Signed, numbered Ansel Adams photos, Gold Rush-era tokens do well in Holabird's Dec. 17-19 auction

The auction had more than 1,900 lots in a wide array of collecting categories, at price points that appealed to both novices and veteran collectors. Several important collections were sold. Internet bidding was provided across several platforms.
By: Holabird Western Americana Collections
 
 
Ansel Adams photograph from the Yosemite Series.
Ansel Adams photograph from the Yosemite Series.
RENO, Nev. - Jan. 4, 2022 - PRLog -- A Wells Fargo Express Chinese Western directory from 1878 sold for $13,750, while signed and numbered photographs by Western photographer Ansel Adams (1902-1984) and rare tokens from the glory days of America's Gold Rush era all did well in Holabird Western Americana Collections' December Dreams: Premier Americana Auction held December 17-19.

The three-day sale, held online and live at the Holabird gallery in Reno, featured over 1,900 lots of rare books, art, mining, numismatics, stock certificates, postcards and more. Highlighted collections included more parts of the Ken Prag postcard collection, the Bill McIver token and medal collection, the MacKenzie Montana collection and the Ron Lerch Western collection.

Following are highlights from the auction, which enjoyed an 80 percent sell-through across all 1,900 lots. About 7,500 people registered to bid, with the top categories being art, directories and numismatics. "We're attracting hundreds of new collectors with each sale that goes by," said Fred Holabird of Holabird Western Americana Collections. All prices include buyer's premium.

Day 1 contained over 600 lots of philatelic (stamps); military, political and firearms; gaming collectibles; and model railroad and toys. Postcards, many of them from the Ken Prag collection, included California (especially wine country), Hawaii, Disney, Titanic and Pioneer cards. The gaming section included items from the Shirley Bovis Cowboy Museum in Tombstone, Ariz.

Of the 500 postcard lots from the Ken Prag collection, about 350 lots were California-related, but 40 lots or so were Hawaii-themed. Lot 1370 was a collection of more than 210 postcards with color renderings of rare and exotic fishes of Hawaii. Most were from a series published for the Waikiki Aquarium in Honolulu. All were from the early 20th century. The lot went for $1,387.

Day 2 was packed with 683 lots of books (featuring Part 1 of the Ron Leach Western directory collection); mining artifacts and ephemera; and stock certificates and bonds, to include mining and railroad. There were about 200 directories from the Ron Lerch collection. Directories are considered a "primary source" material and, as such, are essential aspects of historical research.

The Wells Fargo Express Chinese directory from 1878 is one of the most sought-after, rare and important of all the Western directories and sold accordingly, for $13,750. It was a directory for Chinese houses in San Francisco, Sacramento, Stockton, Marysville, San Jose, Portland and Virginia City for that year. It was well-used and worn, with Chinese notes on pages throughout.

To learn more, visit www.holabirdamericana.com.

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Fred Holabird
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Tags:Auction
Industry:Hobbies
Location:Reno - Nevada - United States
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