Custer's Civil War holster rig sells for $37,500 at Holabird's November Wonders auction, Nov. 18-22

The auction was held online and at the Holabird gallery in Reno, Nevada. It did better than expected, as eager bidders pounced on the 3,100 lots in a wide array of collecting categories. Internet bidding was hosted across several platforms.
By: Holabird Western Americana Collections
Capt. George Armstrong Custer’s gun holster rig.
Capt. George Armstrong Custer’s gun holster rig.
RENO, Nev. - Dec. 1, 2021 - PRLog -- Legendary U.S. Army Captain George Armstrong Custer's gun holster, dispatch case, belt and brass buckle from the Civil War climbed to $37,500, taking top lot honors in a five-day, 3,100-lot November Wonders: Western Americana Auction held November 18th-22nd by Holabird Western Americana Collections, online and live at the gallery in Reno, Nevada.

The holster was standard issue for officers during the Civil War to fit the Colt model 1860 Army revolver. There are two photos in the book Custer in Photographs (Katz, 1985, paged 12 and 13) depicting Custer wearing this rig, about 1863.

The auction was loaded with Western Americana, mining, numismatics, stock certificates, rare books, art and more. "This was supposed to be an end-of-year, under-the-radar clearance sale, so we didn't market it too heavily, but the results were a pleasant surprise," said Fred Holabird of Holabird Western Americana Collections. "Collectors are out in full force with money to spend."

Day 1, on November 18th, contained just over 600 lots of art, firearms and weapons, foreign items, political memorabilia, militaria, tools, Native Americana, sports collectibles and items pertaining to transportation. The Custer Civil War holster and dispatch case was the Day 1 highlight, but other offerings also did well.

A 1982 painting of Native Americans on horseback on top of bluffs looking down on huge cavalry bluffs by Hungarian-American artist Americo Makk (1927-2015), titled Too Many Guns, realized $2,250. Also, a sterling silver vintage concho belt signed "TC" (possibly Tom Charlie), boasting 10 oval stamped conchos, each on a 39-inch-long tan leather belt, gaveled for $687.

Day 2, November 19th, was dedicated entirely to stocks and bonds (in categories that included mining, railroad, brewing and express). An 1891 stock certificate for the Missouri, Kansas and Texas Railway Company for 100 shares, issued to wealthy oil tycoon and philanthropist John D. Rockefeller, signed by Rockefeller on the back and with a steam engine vignette, brought $750.

Day 3, November 20th, featured 609 lots of minerals, mining, numismatics, tokens and philatelic and postal history. One of the top achievers was the circa 1910 10-cent token for the H. (Henry) Champagne Bar in Genoa, Nevada – the only known token merchant from Genoa, a fact that wasn't lost on bidders, who drove the final price of the 23mm brass octagonal token to $3,750.

To learn more about Holabird Western Americana Collections, visit

Fred Holabird
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