Gold Rush Auction

Auction Details

Welcome to our Gold Rush sale of 2018!!

The sale 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.

The Gold Rush Setting

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

Auction Schedule

Day One (Lots 1000-1755)
Numismatics (1000-1577)
U.S. Mint (1000-1068)
Coins & Coins Collectibles (1069-1208)
Ingots (1209-1215)
Currency, Scrip, & Currency Collectibles (1216-1357)
Checks & Exchanges (1358-1424)
Tokens (1425-1489)
Medals (1490-1553)
Scales (1554-1581)

Wells Fargo & Other Express (1582-1693)
Adams & Co. (1582-1606)
Wells Fargo (1607-1676)
Other Express (1677-1693)

World’s Fair & Expositions (1694-1707)

Gaming (1708-1728)

Jewelry & Watches (1729-1755)


Day Two (Lots 1756-1770) & (Lots 2000-2731)
Gold Nuggets & Specimens (1756-1770)
Minerals (2000-2149)
Mining Part I (2150-2731)
Assay (2150-2278)
Explosives (2279-2291)
Mining Lighting (2292-2298)
Mining Artifacts & Tools (2299-2231)
Mining Art (2232-2354)
Geographic (Alabama-California) (2355-2731)

Day Three (Lots 3000-3727)
Mining Part II
Geographic (Colorado-Foreign) (3000-3691)
Books (3692-3727)

Day Four (Lots 4000-4717)
Bottles (4000-4094)
Railroadiana (4095-4222)
Passes (4095-4176)
Ephemera (4177-4222)
Civil War (4223-4259)
Pawnee Bill Broadsides (4260 & 4261)
Firearms & Weaponry (4262-4315)
General Americana feat. California & Georgia Gold Rush Ephemera
Geographic Sort (4316-4637)
Miscellaneous incl. Art, General Store, Maps, & Books (4638-4717)





SHIPPING & HANDLING: Shipping and Handling cannot be estimated prior to invoicing, based on the size and weight of your purchase. All shipping is subject to a minimum charge of $19.00. If additional shipping and handling costs are required, the buyer will be reinvoiced for the balance due. Items are not shipped until the invoice is completely paid. Many buyers purchase a number of lots. Every effort will be made to include all lots in a single shipping charge calculated to cover the weight and...
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Fort Vigilant Pictorial Letter Sheet: Baird 834420 - Fort Vigilant Pictorial Letter Sheet: Baird 83
Holabird Western Americana Collections
Shows two scenes. The first is the rooms used by the Vigilance committee on Sacramento Street. Gunnybags in front, soldier and cannons on roof, sign f
Bidding Has Concluded
Estimates : 500.00 - 800.00
Sold to C*****r for (400.00 + 100.00) x 1 = 500.00
 
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Springfield, Tuolumne County pictorial Letter Sheet: Baird 2574421 - Springfield, Tuolumne County pictorial Letter Sheet: Baird 257
Holabird Western Americana Collections
Very nice condition with no apparent issues. G. H. Goddard (appears as C. H. Goddard) of Sonora. Lithograph by Britton & Rey of San Francisco. S...
Bidding Has Concluded
Estimates : 300.00 - 500.00
Sold to C*****r for (425.00 + 106.25) x 1 = 531.25
 
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Baird's Book "California's Pictorial Letter Sheets"4422 - Baird's Book "California's Pictorial Letter Sheets"
Holabird Western Americana Collections
The go-to guide for collecting and researching California Pictorial Letter Sheets. From Mud Springs to James King of William, from Fort Vigilance to E
Bidding Has Concluded
Estimates : 300.00 - 500.00
Sold to C*****r for (180.00 + 45.00) x 1 = 225.00
 
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Mercantile Gazette & Shipping Register Lettersheet, Gold Rush4423 - Mercantile Gazette & Shipping Register Lettersheet, Gold Rush
Holabird Western Americana Collections
No. 37. San Francisco, December 4th, 1857. Per Mail Steamer Golden Age. Covers: Wholesale Prices & Duties; a Review of the Market ("Candles...
Bidding Has Concluded
Estimates : 200.00 - 400.00
Sold to C*****r for (60.00 + 15.00) x 1 = 75.00
 
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Letter addressed to 16 Year Old Working on a Ship of Some Sort4424 - Letter addressed to 16 Year Old Working on a Ship of Some Sort
Holabird Western Americana Collections
1851 letter from a father to his 16 year old son working on a ship out of San Francisco. In care of GN Shaw & Company. This company was Commissi...
Bidding Has Concluded
Estimates : 100.00 - 300.00
Sold to u********y.. for (65.00 + 16.25) x 1 = 81.25
 
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1851 California Gold Rush Letter4425 - 1851 California Gold Rush Letter
Holabird Western Americana Collections
2+ page letter from a lawyer asking the recipient to be prepared to pay "John" what is due him. There is mention of a $5,000 Ward & Co...
Bidding Has Concluded
Start Price : 50.00 | Estimates : 100.00 - 200.00
 
 
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Palmer, Cook & Company and Grand Theft4426 - Palmer, Cook & Company and Grand Theft
Holabird Western Americana Collections
Palmer, Cook & Company was established in 1849. It is said that no pirate or thief ever matched this company for the amount of money that was st...
Bidding Has Concluded
Estimates : 300.00 - 500.00
Sold to d*******B for (350.00 + 87.50) x 1 = 437.50
 
