1950s Frontier Gasoline porcelain sign brings $5,375 at Holabird auction

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1950s Frontier Gasoline porcelain sign brings $5,375 at Holabird auction
Late 1950s Frontier Gasoline “Rarin’-to-Go” single-sided porcelain gas station sign, six feet in diameter, in excellent condition, with a graphic of a cowboy on a bucking bronco ($5,375).

RENO, NEV.- A late 1950s Frontier Gasoline “Rarin’-to-Go” single-sided porcelain gas station sign, six feet in diameter, sold for $5,375, and an Antique Apparatus reproduction jukebox of a Wurlitzer Model 1015 from the 1940s finished at $2,875 in a massive, seven-day Summer 2020 Extravaganza Auction held June 25-28/July 10-12 by Holabird Western Americana Collections.

The two-session sale was packed with important collections of Americana – more than 4,800 lots in all. Categories included numismatics, mining, railroadiana, Native Americana and much more. The event was held live in the Reno gallery and online via iCollector.com, LiveAuctioneers.com, Invaluable.com, AuctionMobility.com and Auctionzip.com. Phone and left bids were also taken.

Day 1, on Thursday, June 25th, contained California ephemera (a continuation of the John Reynolds collection), parts of the Idaho real photo postcard collection, Western maps (also in other places in the catalog), historical and vintage pinbacks from the Benjamin Fauver collection, vintage dolls, an American Directory collection and a Sam Clemens (Mark Twain) collection.

The Frontier Gasoline “Rarin’-to-Go” gasoline sign was offered on Day 1 and was the top lot of the auction overall. The red, white and black sign, in excellent condition, showed a cowboy on a bucking bronco and was found in the 1950s just south of Eureka, Nevada, covering a septic tank behind an old gas station. Frontier Gasoline was involved in the 1920s Teapot Dome scandal.

The Antique Apparatus jukebox reproduction of the Wurlitzer Model 1015 was also sold on Day 1. It was geared to play 45rpm records (the original played 78s) and it included some 45s. It had been tested prior to sale and the lights, bubbles and music all worked. “The jukebox was in good shape and ready for a party,” said Fred Holabird of Holabird Western Americana Collections.

Day 2, on June 26th, featured a railroad badges and passes collection, a continuation of the Ken Prag railroad stocks and bonds collection, stagecoach passes (includes Sonora to Bodie), railroad and steamer passes, cap badges, and mining stocks and bonds from various collections. A brass Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific Railroad conductor cap badge in good condition went for $322.

Day 3, on June 27th, showcased minerals and native gold nuggets and rarities, mining artifacts from an old collection, mine maps, Native Americana (to include rugs, art and jewelry), cowboy collectibles, Norman Rockwell early signed prints, and bottles and saloon items from various Western collections. A unique label-under-glass Rye Whiskey clear glass bottle rose to $1,250.

Another Day 3 top lot was a panoramic chromo-lithograph, typewritten on the bottom left corner with, “50215 The Golden Gate from Berkeley Heights” (Calif.) and on the bottom right corner, “Copyright 1900 by Detroit Photographic Company”. The 8 inch by 24 inch lithograph went for $1,125 and included information about the William Henry Jackson Chromo-Lithograph process.

Day 4, on Sunday, June 28, was bursting with coin hoards, cents to nickels with rare dates from the Indian Trading Post in Russellville, Arkansas; so-called dollars; gaming counters; the start of the massive Benjamin Fauver collection; Exposition collectibles; medals; currency and scrip; sports items, to include the large baseball and boxing collection of John Reynolds; tokens from the Bart Landinger Arizona collection and the California and Western token and scrip collection.

Day 4 star lots included a beautiful $1 Federal Reserve bank note, 1918 series (St. Louis, Mo.), in uncirculated condition and rare, signed by bank officers Elliott, Burke, Attebery and Biggs ($1,375); and an early 1900s Tucson token for Charles Pick & Co. Dealers (Chicago), saying, “Good for One Bit / Alex / Levin / Tucson / A.T. / at the Bar”, 22 millimeters in width ($1,062).

Also sold on Day 4 was an 1885 key lock bullion / treasure box out of the Parker-Lyon Pony Express Museum in Arcadia, Calif. ($1,280). The box was reportedly used as a movie prop and sold by RKO Studios in the 1960s. It was painted on the side, “Denver to Albuquerque, Wells Fargo Express”. But Wells Fargo never went to Albuquerque, so it probably was a movie prop.

Day 5, July 10th, featured Americana collectibles and a postcard collection from California and the West. One of the more interesting lots of the day was a hand-colored, cartoonish sheet of music from around 1737, a satire of Italian opera singers and their female admirers, titled The Ladies Lamentation for ye Loss of Senesino (the Italian contralto castrato, 1686-1758) ($344).

Other Day 5 top achievers included a nice group of three San Francisco cartes de visite, two of them photographs by Bradley & Rulofson and one is a CDV of four gentlemen stamped by Silas Selleck ($532); and one lot consisting of a blotter from W.B. Saffell Kentucky Bourbon and a piece of letterhead from E.H. Taylor, Jr. & Sons (Frankfort, Ky.), featuring Old Taylor ($875).

Day 6 (July 11) contained a wide variety of mining stocks and related material. A San Francisco mining exchange report for Virginia City and Bodie mines gaveled for $238. Trades included H&N (Hale & Norcross) and Julia, Con Vir (Cons. Virginia). Sales included S. Nev (Sierra Nevada). The brokerage firm was Latham & King and the trades were posted on Oct. 23, 1878.

Day 7, July 12th, included political buttons from the Benjamin Fauver collection; sports items (baseball, boxing, Olympics), firearms collectibles (no guns); art in all categories; and historical maps. A grab bag of California political pin backs and buttons from various candidates hit $750.

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