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Morphy Auctions sale evokes spirits of the Old West


From antique gold bars to beaded war shirts, whisky bottles or Bowie knives – an upcoming sale at Morphy Auctions will send bidders back in time to the Old West.
Amongst the most valuable lots on offer are a series of gold bars mined during the 19th century, as the Gold Rush saw millions of people head west to seek their fortunes.

Notable examples include a Harris Marchand & Co. gold bar valued in 1857 at $1002.42, and now estimated at $250,000-$350,000, and a Henry Hentsch gold bar originally valued at $2847.07, and now priced at $200,000-$250,000.

Antique advertising signs relating to the Western Expansion in the 1800’s are also well represented in this sale.

Amongst the highlights are a historic Rock Island Railroad advertising sign, which would have originally hung in the office of a railroad executive, estimated at $40,000-$80,000; a Battle Axe tobacco sign depicting a smiling Native American, valued at $80,000-$150,000; and an original advertisement from California’s Golden Jubilee and Mining Fair of 1898, estimated at $40,000-$80,000.

A large section of the auction will be dedicated to Native American art and artifacts spanning more than 250 years.

These treasures include an Eastern pipe tomahawk, dated circa 1760, estimated at $50,000-$100,000; an 1870 Cheyenne beaded war shirt made from buffalo hide, valued at $30,000-$60,000; and a beautifully decorated Northern Plains contour pipe bag, circa 1860, estimated at $15,000-$25,000. 

Elsewhere the sale will include evocative items ranging from a Bowie Knife owned by Jim Bowie’s brother (read full story here), to an original bar back bottle of 1895 Custer’s Reserve whiskey estimated at $10,000-$15,000.

"We are so looking forward to kicking off our 2017 auction year in Las Vegas with this truly outstanding sale," said company President Dan Morphy.

"The ‘western themed’ merchandise on offer is among the highest quality and diverse in nature to come to auction in memory. Clearly, Las Vegas is the ideal location for an auction event featuring these ‘geospecific’ categories!

"The antique bottles and advertising selections in this sale are also truly remarkable. Just being around them is like taking a trip backward in time."

The Morphy Auctions Premier Gold Rush and Native American Sale takes place in Las Vegas on January 19.


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