PEOTONE, Ill. – A dazzling cardboard diorama, advertising Mayo-Skinner Automatic Windshield Cleaner and graded 8.5 on a 1-10 scale for condition, sold for $5,060 at a Fall Peotone Petroliana & Advertising Auction held Oct. 16 by Matthews Auctions, LLC, of Nokomis, Ill. The auction was held the day before the start of the annual Fall Chicagoland Advertising Show in Peotone.
“The diorama was just a great piece with great graphics, in all-around good condition,” said Dan Matthews of Matthews Auctions, LLC. “It also showed that cardboard advertising signs can command high dollar prices at auction right along with gas globes, lenses, porcelain signs and more glamorous items.” The diorama, measuring 27 inches by 32 inches by 12 inches, had minor damage at the edges.
About 440 lots changed hands at the sale, which grossed a little more than $250,000. Approximately 125 people attended the event in person, while about that many bidders participated online, via Proxibid. An additional 25 to 30 people bid by phone, while more than 20 bidders submitted fax and left bids. “We were very happy to take the online bids, but there’s nothing like selling to the room and by phone,” Matthews said.
“The auction did about as well as we expected,” Mr. Matthews continued, “but how we got there wasn’t what we expected. Some of the lots we figured would bring top dollar ended up selling flat, while other items we didn’t think would do too well sold for way more than their high estimate. It made for an interesting day. And the good news is, people came to spend their money. Bidding was very spirited.”
Following are additional highlights from the sale. All prices quoted include a 10 percent buyer’s premium.
The top lot of the sale was a Marine Gasoline 15-inch single lens in metal globe body, with speed boat graphic and graded 8.9 for condition. It soared to $10,450. Also, a Hancock “Cock ‘o the Walk” 15-inch single lens in metal globe body, with rooster graphic and graded 8.9, brought $7,979; and an Oldsmobile Service 42-inch double-sided porcelain sign with crest logo and great gloss hit $5,170.
A Conoco Gasoline 26-inch double-sided porcelain sign with soldier graphic, graded 8.5, garnered $5,500; a Paragon Gasoline 25-inch double-sided porcelain sign with truck, derrick and refinery scene, both sides graded 7.5, with pole and generic base, changed hands for $6,600; and a (Red Indian) Gasoline Motor Oil single-sided 60-inch porcelain sign reached $5,500.
A Buick Valve-in-Head Authorized Service double-sided 42-inch porcelain sign, marked Walker & Co. (Detroit) breezed to $4,400; an updated Refiners Gasoline Motor Oil double-sided porcelain sign, 36-inch (not 42-inch), graded 9.5, attained $3,300; and a Studebaker Authorized Service double-sided porcelain sign, 42-inch, both sides grade 9, hammered for $3,025.
A Wesco 48-inch single-sided porcelain sign with big “W” and jet logo, graded 8.9, fetched $4,125; Liberty Gasoline 15-inch lenses in original metal globe body with original “GILLCO” sticker, the body lenses rated 9, went to a determined bidder for $2,640; and a White Eagle Full Feather milk glass one-piece cast globe, graded a near-perfect 9.5, made a respectable $2,200.
An 18-inch by 21-inch McColl-Frontenac (Red Indian) Products single-sided die-cut porcelain sign, graded 9 and marked P&M (1946) crossed the block at $3,740; a Weed Chains “As Necessary As Gasoline” single-sided tin price board sign, 24 inches by 17 inches and graded 8.9, rose to $3,575; and a Wings Ethyl Gasoline porcelain point-of-purchase sign, 6 inches by 7 inches and graded 9, hit $2,970.
A Texaco Gasoline Motor Oil 42-inch double-sided porcelain sign with black “T” and both sides graded 9.5, with hanging ring, coasted to $5,225; a Dodge-Plymouth “Dependable Service With Dodge Trucks” double-sided porcelain die-cut sign, 48 inches by 48 inches, both sides graded 9, reached $4,620; and a Waverly Motor Oil double-sided porcelain die-cut curb sign hit $3,300.
A Mobil (Flame Socony) Vacuum Bottle Gas double-sided porcelain sign with iconic Pegasus horse bracket (sign 17 inches by 30 inches, Pegasus 32 inches by 25 inches) sold as one lot for $2,750; Frontier Gas “Rarin’ to Go!” 13 1/2-inch display lenses on a glass globe body, graded 8.5, commanded $2,750; and a Texaco metal globe, dated 1938, both sides graded 9 and with clean fields, made $1,705.
A Hupmobile 8 & 6 double-sided porcelain sign, 24 inches by 35 inches, graded 7.5 on display side and 6.75 on reverse side, went for $2,090; a Standard-Vacuum Oil Co. Kerosene Oil porcelain flange sign with elephant graphic and Arabic lettering, 18 inches by 25 inches, graded 8.5, realized $1,760; and an updated, medium detail White Eagle milk glass one-piece cast globe, graded 9.5, made $1,430.
A Johnson Gasoline Motor Oil double-sided porcelain sign, 48-inches, graded 9 (display) and 8.9 (reverse), with chrome hanging ring, achieved $2,750; a Rolling Ridge Polled Herefords (Paul Greening, Owner) double-sided porcelain sign, 48 inches by 60 inches, both sides graded 9+, sold for $1,100; and a Texaco Motor Oil “Free Crankcase Service” single-sided porcelain sign, 30 by 30 inches, rose to $880.
Matthews Auctions, LLC’s next big auction is slated for Nov. 7, in Wisconsin Rapids, Wis. The sale will feature gas pumps, signs, globes and more. Two rings may be required. Then, on Nov. 13-15, the firm will conduct a Toys and Antiques Auction. The month concludes with a Toys Auction slated for Nov. 21 in Redlands, Calif.
Matthews Auctions, LLC, is always accepting quality consignments for future sales (to include the upcoming November dates). To consign an item, estate or collection, you may call them directly, at 217-563-8880 or 217-259-7059. Or, you can e-mail them, at email@example.com. To learn more about the firm and its calendar of upcoming auction dates, visit www.MatthewsAuctions.com.
Photos courtesy Matthews Auctions, LLC.
MORE RESOURCES FOR ANTIQUES ENTHUSIASTS
*Great Books, CDs, Price Guides & More
*Share YOUR Thoughts in the Antique Trader Forums
*Check out our FREE Online Classified Ads
*Sign up for your FREE AntiqueTrader.com e-mail newsletter
*Visit the Antique Trader blog for the latest news and views from the Antique Trader editors