Rich Penn promises treats at Halloween auction

WATERLOO, Iowa – Halloween brings out the kid spirit in all of us, and sweet surprises and goodies are the expectation. The Rich Penn fall auction in Des Moines, Iowa, offers all of that and much more. The 1,150 plus lot auction will be held at the Iowa State Fairgrounds. Previews are on Oct. 30 from 2-6 p.m. with the two auction sessions beginning at 9 a.m. on both Oct. 31 and Nov. 1.

“This year our fall auction has hit on Halloween weekend, so we expect to have some fun with that,” says Rich Penn. “I bet we’ll have some special surprise treats in store for our attendees with all kinds of Goodies and even a few Golliwogs,” he added!

According to Penn, as always, the auction offers all lots without reserve. Advertising, Black Americana, country store, soda fountain, salesman’s samples, toys, barber shop, juke boxes, pinball, arcade, vending, slot machines and trade stimulators, there are many choices. “This auction has a large selection of unusual items in many categories,” Penn says. “We have several hundred lots of advertising, a huge selection of old store stock, a variety of country store cabinets and displays, coin operated machines, and a great collection of toy and game related pieces. We even have pool tables. There should be an ample selection of sweet things that can put big smiles on the faces of even the most discriminating collectors.”

“Advertising and country store collectors will be amazed with the variety.” Penn said, “This fall’s auction will have more great advertising than we’ve sold in many years. We’re going to have a real challenge in finding space to hang it all, like the 13-foot high clothing store display for a pair of Lee overalls!” The advertising includes a collection of Maxfield Parrish and a number of great agricultural lithos for Deering and J. I. Case. Collectors that like green will enjoy some very early John Deere pocket ledgers and early trade cards. Saturday’s session also includes a number of DeLaval calendars and signs. Among them is a rare large size 1925 DeLaval dealer calendar, in excellent condition. There’s even a Gleaner Combine two color neon sign that was never out of its original shipping crate.

For the collectors of lithography on tin, there are great whiskey signs. The Golden Link Whiskey “Worth Asking For” framed charger shows a beautiful woman ready to taste a sample. The Kamp’s Rye self framed sign shows two hunters at camp toasting “The Sportsman’s Choice.” Both would be strong additions to any collection of saloon advertising.

The Sunday session offers some tremendous Coca-Cola calendars, signs and clocks, including an excellent original condition neon 1940s “Silhouette Girl.”

Advertising for many other soda brands is in the Sunday session too. “The collectors of Black Americana will have much more than signs to select from.” Says Penn, “There’s a great collection of smaller dimensional items including Golliwoggle pieces and an excellent original Marx Amos & Andy Fresh Air Taxi. But one of the most interesting advertising pieces I haven’t seen before is a salesman’s sample kit for painted tin signs. The kit is canvas and rolls up. It shows a set of seven Black character mileage signs. A merchant could order them printed on tin, with mileage to his business. It’s a rare and wonderful piece.” Salesman’s samples go beyond the sign set to include agricultural pieces and miniature stoves.

According to Penn, this auction includes more vending and coin-operated machines than they’ve ever sold in one auction. The selection includes slot machines, trade stimulators, floor and wall mounted candy machines and a large selection of counter peanut, candy and gum vendors. Many lots include several different “as found” machines, making this an opportunity for those who like to refurbish old vending machines.

For collectors who like playing arcade machines, there are strength testers, target games, bowling machines, a love tester, cranes, bulldozers, even a rare coin-operated K-O Boxer. If you’re a baseball fan, there are several coin-operated baseball machines to take a swing at. For a quarter, one might let you hit a Home Run! Or, take a shot with an early one-cent basketball machine. With 20 shots for a penny, you might be an undiscovered NBA All Star!

If your interests are for games of chance, among the slot machines is a rare and beautifully restored Mills baseball slot from the late 1920s. There are several other classic 1920s and ‘30s slot machines. Many, like the 5-cent Mills War Eagle, are in great original working condition.

Today’s younger collectors enjoy playing electronic toys in the game room. For that group there are at least a dozen pinball machines from the 1950s up to the 1970s. Those include Bally’s Eight Ball with The Fonz and Captain Fantastic among others. If you enjoy music while you flip at the silver ball, there are several jukeboxes, including a beautiful 1947 Wurlitzer 1015 and even a small counter model Williams Music Mite.

But the music selection goes well beyond jukeboxes and includes a number of rare roller organs, music boxes, phonographs and disk players. One of the most beautiful sounding would certainly be the coin-operated double comb Regina.

And if you’re a music lover, how about Rock ’n’ Roll music? For true Rock ’n’ Roll fans, what’s better than having the opportunity to bid on four classic Beatles half sheet movie posters: Yellow Submarine, A Hard Days Night, Let it Be and Help? All are originals from the 1960s and ready to hang in your game room.

The toys include a large collection of farm toys, from the 1940s up to and including a variety of today’s collector toys. Collectors will appreciate that many of those lots will be sold with several great pieces in a lot. Along with those farm toys are children’s typewriters, record players and pressed steel toys from Buddy L, Keystone and others.

For animal lovers, there’s a ferocious looking circa 1900 French bulldog growler. He has glass eyes, moves on rollers and when his chain is pulled he growls. One of the more unusual toys is a child’s wooden and metal riding pedal airplane, circa 1940. In excellent original condition, it apparently was flown very little! According to Penn, there should be close to a hundred lots of toys covering several hundred different toys in the auction.

Other great pieces include several carousel animals. One of the most striking is a carved wooden Parker jumper horse with glass eyes. This expertly restored horse figure, circa 1915 comes with its authentic metal horseshoes. Carved horses come in more modest versions as well. One example is found on a superb Emil Paider child’s barber chair. It comes with the original carved wooden horse head. Two other Koken barber chairs are also offered. After you coordinate the haircut, you might like to shoot a game of billiards. If so, there are two early 20th century billiard tables. One is a “National Billiards” table with ivory inlay. Both are expertly restored and ready for play.

Penn says, “This auction should give every collector a great opportunity to fill their collector bag with a huge variety of Halloween treats! And we’ll do our best to see that everyone goes home with a bag filled to the brim.” With almost 1,200 lots, there should be something for everyone.

Preview for the auction is from 2-6 p.m. Oct. 30. Saturday and Sunday sessions begin at 9 a.m., with preview at 8 a.m. until auction start. Penn’s staff is glad to accommodate absentee and telephone bidding. According to Penn, in order to provide their online followers the best mix of bidding choices in the industry, the auction will be broadcast live online through three different live bidding platforms: ProxiBid, iCollector and RemoteBidder. Streaming video can also be accessed from Penn’s Web site,

Full color catalogs are available. To order one or to get a complimentary flyer, call 319-291-6688. Penn is a member of both the National Auctioneers Association and The Iowa Auctioneers Association.

Photos courtesy Rich Penn Auctions.