October Auction

October Auction

  • July 30, 2019
  • past

Auction Date

The live auction will be held at the Holabird Office at 3555 Airway Drive – Suite #308, Reno, NV 89511.

Friday-Monday, October 4-7, 2019

Beginning at 8am pacific time each day


Lots can be previewed in person the day before the auction or by appointment.

Virtual Catalog

Please note below is a virtual copy of the printed catalog. For the most current up to date photos, descriptions, and current bid information or prices realized please view our live online catalog. Click here for the online catalogs.

October Auction Catalog Cover

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Welcome to our Fall Season Second-Chance Sale!  If you missed any of our 2019 sales, now is your second chance to fill the holes in your collection.

Petroliana, Aviation, WWII, Art, Native Americana, Railroadiana, The Ken Prag Collection,  The Virginia & Truckee Railroad Depot Collection,  The Danforth WWII Aviation Collection, Mining, Minerals and Gold!  And much more!

Once again we are offering an incredible selection of rarities covering a broad range of collecting categories, featuring hundreds of new items such as mineral, ore and high-grade gold specimens with runaway potential for gold collectors. We are offering  another group of new offerings from Ken Prag’s world-class stock certificate collection, with 1850s and 1860s rare western mining stocks with such incredible vignettes, artwork and colors that they considered cataloguing them with the fabulous selection of artwork we have in this sale.  Other items include new Native American silver and turquoise jewelry with vintage pieces from famous Navajo, Hopi and Cherokee artisans, some incredibly rare antique Petroliana and vintage Service/Gas Station signage, authentic Railroadiana and mining artifacts directly from the old Virginia and Truckee Railroad Depot in Virginia City, Nevada, a handful of gorgeous, mint condition cigar box labels from the famous Alexander Bellanova Collection, and more.

In this auction we are honored to present for the first-time a remarkable collection of WWII Aviation Memorabilia compiled by a lifetime enthusiast, Robert Wayne Danforth, a man who lived life to the fullest until his untimely death in 2003 at the age of 44. Robert was a well-rounded man: Vice President of a healthcare company, a devoted family man, advanced professional diving instructor, expert skier, herpetologist, gourmand and falconer, but perhaps his greatest passion was aviation. He became hooked as a child when his toy-salesman father took him to Osh Kosh to demo his model airplanes. There he learned to identify planes from the sound of their engines; on some level, they spoke to him.  As Robert Danforth grew, so did his passion and his interest in aviation soon included pilots as well, particularly the heroic aviators of WWII due to their skill, audacity and gallantry.  Because Robert understood there was very little time to interact with these aging Aces before they were gone, he set out to meet and talk to pilots and aviation artists and read all he could about air battles and sorties.  He poured over aviation catalogs…… and he plunged.  Because of his passion and enthusiasm, in just a few years Robert Danforth amassed an impressive collection of special aviation art, autographed and remarqued, as well as books, model airplanes, photographs and a treasure trove of memories, which we are proud to represent in this catalog.   Robert Wayne Danforth’s Aviation Collection is being offered for the first time to other collectors, who will hopefully enjoy owning a piece of this renaissance man’s lifelong passion.

As promised, this sale has a nice group of items from Pierce Powell’s Collection from the Virginia and Truckee Railroad Depot stockpile!  We decided to start off with some of the most collectible Petroliana Signage we’ve ever offered, including pieces so rare that collector’s have been waiting for them to appear on the market for over a decade, like the 5 to 6’ brand name gasoline signs from the 1920s-1930s.  Sticking to the same theme, we put in some old, hard-to-find road signs, some unique due to their original location and guide information, like one from California Automobile Club we know auto enthusiasts and sign collectors are going to like.  This first batch from the V & T Depot is just the tip of the iceberg.  Pierce Powell has amassed such an eclectic stockpile that it’s going to take two to three sales for us to lots together all the categories represented.  Another lot herein offers some antique cast iron theatre seating from the Virginia City Theatre where Humphry Bogart and number of other famous stars attended a premier event in the 1930s. Powell’s collection has something for everybody so stay tuned to see what comes out of the old V&T Depot next.

