2013-09-26 18:26:31 - A rare Beacon Ethyl Gasoline single-sided porcelain sign made around 1940 and in remarkable condition is expected to command $40,000-$60,000 at the Fall Peotone Petroliana & Automobilia Auction, Oct. 17-18.
(PEOTONE, Ill.) – A rare Beacon Ethyl Gasoline single-sided porcelain sign with a die-cut lighthouse-shaped design, made around 1940 and in remarkable condition (rated 9 out of 10) is expected to command $40,000-$60,000 at the Fall Peotone Petroliana & Automobilia Auction slated for Thursday and Friday, Oct. 17-18, by Matthews Auctions, LLC, based in Nokomis, Ill.
The two-day event will be held in Peotone, Ill., prior to the beginning of the Chicagoland Petroleum & Advertising Show held twice a year, always in Peotone. The action will kick off on Thursday evening, Oct. 17, at 6 p.m. (CST), with 200 lots of petroliana (gas station collectibles) and automobilia. Another 450 lots will cross the block on Friday, Oct. 18, starting at
The Beacon Ethyl Gasoline sign – measuring 48 inches by 30 inches and boasting great gloss and color – is similar to one Matthews Auctions sold at the Peotone auction this past spring (Feb. 28-Mar. 1). The one in this sale, though, is seen as a superior example. It is the expected top lot of the auction, although other pieces in the sale carry pre-sale estimates nearly as high.
One is an exceedingly rare Rickenbacker Authorized Flat Rate Service double-sided porcelain sign (est. 25,000-$35,000). The sign says, “A car worthy of its name,” a reference to the auto maker’s famous founder, Eddie Rickenbacker, the highly decorated World War I flying ace. The sign, rated a high 9+, shows the firm’s iconic logo and measures 16 inches by 30 inches.
Another is a scarce double-sided porcelain die-cut sign for Rand McNally Official Hotel, with a graphic of a Native American drawing on a wall (est. $25,000-$30,000). The sign, rated 9, measures 17 inches by 14 inches and features super gloss and color, with just a few chips at the top edge. It is the most common of the five types produced, and was probably made in the 1920s.
Vying for top lot honors will be a Clipper Gasoline double-sided porcelain sign, oval and vertical in shape and impressive at 60 inches by 30 inches (est. $30,000-$40,000). “This is one of the hardest petroliana signs to find,” said Dan Matthews of Matthews Auctions. “I know of only two that sold privately in the past five years and they were in the same condition or maybe less.”
A Wyeth Tires single-sided porcelain curved shield-shaped sign, rated near-mint at 9+ and showing a whimsical graphic of a boy in early driving gear sitting in a stack of tires, has a pre-sale estimate of $20,000-$25,000. The 22 inch by 18 inch sign is marked “Wyeth Hdwe. & Mfg. Co., St. Joseph, Mo.” and “Burdick Consumer Building, Chicago and Beaver Falls, Pa.”
A Mohawk Gasoline single-sided tombstone-shaped neon sign mounted on a can, rated 9, 52 inches by 44 inches and with a graphic of an Indian with a single feather, with the can new and the neon in working condition, should make $20,000-$30,000; and an Oilzum Motor Oils (“The Cream of Pure Pennsylvania Oil”) double-sided porcelain sign with logo, rated 9 and 8.75, 24 inches in diameter, with both sides showing nice gloss and color, should hit $15,000-$20,000.
Another lot deserving special mention is an original Auburn Sales and Service porcelain flange sign, rated 9.5, 15 inches by 22 inches and with excellent gloss and color (est. $10,000-$15,000). “This is an authentic Auburn flange sign,” Dan Matthews said. “Most of the Auburn signs you see are flat, single-sided reproduction signs. But this one is guaranteed the real deal.”
Certain to attract keen bidder interest is a set of five Weed (tire) Chains signs and displays, to be sold in single lots (est. $3,500-$4,500 each). One is tin with a wood back and shows the price of gasoline for that day (19 cents!), one proclaims “Chains are as necessary as gasoline!” and one shows early auto graphics on a cardboard display with the words “Bar None.”
A half-dozen highly collectible neon signs have pre-sale estimates of $10,000-$25,000 each. They include a Mother Penn Motor Oil single-sided porcelain sign with logo, mounted on a can and rated 9; a Chevrolet Service single-sided porcelain sign, also mounted on a can, rated 9; and a Buick Authorized Service single-sided porcelain sign, mounted on a can and also rated 9.
From the same group of neon signs: a United Motor Service single-sided porcelain oval sign with touring car silhouette, rated 8.9 and measuring 21 inches by 36 inches; a Packard Approved Service single-sided porcelain sign mounted on a can, 60 inches in diameter, rated 9; and a Pegasus (Mobil) single-sided porcelain sign, 29 inches by 36 inches and rated well at 9.
Five double-sided porcelain bus station signs, made circa 1920s-1950s, are expected to hit $7,500-$15,000 each. They are for the Peerless Stages Bus Depot, the Pickwick Greyhound Lines Ticket Office, the Greyhound Lines Ticket Office, the Pacific Greyhound Lines Depot and the Eastern Massachusetts Street Railway Company. All feature great early bus station graphics.
Seven mid-20th century Allen-Morrison Company single-sided tin signs that were prototypes never brought into production carry pre-sale estimates of $1,500-$3,500 each. They are for Texaco Airplane Oil, Gulf Supreme Motor Oil, Marathon Penn Motor Oil (two), Wolf’s Head Pennsylvania Water White Empire Kerosene, Cities Service Motor Oil and New Mobilgas.
Quart oil cans – some filled with oil and some not – should command $500-$1,200 each. Brands include Polly Penn and Polly Premium, Power-Lube, Tiopet, Vanderbilt, Silent Chief, Red Hat, Big Chief, Gilmore Golden Lion, Fleetwood, Husky, Airman, McCoy’s Pride and Sta-Lube Racing. In all there are 17 of these oil quarts. All 17 will be snapped up by eager collectors.
The venue for the auction (same as for the Chicagoland show) is located off exit 327 of Interstate 57. After leaving the interstate, follow the signs east. If you cross the railroad tracks, you’ve gone too far. The address is 710 West Street in Peotone. For GPS, the zip code is 60468.
For those unable to attend in person, Internet bidding will be provided by Proxibid.com. Phone and absentee bids will also be accepted. Previews will be held on auction days (Oct. 17, from 2-6 p.m. and Oct. 18 from 9:30-11:30 a.m. Refreshments will be served on auction days.
Dan Matthews has written a book about petroliana, titled The Fine Art of Collecting and Displaying Petroliana. For more information on how to order a copy, log on to the Matthews Auctions website, at www.matthewsauctions.com. Or, order a copy by calling 1-877-968-8880.
Matthews Auctions, LLC, is always accepting quality consignments for future auctions. To consign a single item or a collection, you may call them at (217) 563-8880; or, you can send an e-mail to email@example.com
. For more information about Matthews Auctions and the upcoming Oct.. 17-18 auction in Peotone, Ill., please log on to www.matthewsauctions.com.