Nugget’s famous Golden Rooster up for bid Saturday

Reported by: Jaime Hayden
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Updated: 7/23/2014 10:25 pm
SPARKS, Nev. ( & KRNV) -- The famous Golden Rooster that spent more than 50 years at John Ascuaga's Nugget could be yours for the right price.

The well-known 18-karat Golden Rooster is no longer displayed at the Nugget in Sparks. It was removed by the Ascuaga family shortly after they sold their hotel and casino last year, but the Ascuaga's decided to auction it off.

The auction is happening this weekend. "Its got a lot of history here and a lot of heritage,” said Coeur d'Alene Art Auction Coordinator Parker Stremmel.

The Golden Rooster was unveiled in the Nugget's Golden Rooster Room in 1958 and it was almost taken away for good. "The government actually charged the Nugget with a violation of the Treasury Act of 1934 because it stated that an individual could not have gold beyond a certain point. I believe it was 50 ounces," said Stremmel.

But Stremmel said in 1962, a U.S. District Court Jury in Carson City ruled the rooster was deemed a work of art, so the 14-pound sculpture returned to its display.

This Saturday, it is being auctioned with an estimated value up to $300,000. "But the estimate really is just a conservative thing," said Stremmel. "We tell people, don't get too caught up on that, because it will go for what the market will bear," said Stremmel.

Stremmel said interest in the historic rooster goes way beyond the Biggest Little City. "We know it’s reached out to people in the Middle East, so we're not exactly certain who will show up on Saturday, but it has generated some interest."

The auction will be from 12 p.m. until 6 p.m. at the Peppermill. Stremmel said the Golden Rooster is expected to bid around 2:30 p.m. He also says absentee, phone, and online bidding are available.

Tickets for the event cost $90 for one person, or $120 for two people. For more information, click here.
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