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    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.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    May, 2011
    21st Saturday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 2
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 824

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