DENVER, Pa. – Morphy’s 700-lot March 30 Advertising & General Store Antiques Auction brings together hundreds of colorful antique amusements, including a collection of rare, primarily 19th-century safes. Many popular genres of advertising are represented, including tobacco, alcoholic beverages, Coca-Cola and other soft drinks.
The sale will open with 125 lots of occupational shaving mugs. One of the top lots depicts a man walking up the steps of a lighthouse and is estimated at $3,000-$5,000. Another choice mug, dated 1927, is known as “First Flight.” As the name implies, its graphics are of a man piloting a primitive Wright Bros.-style biplane over the countryside ($5,000-$10,000).
Immediately following the mugs, Morphy’s will present the Guy Zani Jr. collection of more than 80 antique safes, including salesman’s samples, mini cannonballs, Hobnails, money chests, safes in wood cabinets, small personal safes, brothel/boudoir and pedestaled parlor safes. Several of the safes have never before been seen in public or offered at a public auction.
Zani’s collection includes two extraordinarily rare Hobnail safes – one full size, the other being a salesman’s sample. The Hobnail’s production era in the United States was from 1824 until about 1840. The Zani collection includes an example of the 1830 Rogers Hobnail Safe ($6,000-$8,000), predecessor to the first combination-lock safe ever made, and the oldest known salesman’s sample safe in existence: an 1826 hobnail safe attributed to Jesse Delano & Sons, New York ($10,000-$15,000).
The tobacco and cigar advertising section includes a premier collection of approximately one dozen figural Vestas (pocket-size match safes). Highlights include an Unger Bros. Indian chief ($800-$1,200), a woman golfer ($400-$600) and a Columbian Exposition Vesta with Uncle Sam image ($400-$600).
Pocket tin collectors will vie for an all-original Taxi Crimp Cut tin ($2,500-$4,500). The tobacco category’s top prize, however, is a Winchester hanging showcase containing a collection of 160-plus original tobacco tags, including Wild Turkey, Spot Cash and Red Meat ($3,000-$6,000). More than 200 lots of general advertising have been cataloged, led by an early 20th-century Gluek Brewing Co. Vitrolite sign ($3,000-$5,000) and a 1906 calendar advertising Peters Cartridge Co. ($3,500-$5,000).
Dan Morphy Auctions’ March 30, 2013, auction commences at 10 a.m. (EST). All forms of bidding will be available, including live via the Internet through Morphy Live or Artfact.com. For more information, contact 717-335-3435 or firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit www.morphyauctions.com.
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