Skip to main content
Go to accessibility notice


    Colorado Ore Testing Kit and Mobile Assayer's Office. This interesting piece of Western mining memorabilia is the first of its type we have seen. It is a wooden trunk or valise with rope handles that measures 33" wide x 15" tall x 6.5" deep with steel reinforced corners. It is made of wood with a plywood veneer. The front has a painted inscription: "Oretest Assay Office Field Unit Cripple Creek & Victor Mining District. Lic. 7301 Cash Paid for Gold. U.S. Dollars Paid on the Spot! [crossed pick and hammer with letters C C V]". The other side has a stenciled logo of the "Oretest Assay Office Cripple Creek Colorado". The interior has all the tools, instruments and chemicals that an assayer would need to analyze raw ore brought to this "mobile field office" for possible sale. These include a British Bull Dog revolver (just in case some desperados attempted a heist), a pick, a large cast iron crucible, a stove or burner, a two-part cast iron circular pan, a set of graduated brass weights in a wooden holder, a glass-walled scale with an adjustment rod that extends through the sides), a leather case with seven different ore samples in threaded jars, a metal case with six earthenware mortars or crucibles and an empty brown glass bottle, an oiling can, two tin discs and two tin "candlestick-like" objects of unknown purpose, but obviously related to the job of assayer. There is some lifting and splintering of the plywood veneer, a diagonal crack in the left side of the glass-enclosed scale and the shelf holding the ore samples has been detached from the interior wall. It is difficult to pinpoint an age, but we would estimate it in the 1900-1920 period. The "Oretest" field office obviously saw its share of action and the objects in the kit reflect use over a long period. It seems to be complete with no missing components. We are not sure when the painted inscriptions on the outside of the case were applied. Accordingly, the estimate reflects its intrinsic value strictly as a Western mobile assayer's office. It weighs approximately 50 pounds and will require third part shipping.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    June, 2014
    14th Saturday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 1
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 349

    Buyer's Premium per Lot:
    25% on the first $100,000 (minimum $14), plus 20% of any amount between $100,000 and $1,000,000, plus 12% of any amount over $1,000,000 per lot.

    Shipping, Taxes, Terms and Bidding
    This item cannot be shipped using standard methods. Please contact us for more information. Sales Tax information

    Important information concerning Sales Tax and Resale Certificates. Learn More

    Terms and Conditions  |  Bidding Guidelines and Bid Increments |  Glossary of Terms

    Sold for: Sign-in or Join (free & quick)

    Heritage membership

    Join Now - It's Free

    1. Past Auction Values (prices, photos, full descriptions, etc.)
    2. Bid online
    3. Free Collector newsletter
    4. Want List with instant e-mail notifications
    5. Reduced auction commissions when you resell your
    Consign now
    • Cash Advances
    • More Bidders
    • Trusted Experts
    • Over 200,000 Satisfied Consignors Since 1976
    Consign to the 2019 December 8 Civil War, Militaria, Arms & Armor Signature Auction - Dallas.

    Learn about consigning with us

    We had a wonderful time in New York during the October 2013 Historical Manuscripts auction that featured my mother’s papers collected during her tenure as Martin Luther King, Jr.’s secretary. In fact, the entire experience from beginning to end has been a pleasure.
    Howard Ballou,
    Brandon, MS
    View More Testimonials receives more traffic than any other auction house website. (Source:

    Video tutorial

    Getting the most out of search

    Recent auctions

    2019 June 22 - 23 The David and Janice Frent Collection of Presidential &  Political Americana, Part V - Dallas
    2019 June 22 - 23 The David and Janice Frent Collection of Presidential & Political Americana, Part V - Dallas
    REALIZED SO FAR $746,362