A wealth of rare antique signs, figures and other promotional items from the golden era of advertising is currently on display at Morphy’s Auctions April 20-21, 2012. The 1,260-lot sale incorporates an array of signage, with the centerpiece being the revered Coca-Cola advertising collection of the late Michael Narvaez. Also featured are Moxie items from the Dick Shay collection, as well as other soda pop lots.
The April 20 session begins with a collection of 120 occupational shaving mugs. Top lots include mugs with depictions of a steam pump, horse-drawn delivery wagon and an open-air truck.
More than 80 figural cast-iron doorstops, doorknockers, bookends and other novelties will follow. Among the most coveted doorstops are a standing frog, standing honey bear and rabbit. Other standouts in the group include a cast-iron Nichols doorknocker ($700-$1,000) and two carnival targets – a paratrooper ($2,000-$3,000) and a mechanical owl ($3,000-$5,000).
Highlights among the 170 lots of general store and mixed advertising include a near-pristine Skinner’s Satin (Holyoke, Mass.) oval sign with the image of an Indian in a full headdress ($8,000-$12,000).
An embossed tin Sweet Orr Overalls sign is in Near-Mint condition ($6,000-$9,000), while an extremely rare 1905 Beeman’s Pepsin Gum wood-framed tin sign came directly from the Beeman’s factory ($8,000-$12,000). One of 30 Mr. Peanut items offered, a 3-1/2-foot-tall figural Hamilton scale in original condition, is estimated at $7,000 to $12,000.
Tobacco-related advertising lots include a circa-1880s Pride of Durham Smoking Tobacco tin [Wells & Hope Co.] with a lion motif ($3,000-$6,000) and a circa-1910 Stein Club Havana Cigars sign in Excellent condition with strong colors. “We’ve estimated the Stein Club sign at $4,000 to $8,000, but it wouldn’t surprise me if it went higher,” said Morphy’s CEO Dan Morphy.
The April 21 session will focus on 400 lots of Coca-Cola advertisements, ephemera and other rare and desirable Coke items from the collection of the late Michael Narvaez, who had a passion for collecting that blossomed after his retirement from the Coca-Cola Co. in 1979. Their collection included festoons, lighted signs, clocks, posters and calendars.
One of the top pieces in the Narvaez collection is a matted and framed 1898 calendar, one of very few known, featuring a beauty of the day and estimated at $20,000 to $30,000; more than 60 Coke calendars are featured in the sale.
An incredible two-piece window display from 1937 stands 4 feet tall and depicts a revolving door with a trompe-l’oeil view inside a restaurant and soda fountain. Advertising “The Pleasantest Place in Town,” the colorful slice of nostalgia carries an estimate of $15,000 to $20,000.
The remainder of the session is devoted to Moxie items from the collection of Dick Shay, who spent many years scouring the United States for the rarest and best pieces available. An elusive Moxie tip tray from the early 1900s is estimated at $1,400 to $1,800.
Auction sessions will commence at 10 a.m. EST on April 20-21. All forms of bidding will be available, including live via the Internet through Morphy Live or LiveAuctioneers.com. For additional information, contact 717-335-3435 or firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.morphyauctions.com.