Advertising and soda pop event combines auction and Ohio Gas Expo

Rich Penn Auctions is offering hundreds of vintage neon clocks, lights and motion advertising signs from the Wayne and Shirley Woodrum collection, plus a huge variety of rare antique country store items, soda pop, automotive, gasoline, hardware, clothing, ice cream, barbershop and related advertising pieces, in a three day auction event May 5-7, 2011. The auction is in conjunction with the Ohio Gas Expo at the Dayton Airport Expo Center in Vandalia (Dayton), Ohio. The auction will start on Thursday May, 5th while the show opens Friday May 6.  Both the auction and the show will conclude on Saturday the 7th.

Every important advertising collector category

The Woodrum collection of neon signs, clocks, motion signs, display pieces and advertising signs in tin, paper, cardboard and porcelain, covers every important advertising collector category. It’s  thought to be the best collection like it in America and perhaps the world. Collectors will be offered a huge variety of rare country store items, soda pop, automotive, gasoline, hardware, clothing, ice cream, barbershop and related advertising pieces.

“Never in my lifetime have I seen a collection like this sell at auction and collectors may never again see a collection like this selling in it’s entirety,” auctioneer Rich Penn said. “This auction is a true once-in-a-lifetime buying opportunity.”

An auction PLUS show

The auction, scheduled to overlap the well known Ohio Gas Expo, should make that weekend a rare  and incredible opportunity for both collectors and dealers.  The 100,000 sq. ft expo facility provides ample space for both dealers and auction goers.  The auction will be set up adjacent to the show in a 30,000 sq. ft portion of the facility.  Collectors will be able to walk back and forth between the show and the auction.

With 1,500 lots to sell, the sessions are as follows:

Preview is from 8 a.m. until auction starts on May 5 and from 8 a.m. until auction start on May 6 and May 7.

Session 1 starts at 10 a.m. May 5 and ends after the first 525 lots are sold.
Session 2 begins at 9 a.m. May 6 and will cover 600 lots.
Session 3 starts at 9 a.m. May 7 with the remaining 375 lots sold.

“Tons of Great Pieces”

Lifelong collectors, the Woodrums own and operate Wayne’s Neon Clocks.  They will still be in the business of manufacturing and marketing many of the impossible to find parts to restore old neon signs and light up clocks. So when they found a clock or a sign that needed something, they either had it or could have it made. But Wayne preferred old and original. He only restored pieces when there was no other alternative.  Most of this collection is old and original and all the pieces are working. “This auction is going to be a real blast!” Penn said. “There are tons of great pieces, more room to display things than we’ve ever had and it’s a part of a great Gas & Oil show.  Everyone should have a great time.” He went on to say, “The Woodrums have decided it’s time to take life a little easier and they want to spend more of their time at their other home in Florida.  We’re honored that they asked us to do this auction. Collectors will find many pieces they may never have a chance to buy again. Wayne had a great eye and when he saw something good…he bought it.”

Hundreds of advertising clocks – neon and otherwise

Among the classics that will be offered are most of the known versions of Cleveland neon clocks, including all the versions for Coca-Cola and Pepsi-Cola.  There are dozens of other light up clocks from every neon or light-up clock maker known, Neon Products, Ohio Advertising Display, Swihart, Lackner and others.  Among some of the rare are a Calendar Girl Cigarettes Cleveland clock,  two Neon Products Cadillac Sales and Cadillac Service clocks, a Coca-Cola Silouhette Girl motion clock, a Coca-Cola “Shaker” and many others from auto companies. Ford, Pontiac, Chevrolet, Willys-Knight, Hudson and Ag implement companies like John Deere, Oliver, Case, IH and McCormick, all used neon and light up clocks for dealer advertising.

Vintage neon clock collection

Neon isn’t just for clocks.  There will be many different kinds of neon signs.  Among the rare is a Greyhound motion neon sign, with the running greyhound.  A close second is a great c. 1920’s United Motors Service sign.  This large self framed tin outdoor sign is both rare and great looking.  Or…be dazzled by a wonderfully restored OK Used Cars sign and a classic 42”Dia Buick Dealer sign.  But great looking goes beyond signs.  Some of the most unusual neon pieces are the Lackner neon menu boards.  These all have a classic Art Deco look.  Used in many gasoline service stations and garages, they had letter channels to change the sales message.

There is definitely magic about neon signs.  And that magic was used in store displays for just about every kind of product; clothing, jewelry, watches, automotive, shoes, cosmetics, soda pop and drug store items.  Some of the hard to find signs are those for work clothes, like Headlight, Osh-Gosh, Lee, Sweet-Orr, Big Yank or Crown Overalls.  Collectors are sure to be drawn to those and many of the early Coca-Cola and Pepsi-Cola neon signs. Among the other classics are the porcelain diecut neons for Poll Parrot and Red Goose shoes.

