John Deere elk trade sign heads up two-day country store antique auction

VIRDAN, Ill. – More than two semi trailer loads of country store collectibles and antiques will sell during a live, on-site-only auction Oct. 28-29 in Virdan, Ill., at the Mansion 55 Expo. H.A.S. Auction of Virdan, Ill., is officiating the sale, which will begin at 2 p.m. Oct. 28; and 10 a.m. Oct. 29. There will be no live Internet bidding; however, left bids are accepted with approved credit.

Collections up for sale include 50 spool cabinets, 25 dye cabinets, 15 syrup dispensers, 25 rare sewing machines, 20 wagons and pedal cars, more than 50 coin op machines including Mutoscope and slot machines. The sale is also offering jukeboxes, arcade machines, gum ball machines, several salesman’s samples and music boxes.

John Deere Elk Trade Sign

Only 20 of these John Deere trade signs were commissioned from 1853-1856. Photo courtesy H.A.S. Auction, Virdan, Ill.

More than 100 advertising signs include names such as Mountain Dew, DeLaval, Dockash, Pioneer, Sealtest, Coca-Cola, Gulf Motor Fuel, Columbia, Harley-Davidson, Singer, Caterpillar, Evinrude, Firestone, McCormick, MobilGas, Red Man and many more.

Of special note is a John Deere trade sign that was commissioned in 1853-1856 for the John Deere Company by Charles Deere, the son of John Deere and the President of Deere & Company. This life size Elk is made of copper and zinc. It is in its original surface with old paint and real Elk horns only 20 of these Elk ever commissioned for the Deere & Company by the W.H. Mullins Company in Salem, Ohio.

The barber shop collectible category includes barber poles, barber chairs (including children’s chairs with figural heads), a barber back bar and cash registers.

Auctioneer Bill Houchens of Houchens Auction Service plans on selling more than 400 lots Friday night, with the remainder selling on Saturday; the Saturday portion of the antique auction will include more than 750 lots in 12 hours.

For more information, contact Houchens Auction Service at 217-414-6634, or auction coordinator David Stark at 217-416-3630, or visit

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