The Numismatic Bibliomania Society



The E-Sylum: Volume 15, Number 48, November 18, 2012, Article 21


Barbara Wilson of Holabird-Kagin Americana forwarded a press release about their upcoming sale. Here's an excerpt. -Editor

Holabird 2012 Dec auction This December 8th, Holabird-Kagin Americana will hold another world-class sale of Western Americana, numismatics and collectibles at the Atlantis Casino Resort in Reno. This December's auction will feature something for just about every collector and investor, including numismatics, Americana, gold specimens, American Indian items, and saloon collectables. Below are some of the many highlights.

Western National Bank Notes
This incredible section features a Wibaux, Montana1902 Note in very good condition; a highly desirable and rare Emperor Norton I 50 cent note, signed by the Emperor himself; and two very rare Colorado Territory C.A. Cook & Company bank notes: a 25 cent and 50 cent, both are highly sought after by collectors. Also in this catalog section, you'll find National Gold Bank notes, of which few exist. There are several examples of fine Mormon currency going under the hammer, including a $5 and $10 notes from The Kirtland Safety Society Bank. Both are rated fine.

Numismatic Patterns and Coins
In this section, you'll find some exceedingly rare US coin Patterns like the very rare 1838 Gobrecht Judd 105 Pattern; a very rare gold dollar obverse and reverse struck from dies used to coin regular issue 1874 $1 gold piece, the very rare 1921 Canadian 50 cent piece and 1871-CC $5 in high grade.

Numismatic Ingots
This section features a large selection of silver ingots including the Jonathan Head, Amie and Climax Mine Leadville silver ingot; The Ontario (Utah) Silver Mining Company ingot, the Sweetwater MC Treasure Hill engraved trapezoidal silver ingot, the Ed A. Miller (Austin) silver ingot; the Knight & Company gold ingot; the Thomas Price & Sons Assayer ingot; and two early South American gold ingots.

General Americana
This section is loaded with history and gives the winning bidder a chance to own some of it. Featured here is a very rare and unique item, a ledger kept by the one and only General George Armstrong Custer! This ledger was kept during an assignment in Kentucky where he purchased several horses for his own racing stable. Also included in this section is a 19th century nature painting by Alfred Jacob Miller, a letter written by former First Lady Edith Kermit Roosevelt on Sagemore Hill Stationery, and the Delia Cutting photograph collection.

You also won't want to miss a major California Gold Rush archive, along with the Murphy archive--a series of letters written during this history making time when "The World Rushed In" to the Sierra foothills, up to the time when our country was a "House Divided." More historic lots in this category include an exceptionally rare Wells Fargo stock certificate signed by William Fargo, the rare embossed Mears souvenir spoon, and some exceptional miner's candlesticks, including a unique Ezra Meeker stick that is accompanied by an archive of the man's life.

Miner's Union, Railroadiana & Express
If you know about the often violent miner's union riots of the late 19th century, or if you love various Railroadiana and Wells Fargo Express items, this section is for you. We're pleased to offer several important lots of United Mine Worker's union ribbons and a large union hall bat, various railroad passes, photos, maps, and other ephemera. Especially exciting is the extraordinary Mears Silverton Railroad Pass from 1889 in beautiful condition.

Saloon and Backrooms
Last, but certainly not least, we have the saloon section which offers one of the top label under glass western whiskey flasks from Salt Lake City, a real highlight of the sale. This important bottle was buried in the Stan Sanders Collection for more than 40 years. This bottle is one of the finest Victorian western flasks you'll ever see. This sale includes everything from tokens to the rarest of whiskey and soda bottles from all 50 states. Also featured is a bitters broadside, very rare (thought to be 1 of 2 known) from the Thomas Taylor & Co. Sole Agents for their choice product. Also up for auction are three unusual "bark" bottles.

So you see, this December auction is full of variety, history and value for the historian, investor, collector and wannabe collector. The auction takes place Saturday, December 8th at the Atlantis Casino Resort 3800 Virginia Street, Reno, NV. A preview will be held on Friday, December 7th at the Holabird Office 3555 Airway Drive Ste 309 in Reno. Bidding will be live, by phone or on the internet at If you have any questions or would like to arrange a private appointment prior to the public showing, call (877) 852-8822.

Here are a few of the lots that caught my eye. -Editor

Lot 116: Emperor Norton I Note
1878 - This is a note issued by THE IMPERIAL GOVERNMENT OF NORTON I. This 50 cent bond issued on 1 August 1878 promises that the bearer will be paid 50 cents in 1880 with interest at five percent per annum.

This note was chosen as one of the 100 greatest American Currency Notes by Q. David Bowers and David M. Sundman. It was issued in denominations of 50 cents to $100 at a rate of about 300 annually. There are fewer than three dozen still known to exist today. It appears to have been trimmed at the edges, although this does not affect the border or images of the document. The bill measures 9.25"x 4.25" and has some fold creasing. A small crescent shaped piece is missing from the bottom and there appears to be some adhesive stains on the back. It is signed by His Majesty himself, Norton I Emperor.

Holabird 2012 Dec lot 116 Empreror Norton

Joshua Norton was a businessman who came to San Francisco from South Africa in the 1850s. After making some real estate purchases with a $40,000 inheritance, he invested in a ship load of rice. He intended to corner the rice market due to the large population of Chinese in the "City". Unfortunately, three other shiploads arrived in the bay shortly after, bottoming out the rice market and bankrupting Norton.

Whether the financial distaste was the cause or not, Norton left San Francisco for a few years and returned as the self-proclaimed "Emperor of the United States and Protector of Mexico".

Like any good leader of a government, real or imagined, the Emperor had to raise capital to support his government, hence, the Emperor Norton note.

No one was really sure if he was insane or just eccentric, nonetheless, he could eat in their best restaurants in town for free, was saluted by the local police officers, and much loved by the community. Evidence of the affection that San Francisco held for their monarch was on clear display when more than 20,000 people attended his funeral in 1880.

This is a very rare note that has more character and provenance than a dozen others of the time. This is your chance to own a piece of real American royalty

To read the complete lot description, see:

Lot 143: Idaho Territorial
c1860s - Rare "One Hundred Dollars" demand note, number 874, printed on bond paper. There is a vignette of the Columbia Statue on the front left and an Eagle with “Pacific to Atlantic” on the back. Signed by George H. [illegible surname]. This note appears to be in good condition despite the large split that has been taped on the reverse, and some discoloration. From the John J. Ford, Jr. Collection.

Holabird 2012 Dec lot 143 Idaho Territorial

To read the complete lot description, see:

Lot 279: Bow Tie Error Cent on Dime
Holabird 2012 Dec lot 278 Bow Tie Error Dime No Date Mint Error 1c Struck on Dime Bow Tie Scrap

To read the complete lot description, see:

To view the complete auction, see: 2012 December Americana & Numismatic Auction (


RENAISSANCE OF AMERICAN COINAGE: Wizard Coin Supply is the official distributor for Roger Burdette's three volume series that won NLG Book of the Year awards for 2006, 2007 and 2008. Contact us for dealer or distributor pricing at .

Wayne Homren, Editor

NBS ( Web

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