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Put’s Original California Songster4427 - Put’s Original California Songster
Holabird Western Americana Collections
Published by D. Appleton & Co. San Francisco, 1868. Soiled cover, all pages in tact. A marvelous 64 page compendium of gold rush songs about the...
Bidding Has Concluded
Start Price : 250.00 | Estimates : 500.00 - 1,000.00
 
 
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San Francisco Savings and Loan 1859 Installment Note4428 - San Francisco Savings and Loan 1859 Installment Note
Holabird Western Americana Collections
You don't see this everyday. Number 21. Published by Gillespie & Gray. Installment fo $52,60 on $1280.60. Signed by G. Street. Pictorial of ...
Bidding Has Concluded
Start Price : 50.00 | Estimates : 100.00 - 400.00
 
 
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Two Gold Rush San Francisco Newspapers4429 - Two Gold Rush San Francisco Newspapers
Holabird Western Americana Collections
Both are San Francisco Daily Herald. Both are typically fragile for newsprint this old, and include small rips (1" or less) at fold intersectio...
Bidding Has Concluded
Start Price : 75.00 | Estimates : 150.00 - 300.00
 
 
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Two Rare Gold Rush Newspapers4430 - Two Rare Gold Rush Newspapers
Holabird Western Americana Collections
1) Daily Alta. August 11, 1852. Main article is on the immigration of Americans from Panama and San Juan del Sud. "With every new case of suffe...
Bidding Has Concluded
Start Price : 100.00 | Estimates : 200.00 - 400.00
 
 
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The California Star; Reprint of First Year Newspaper in 18474431 - The California Star; Reprint of First Year Newspaper in 1847
Holabird Western Americana Collections
What a great early, pre-Gold Rush California reference work. This was published by Howell-North Books of Berkeley in 1965. Yerba Buena was the first n
Bidding Has Concluded
Estimates : 100.00 - 200.00
Sold to 8*****M for (110.00 + 27.50) x 1 = 137.50
 
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Original Will and Fink Barbers Chair4432 - Original Will and Fink Barbers Chair
Holabird Western Americana Collections
Will & Fink was one of the West's finest cutlery manufacturers. This Will & Fink chair, 19th century, has been beautifully refinished an...
Bidding Has Concluded
Estimates : 2,000.00 - 4,000.00
Sold to t********u.. for (4,500.00 + 1,125.00) x 1 = 5,625.00
 
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Shreve & Company 20" Mirrored Tray4433 - Shreve & Company 20" Mirrored Tray
Holabird Western Americana Collections
This incredible piece from one of San Francisco's most renowned silversmiths measures 20" from candle holder to candle holder. Incorporated...
Bidding Has Concluded
Start Price : 1,500.00 | Estimates : 3,000.00 - 5,000.00
 
 
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William Sharon's Palace Hotel , 2 Stereoviews by Watkins4434 - William Sharon's Palace Hotel , 2 Stereoviews by Watkins
Holabird Western Americana Collections
William Sharon's Palace Hotel . One exterior and one interior from the Watkins' Pacific Coast collection of stereo views. The Palace Hotel w...
Bidding Has Concluded
Start Price : 100.00 | Estimates : 200.00 - 400.00
 
 
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William Sharon's Palace Hotel Stereoview by Watkins4435 - William Sharon's Palace Hotel Stereoview by Watkins
Holabird Western Americana Collections
Exterior view, left image foxing. Date: Location: San Francisco, California HWAC# 61212
Bidding Has Concluded
Start Price : 100.00 | Estimates : 200.00 - 400.00
 
 
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Controller's 1851 Receipt (when the Capital was in San Jose)4436 - Controller's 1851 Receipt (when the Capital was in San Jose)
Holabird Western Americana Collections
In 1851 the state capital was in San Jose! Number 2579 from the State Treasurer's office. For $136.70. For James B Devoe on April 15, 1851. On M...
Bidding Has Concluded
Estimates : 100.00 - 200.00
Sold to L***1 for (130.00 + 32.50) x 1 = 162.50
 
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State Capital, State Printer, State Controller document4437 - State Capital, State Printer, State Controller document
Holabird Western Americana Collections
J. Winchester was the state printer in 1850. And San Jose was the capital of California in 1850 and 1851. He is being paide $100. John S Houston was t
Bidding Has Concluded
Estimates : 100.00 - 300.00
Sold to L***1 for (110.00 + 27.50) x 1 = 137.50
 
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San Mateo Coursing Association Stock Certificate, 18994438 - San Mateo Coursing Association Stock Certificate, 1899
Holabird Western Americana Collections
Coursing is the pursuit of game or other animals by dogs—chiefly greyhounds and other sighthounds—catching their prey by speed, running by sight, but
Bidding Has Concluded
Start Price : 50.00 | Estimates : 100.00 - 200.00
 
 
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Jose L Sepulveda Signature4439 - Jose L Sepulveda Signature
Holabird Western Americana Collections
Dated July 6, 1866. Signed by the former mayor of Los Angeles and owner of the Palos Verdes estate. Addressed to Mr. Aug W. Timms of San Pedro. One of
Bidding Has Concluded
Estimates : 400.00 - 600.00
Sold to p******i for (150.00 + 37.50) x 1 = 187.50
 
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