Variety, Too

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The Woodrum collection goes well beyond just neon signs and clocks.  There’s a tremendous variety of porcelain signs, country store displays, barbershop pieces and other rare pieces of advertising.  Perhaps one of the rarest advertising pieces in the Woodrum collection is the double-sided hanging sign for Victrolas. The sign, with raised and formed glass letters, coming through diecut metal,  sells  “Victrolas Discos Victor.”  It hung from a record store in Florida and it took the Woodrums twenty years to get it bought.
Another rare piece is the large c.1880 Hires Munimaker syrup dispenser, built especially for a hotel soda fountain.  The extra large dispenser accommodated four other flavors besides the root beer and dispensed the flavors from a tap system made by N.D. Robins-Shelbyville, IN.  And if you don’t have the soda fountain back bar to put the dispenser on, the Woodrums have a perfectly compatible one. Built by the Bishop & Babcock Company, in Cleveland, c.1880, it comes with the matching front bar and five stools. Soda fountain collectors will be able to choose from dozens of clocks, signs and related pieces that seldom come to auction.  One of the most charming light-up pieces is the very rare Ice Cream Cone figural light up display for Gem City-Dayton, O., It’s 12.5” H. and painted white milk glass with original paint and an original sticker reading “Patent Pending-Geo. F. Jones Co.-Jeannette, Penn.”

Rare salesman’s samples

Rare can come in many other forms too.  Perhaps the most rare form in the Woodrum collection is one of the salesman’s sample pieces. Selling on Friday is the salesman’s sample Cannonball safe ,  made by the Mosler Safe Co.-Hamilton, O.,  It’s a 16”H model of their “Manganese Steel Bank Safe”. With original silver paint, transfers & detailing, it comes in the original velvet-lined oak carrying case. The safe was given only to the top salesman. The Woodrums not only acquired the safe from the top salesman, they also bought his Mosler service recognition watch and ring.  That too will be offered.

From telling time, to telling the temperature, there are hundreds of ways to do both in the Woodrum collection.  In addition to dozens of rare clocks, there are also a number of rare thermometers.  One of the most desirable is the Taylor, 26” octagon in a black metal case and in excellent original condition.  Among the other great thermometers are a Mail Pouch Tobacco in the 73”H porcelain version.  There’s also one for Crosley Radio that’s reverse paint on glass in an 18” Dia. metal frame and a Quaker State Motor Oil reverse paint on glass, 21”H, also in a metal frame.

Barbershop memorabilia

The Woodrum collection also includes a superb group of barbershop related pieces: chairs, poles, coat racks, pedestals, sanitizers and even a back bar and shoeshine stand. This collection even offers an immaculatey restored, very rare, Westinghouse Electric Gyrating ceiling fan. These pieces and a beautifully restored Koken barber chair, with the round seat & back and upholstered in dark burgundy vinyl, would dress up any barbershop! Add with that a Koken mahogany coat rack with the light up stained glass “Barber Shop” globe, and a magnificent barber pole with another leaded glass globe, mfgd by Jas. Baker-Phila, PA, in the navy/red diamond pattern and you’ve got a world class barber shop!

Toys and more

For the toy and coin-operated machine collector, there are several very interesting and noteworthy pieces. One great example is a very scarce 32”H store display automaton of the wind-up Jazzbo-Jim toy. Made of composition, the Black Boy dances on the  roof of a colorful oversize tin litho house.  Even though this piece shows wear & soil, it’s in VG working condition.  For the collector that likes other pieces that come to life, there are a pair of Chesterfield Cigarette girl automatons. Likely made by the Mechanical Man Company, the pair of 53”H girls turn and twirl their batons. All those and more, will be selling on Friday.

There are also several unusual coin-operated pieces offered in the Friday session. Juke box collectors are always attracted to the smaller counter models.  A Wurlitzer model #61, in nice original condition will be selling on Friday. So will a very rare coin-operated horse race game: the Latonia Derby-Saratoga Sweepstakes. In a  wood case with a glass dome, you can bet on one of 6 horses with an odds multiplier. In excellent original condition, it would make a great addition to any collection.  There are several slot machines, including a 1 cent Jennings Little duke with a side vender and a scarce 25 cent Burnham in good original condition.  There are also trade stimulators
and small venders, including a 10”H coin-operated collar button vendor, by D. Jacobs & Co.-Cinc.,  in cast iron with a glass cylinder. This c.1890 machine is in very good original condition.

Three strong sessions

Saturday’s session is shorter, 375 lots, but the offering will be as strong as Thursday and Friday.  From cast iron garden Gnomes to a nodding composition Weatherbird Shoe rooster, Saturday will be a day full of great pieces.  Many of the great clothing pieces sell on Saturday.  Among them are the Poll Parrot and Red Goose neons, the Red Goose and Weatherbird clocks and motion signs and the work clothes neon signs.  A number of country store display cases sell on Saturday as well. Also selling in the final session is an excellent original condition Studebaker child’s goat wagon.  The piece has great original paint and stenciling.

Multiple ways to bid

Porcelain signs, gas & oil pieces, neon clocks, light-up clocks, neon signs, country store pieces, coin-operated machines, salesman’s samples, barber shop pieces, toys and advertising smalls, the Woodrum collection has something for every collector.  According to Penn, “This collection does have something for just about every level of collector, across a wide area of collecting interests.  And we’ll make it easy for everyone to bid.”  He added, “We’ll offer live bidding on both ProxiBid and iCollector.  And…as always, we also welcome absentee and telephone bidding.”

For additional information contact Rich Penn Auctions by email or 319-291-6688.

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