Last but not least we are pleased to offer over 100 prized items from the Fred Holabird Collection.  Fred has been a well-known Appraiser and Auctioneer with over 30 years of expertise in Western Americana collectibles, with an emphasis on mining, minerals, gold, coinage, ingots, tokens, stock certificates, railroads, bottles and just about anything old, rusty, dug from the dirt, or found in an attic somewhere west of the Mississippi.  Fred has appraised some of the most valuable western collections in both public and private holdings, published over a dozen books, articles and papers, researched and sold as least a half a million pieces of the past,  and produced over 100 world-class catalogs filled with never-before researched history and considered key reference works for dealers and collectors world-wide.  Fred is widely regarded as world renowned expert in his field and despite his best efforts, over his career he has amassed his own modest, but impressive collection of rare and unique pieces he just could not resist, along with his own family heirlooms and childhood treasures that first sparked his interest in antiques, geology, and collectible Americana.   Collectors have seen some of Fred’s personal items pop up in his auctions from time to time, but after cleaning out his own attic, Fred (Robin) is finally ready to lighten his load.  This noteworthy sale includes a large group from the Fred Holabird Collection that seasoned collectors and dealers have been waiting to snatch up for decades!  Some of Fred’s prized bottles and rare documents are worthy of special mention, but of everything in Fred’s collection, it is his personal reference library that deserves the most attention.  Over his career Fred Holabird has earned national and international attention for groundbreaking historical discovers, which he has shared with the world through lectures, interviews and his published work.  He is credited with solving hundreds of histories mysteries and uncovering key details about America’s past, through his extensive expertise in research and unconventional methods of piecing stories together. With his educational background in geology, Fred applies a scientific thought process to his research work, and through his field work he identifies invaluable sources of information, sometimes never before referenced.  With a natural tenacity about finding answers, since high school he has been compiling some of the most valuable reference works extant for mining and western American historical research.  Fred’s library has been his most valuable asset throughout his career, second only to his brilliant mind.  For advanced researchers and those passionate about knowing the truth of our past, this sale will be a landmark event.   Many of his books are extremely rare and hard-to find, while others are relatively unknown and of little use to the general public.  Wherever you see “The Fred Holabird Collection”  in this catalog, you may want to take a closer look, because even items that appear common at first glance are sure to have value, rarity or significant importance, if they belonged to Fred Holabird.

In addition to the new collections presented, October’s sale is your second chance to bid on select items from the incredible Wigwam Collection of Native Americana, a colorful, tapestry of hand-woven rugs and other textiles made by skilled  Afghani, Persion, Serougen Indian, Pakistani, Armenian and other artisans from the early to mid 1900s out of the Ben-Tcahvtchavadze Collection, the last of the beautiful, rare antique marbles from the Stephen Harman Collection,  two remaining one-of-a-kind, museum worthy Ordovician Era fossils from the Houghton Estate Collection, and finally the last batch in the building from the massive Brian Thaler Postcard Collection we’ve lotted in mixed groups with rarities and early gems hidden in every lot.  Rather than “Second Chance”, this could be your LAST Chance to pick up a piece from these great collections.

Dealers do not want to skip over the re-listed items as many will not be available after this event.  Also, we’ve once again devoted a special section to Dealers filled with specials and great bargains we’ve lotted specifically with re-sellers in mind.  Lots in this section cover a wide variety of collectible categories with selections of items with good resale potential grouped together and estimated low, so there is high profit potential for Dealers who sell the items individually.

All in all this October sale represents an opportunity that many advanced collectors, researchers and historians may never see again.

October’s event is filled with great new offerings, and this auction is scheduled right on time to give yourself or the Collector in your life a little piece of history for the holidays.