The Auction Insider

Witherell’s has the privilege of offering a one-of-a kind icon of the American West after a call to assess the estate of a local collector and renowned expert on bottles and antique glass. As is often the case, family members can be reluctant to part with the material treasures of a loved one and I am always cognizant of the emotion attached to the artifacts of an estate. After a period of consideration the family decided to allow Witherell’s the opportunity to offer for sale items that were not intimately attached to this distinguished man’s memory. Our upcoming Grass Valley Old West Show is the perfect venue for this unique collection headlined by a remarkable and rare example of Advertising Art from the turn of the 19th century.

I spotted the Pacific Brewery lithograph on the wall of the family home and silently hoped it did not hold sentimental value. I was pleased when it was among the items selected for our show in May and quickly found a suitable replacement for the wall space it had adorned. The lovely piece of art, made in 1899, is the only existing example of advertising art from this Sacramento brewery.

Interestingly, early Sacramento and San Francisco brewers produced some of the most collectible advertising art we handle at auction. This particular design was made when the brewery was owned by F. C. Knauer, a German immigrant, and located at 9th and P streets. The picture, given away as a promotion for the brewery has all the characteristics that demanding collectors desire – fabulous quality, vibrant color and appealing design. These three elements in a single piece make this a rare and exceptional opportunity for the serious collector of antique advertising and brewery art. We estimate the Pacific Brewery lithograph will garner between $5000 and $7000 for our client.

We hope you’ll visit us in Grass Valley for one of the nation’s top Old West Antique shows – May 9 and 10 at the Nevada County Fair Grounds where you’ll see this fine example of Advertising Art and many other fascinating artifacts of the America’s past.