A Dallas-based auction house this month is selling nearly 300 historic Texas and American West items, including books, maps, jewelry worn by an empress and a note signed by Stephen F. Austin.
Heritage Auctions is holding its Western Americana and Texana sale on March 17. You can preview the lots and find details on how to place a bid on the auction house’s site.
We’ve looked through the 298 items and picked out a few that a historian, collector or an average Texan might enjoy.
Document signed by Stephen F. Austin
Stephen F. Austin, known as the “Father of Texas,” wrote this note in November 1836, according to the auction house. He died the next month. It reads "Mr. David Randon - If you or your neighbors have a horse that will do for an express I wish you to let Mr. Digger have him. I am authorized by the President of Texas to promise pay for the expenses of this express. S. F. Austin." Current bid: $2,500. View the lot.
Empress Carlota of Mexico jewelry
This collection of jewelry includes a watch with four diamonds and a brooch, ring and necklace made of gold and enamel. It’s believed to have belonged to the Empress Carlota of Mexico. It’s not exactly a Texas item, but still. Current bid: $3,500. View the lot.
Pair of glass inkwells
To pair with Carlota’s jewelry, these octagonal, blown-glass inkwells are etched with the monogram of her husband, Emperor Maximilian I of Mexico. Both Carlota’s jewelry and these inkwells were previously sold in 2001 as part of the Gaines de Graffenried Family Collection of Texas. Current bid: $1,000. View the lot.
“Prominent Women of Texas” book
“Prominent Women of Texas” by Elizabeth Brooks was published in 1896. It’s available on Amazon, but this edition definitely has that old book smell. Current bid: $250. View the lot.
“To the Voters of Dallas” broadside
In this campaign message from March 1887, John Henry Brown was seeking re-election as mayor of Dallas. An excerpt: "In every way I have tried to represent Dallas for her best and highest interest in all assemblages of strangers among us; in a laborious correspondence scattered all over the Union, answering questions and giving statistics and other data to encourage capital, enterprise and labor to come among us, a taxing labor beyond official obligations and unknown to the public." Current bid: $250. View the lot.
Map of Texas, 1846
This Texas map is the first to include the city of Dallas, according to the auction house. It shows the locations of counties, towns and other geographic features at the time as well as location of Native American tribes indigenous to the region. Current bid: $250. View the lot.