DES MOINES, Iowa – From an 8.2 carat diamond ring to a perfectly restored and glistening 1956 Packard, the Rich Penn Auction will have sparkling jewels in many collector categories. Held at the Iowa State Fairgrounds Nov. 4-6, 2011. The three-day auction event will include 1,500 lots, all without reserve.
“This is one of the strongest and most diverse auctions we’ve had in several years,” Penn said. The sale features the estate of the late Arthur Nelson of Des Moines and the automotive collection of Bob Evans, from Clinton, Iowa. “Evans loved planes, trains and automobiles and there’s something wonderful in each of these areas,” Penn said. That theme is reflected on all sides of his immaculately restored Mosler “Cannonball” safe.
Evans cherished that safe and kept it in the center of his showroom. Among Evans’ favorite collector cars is a rare 1956 Packard 400 2-door hardtop and a 1955 Chevy Bel Air two-door hardtop. Evans was meticulous with his restorations and many would say they are about as close to 100 point restorations as you can get. In addition to the Evans’ cars there’s a 1962 Chevy Bel Air station wagon. That car, with a frame off restoration, is a classic “Bad Boy’s street machine.” With a 340 HP 350 CI engine, it’s perfect for making that quick snack trip to the local market.
Along with the cars comes a nice selection of other petroliana items. There are signs in tin & porcelain, gas globes, a rare cast iron White Eagle gasoline figure, a 96” wide Mobil porcelain Pegasus, lubesters and a number of restored visible gas pumps, including a Wayne slider with an immaculate Bob Evans restoration.
If you like “rolling stock,” it comes in the smaller variety too. Penn says, “This auction offers more pedal cars & tractors, toy cars, trucks and tractors than we’ve ever had in one auction before.” With well over a hundred vehicles in cast iron, pressed steel and tin wind-ups, there will definitely need to be traffic management during the toy session. Among them are all the great names, Buddy L, Steelcraft, Sonny, Wyandotte, Arcade, Kenton, Kilgore and others. Among some of the many unusual pieces are the Buddy L concrete mixer and a Buddy L hoisting tower, both beautifully restored, a Smith-Miller Coca-Cola truck in NM cond, a Steelcraft Army truck, a Keystone water pump fire truck, several Cor-Cor Graham sedans and an original condition Steelcraft Graf Zeppelin. In all there are nearly 100 pressed steel toys. Most are in excellent restored condition.
Cast iron toys and mechanical banks offer highlights as well. Among them would be an excellent original condition Weeden live steam fire pumper. Other CI toys include Arcade Deering threshers, Kenton Buckeye Ditcher, Bing #1 gauge locomotive with tender & three cars, an Arcade Caterpillar crawler and a variety of mechanical banks, including Boy on Trapeze, Jonah and the Whale, Professor Pug Frog, the Dentist and many more. The toys come in tin as well. Tin wind-ups include a 1922 Nifty Toys Toonerville Trolley w/box, Buck Rogers, Flash Gordon and Tom Corbett wind-up rockets, Amos & Andy Fresh Air Taxi, two versions of Jazzbo Jim and many more. There’s even a very rare Black Buddy Lee doll.
Any attendee at a Rich Penn Auction can expect a nice variety of Country Store and advertising items. This auction will be no exception. With spool cabinets, dye cabinets, shot cabinets and other displays, there’s plenty to decorate your country store shelves.
If you collect smalls, there’s a huge variety of tobacco, coffee, other tins, tip trays and match safes. If you need display cases to show your collection, there are double tower and single tower steeple display cases. And if you want the drug store motif, there’s a nice original smaller size soda fountain front & back bar with the complete fountain. Other drug store items will also be in abundance. Included are stacking show globes and show jars, ice cream dippers and unusual candy jars. The largest of the candy jars is a 27-inch Dakota cylinder. Or, if you want the barber shop, there’s a child’s Koch porcelain barber chair with a horsehead seat. Even the rare hand-powered and hand-held fan used by barbers to blow hair from customers, Pat’d June 6, 1911, still works great.
Signs come in a wide variety of sizes and types, including 50+ neon signs. Stove collectors, especially, will love the color of the Celebrated Dubuque Stove litho broadside. The Hartford Insurance Co. produced a very high relief sign in horse hair plaster, marked “Patent Relief Sign, J. Schwartz & Co. NY.” It’s in excellent condition. Tool collectors will have a chance to own a rare Stanley Tools flange sign in superb condition. Dairy related collectors have likely never seen the cast aluminum dimensional sign for Nature’s Best Milk, South St. Louis. But one of the most unusual advertising pieces is an extremely rare oversize display granite coffee pot, marked “Granite Iron Ware” Pat. May 30 ‘76. Granite collectors will love this piece. Large size display pieces come with a sharp edge too. How about a display pocket knife, an incredible 26” long when the blades are extended? It’s marked New York Knife Co., Walden, (NY). And the over-size Sheaffer Fountain Pen display piece could be used to write your over-size check for auction purchases.
Salesman’s samples will provide added interest too. One of the more unusual pieces is a working auto repair shop lift made by the Joyce Hydraulic Auto Lift Co. Shown with one of the restored Cor-Cor Graham sedans, the lift actually is tripped to go up and down using the scale model control tower. That same auto repair shop may have had a cooler to hold Power House candy bars. This rare salesman’s sample, with embossed panels, is in near mint condition. Rounding out the implements for the repair shop would be the salesman’s sample two wheel freight cart. Made of oak and iron, it looks like it would be usable for moving small but very heavy loads. There are also several salesman’s sample stoves, including a Buck’s Jr. #4, a Great Majestic Jr, a Charter Oak and others.
Expected to take top-lot honors, an 8.2 carat diamond ring, according to Penn, “is a “sparkler!” It’s a massive stone in an 18 karat gold men’s setting, color graded K-L and with SI one clarity.
For more information, visit Rich Penn Auctions.
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