The Colorado's Most Significant Artifacts program highlights the importance of historic and cultural heritage and honors and recognizes all the organizations in Colorado that care for and preserve photographs, documents, rare books and manuscripts, audio recordings, film, digital materials, art, and historic, archaeological and natural science specimens.
Learn more here about the top ten nominations for the years 2013-2017. Details about submissions for 2018 coming soon!
The "Alma King" is the finest mineral specimen of rhodochrosite in the world. It a football sized ruby red beautifully pointed crystal, set on a bed of snowy white quartz. Some museum visitors who see it remark that it looks like a gigantic piece of candy, and wonder whether or not it tastes like cherry, strawberry, or raspberry.
This image of a Navajo woman seated at a loom with a partially finished blanket was selected to represent a collection of 645 18 x 22 inch "mammoth" glass plate negatives photographed by William Henry Jackson ca. 1890-1910.
On November 1,1955, at 6:52 pm, United Air Lines Flight #629 departed from Stapleton Airfield in Denver. Eleven minutes later the plane exploded, killing all 44 people onboard and scattering debris over Longmont, Colorado farmland. This fragment, held by the Denver Police Department and preserved by the Denver Police Museum, displays what is thought to be a shrapnel hole from the cargo hold explosion beneath the passenger cabin of the plane. It was used in the subsequent murder trial and stands as a symbol of the first confirmed case of sabotage against a U.S. commercial airliner.
This collection is composed of various materials related to Anna Wolfrom's life and business the Wigwam Tea Room. It includes photographs of Wolfram, her 1904-1905 diary, photographs of the Wigwam on Wind River Trail, the buildings original signage, newspaper clippings, and two plays written by Wolfrom during the first half of the 20th century. Wolfrom opened the Wigwam Tea Room in the early 1900s, when Estes Park was fast becoming a popular mountain town in the United States, and continued to manage the establishment till her death in 1950.
In 1917, in response to a request by the U.S. Army Depot Quartermaster in New York, the Edison Company created a special model of phonograph. Known as the Army and Navy Model, the cost of this machine at the time was $60. The Edison Army/Navy Phonograph was protected in a sturdy wooden crate that was reinforced by angle iron and painted into anonymity with military enamel paint. The 280 different pieces of the model were numbered and labeled so it could be dismantled and rebuilt.
The Mantle’s Cave Collection includes Native American projectile points, basketry, leather bags, pendants, fishhooks, a necklace, shoes, and headdresses, mostly dating to around AD 1000. Another part of this collection is the associated archive of field notes, describing every step in the excavation and each incredible find. The most compelling artifacts include a vibrant pink/orange and yellow feather headdress, which is stunning in its artistry and preservation. Another piece is the deer-scalp headdress in remarkable condition which is the oldest item in the collection from around 3,500 years ago.
One of the official Auraria Higher Education Center ceremonial groundbreaking shovels. It is about three feet long with stainless steel hardware and commemorative engraving showing the groundbreaking date of October 4, 1973.
46''x 60'' banner bearing the name of the Societa Femminile di M.S. Principessa Iolanda of Pueblo, Colorado. The banner was displayed on a nine-foot, two piece, antique oak pole, covered with black velvet and carried in parades and special events by Society members. Hand-fashioned of an India ink colored cotton face and crimson colored silk backing, painted portrait of Princess Yolanda, daughter of the last Italian King, mounted with crewel stitching also used to illustrates her garment. Gold work embroidered throughout, metallic bullion fringe and moiré banding. The artist and craftsman are unknown.
Held in the archives of the Colorado Chautauqua Association, this trifold brochure is from the Texas-Colorado Chautauqua’s opening season in 1898. With red lettering on white paper, the double-sided document is 6” x 9” when unfolded. Illustrations of the Auditorium and tents to be pitched for the summer reflect the late 19th century time period. Text describes summer offerings of this Western representation of the Chautauqua movement. Highlighted programs include science, mathematics, languages and pedagogy. The printed information for participants such as admission, tent rentals and meal costs provide important details for interpreting this unique history