Skip to main content
Go to accessibility notice


    A Fine Ensemble of Items Belonging To a 19th-Century California Sheriff.
    Thomas M. Brown (1829 - 1906) was an original California 49er who arrived at Steep Hollow, Nevada County, in September of 1849. He was appointed deputy sheriff of Klamath County, CA in 1857, and four years later was elected sheriff. In 1877, he was elected sheriff of Humboldt County, CA, an office he held until his death (he died at his desk in the sheriff's office).

    The most outstanding item in the collection is unquestionably his beautiful silver belt buckle, measuring 2" x 4.125". Set into the center of the buckle is a large solid gold panel with decorative engraving and Brown's name in the center. (It is impossible to gauge the thickness of this panel, but the buckle is quite substantial, and it could well be an ounce of gold). The silver portion is also elaborately engraved, and the style suggests that it dates from early in Brown's career, perhaps even the 1850s.

    Also included in the lot are:
    1. A pair of heavy, well-used handcuffs belonging to Sheriff Brown, with key.
    2. An autographed 6" x 9" studio photo of Brown by Van Sant Studio, Eureka, CA.
    3. An 1872 Klamath County receipt signed by Brown.
    4. An 1892 description of a presumed criminal suspect, written in Brown's hand on Humboldt County Sheriff's office stationery.
    5. Brown's leather bound book kept as Humboldt County Sheriff, with numerous detailed entries of bondsmen along with the names of suspects for whom they have put up bonds, and the amounts, dating from 1877 through 1902.

    Accompanying this lot is a notebook of research by the consignor on Brown's career and the history of Klamath County.

    Shipping, Taxes, Terms and Bidding
    Calculate Standard Domestic Shipping

    Sales Tax information  |  Terms and Conditions

    Bidding Guidelines and Bid Increments

    Glossary of Terms

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    May, 2011
    21st Saturday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 2
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 770

    Buyer's Premium per Lot:
    19.5% of the successful bid (minimum $14) per lot.

    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 May 9 - 10 Space Exploration Signature Auction Featuring The Armstong Family Collection Part II.

    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

    2018 September 13 Rare Books & Maps Signature Auction Books - Dallas
    2018 September 13 Rare Books & Maps Signature Auction Books - Dallas
    REALIZED $1,094,775