Auction features Montana history

2010-10-18T23:45:00Z 2010-10-18T23:53:16Z Auction features Montana historyED KEMMICK Of The Gazette Staff The Billings Gazette
October 18, 2010 11:45 pm  • 

A collection of historical artifacts and curios, some of them from the Malta area, will go on the auction block on Wednesday night.

Dan Tryan, owner of Tryans Auction Center at 1302 Second Ave. N., said he is selling the collection on behalf of a man in Roundup who wants to remain anonymous.

Tryan said the man purchased a storage-unit business in Malta that included one unit that no one had paid rent on in 15 years, and distant family members, when reached, had no interest in paying back rent and redeeming the property. Most of the items to be auctioned Wednesday, starting at 6 p.m., are from that collection.

“That’s what was so overwhelming,” Tryan said, when he was still sorting through the collection and getting it ready for display.

Among the goods that will be sold is a full-dress uniform of a grand past master of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, including an embroidered sash and an elaborate plumed hat. The whole outfit, hat and all, fits into an ornate packing box.

There is also a large collection of Independent Order of Odd Fellows ribbons and badges, some of them from Montana conventions, as well as medals and ribbons from the Grand Army of the Republic, a fraternal organization of Union veterans of the Civil War. Other items of clothing include an antique Boy Scouts shirt and matching trousers and a boy’s sailor outfit.

There are all sorts of decorative pins and buttons, jewelry, purses, hand mirrors, brushes, carving knives, silverware, china, antique toys, men’s and women’s pocket watches, handmade quilts and an old 7UP bottle from the Glasgow Beverage Co.

The bottle identifies the contents as “lithiated lemon soda,” “for hospital or home use.” There are some old maps of Montana, photographs of downtown Malta, old copies of the Phillips County News and a three-volume “History of Montana.”

The extensive book collection also includes a 10-volume “Photographic History of the Civil War,” which was published in 1911 but looks nearly new, and a pristine eight-volume “Battles and Leaders of the Civil War,” published in 1887.

Among items not from the storage unit is a small collection of battered cowboy hats from the Merry Mixer bar in Hardin.


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