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    Description

    Rainbow Route: Silverton Railroad Company Diamond-Encrusted 14K Gold Pass Watch Fob Mounted on a Trinket Box. The front of this unique and sought-after pass depicts a railroad track running through a mountain gorge with a rainbow arch connecting the two sides. It reads "Rainbow Route Silverton Railroad", highlighted in blue enamel. On verso: "Pass/ Mrs. Geo. Coppell/ & Family/ Complimentary/ until Dec. 31st 1890/ Otto Mears/ President/ No.". Passes of this type are seldom offered at public auction. This is considered one of the top western railroad passes known. What makes this pass truly unique is that it tests for 14K gold, rather than the typical silver, and has a mine-cut diamond mounted below the rainbow. Unlike other passes, it is not numbered. This may be because Mrs. Helen Coppell (1844-1894) was the wife of a very prominent and wealthy railroad executive, George Coppell (1838-1901). The family owned a mansion on Fifth Avenue in New York as well as a country estate in Tenafly, New Jersey. Coppell owned a financial firm, Maitland, Coppell & Company, that dealt primarily in railroads. He was Chairman of the Board of the Denver & Rio Grande Railroad. It is believed the town of Coppell, Texas, was named after him, in recognition of his efforts to establish a train line (the St. Louis Southwestern Railway) through that town, then known as Gibbs.

    The pass has been mounted on the lid of a silver-plated copper trinket box. There is some loss to the enamel highlights. There is wear to the plating on both the lid and the base. The base has some pseudo hallmarks. The lid is detached from the hinges.

    Otto Mears became involved in the transportation business due to the lack of an easy way to get wheat from Saguache to the markets. In 1870, Mears decided to build a toll wagon road. The Territory of Colorado granted a charter, Mears formed the Poncha Pass Wagon Road Co. The road was built over Poncha Pass to the Arkansas Valley. The company was a success, allowing to Mears to build other toll roads. The Silverton Railroad was organized in 1887 and continued in operation until 1920. Mears also formed the Rio Grande Southern, which operated until 1952. Otto Mears issued unique rail passes for his lines.


    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    September, 2021
    25th-26th Saturday-Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 2
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 640

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    Sold on Sep 25, 2021 for: Sign-in or Join (free & quick)
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