American wilderness, a marvelous feat of accomplishment – a true iconic part of American ingenuity at its best.
More on the Auction
To add to this remarkable collection are hundreds of mining artifacts, including many collected from Georgia mines, as well as a fantastic Numismatic library inclusive of many rarities.
*Other collections featured include the collection of Robert Bennett, a well known mining geologist who spent a good part of his career working the Goldfield district. During his 45-plus year career, he collected high grade ore specimens from many major mines he was lucky enough to work on, and these are dutifully included in this sale, as are gold and fabulous turquoise specimens from longtime collector Jerry Gray of Carson City.
*Our friend Vern Potter, a national ephemera dealer known to all, retired from the business and gave us his massive collection, some of which is here, including gold rush era exchanges, important maps, and special documents you haven’t seen in decades (more in coming sales!). Added to this are pieces from the Ken Prag Collection, which keeps on coming with great rarities!
*Gold rush era coins, such as a complete Hart gold token set, -all graded and holdered; a number of Carson City coins; a fabulous 999 fine golden egg custom made for an Arizona collector in 1982; gold rush era soda bottles in hues of cobalt blue, teal, green from San Francisco, Sacramento and Savannah; Nevada mining camp bottles; Pawnee Bill full color posters – an integral part of Western history all supplement an otherwise terrific sale; and choice western mining photographs.
*Rare books with a mining theme are also present, from several collections, including the Robert Fulton collection (former head of Univ. Nevada, reno in the 1920’s). A key piece from one of the collections is an inscribed Sutro Tunnel book to Melville Atwood from the “Father of Arizona” Charles D. Poston.
*The mining stock certificate collections offered here are among the best ever offered by us. They include four major collections. including the Laguna Collection of rare Arizona stocks, part of a major Bodie collection, antique firearms, and rare Tahoe gaming chips.
*Western revenue checks with a focus on the Comstock Lode
All items in the online catalog with full descriptions and images. The full auction schedule is laid out in the auction description. All sessions open at 8AM Pacific Time from March 15th to 18th. Holabird Western Americana is pleased to offer services to answer any questions about the entire catalog as well as discuss consignments of any collection.