Vintage tin Richlube Motor Oil advertising sign soars to $7,425

PEOTONE, Ill. – An exceptionally clean Richlube Motor Oil double-sided porcelain sign (“100% Pure Pennsylvania”) soared to $7,425 at the Spring Petroliana & Advertising Auction held March 4 by Matthews Auctions, LLC. The sale was conducted the day before the popular Chicagoland Petroliana & Advertising Show, held each spring and fall in Peotone.

The Richlube sign, consigned by a collector in upstate New York, featured a small race car graphic and was graded 9 out of 10 on the front for overall condition, and 8.9 on the reverse side. The sign boasted super gloss and color, the only flaws being some minor crazing in the center, and small chips in the outer field and around the mounting holes. Otherwise, it was mint.

The sign was the top achiever of the more than 475 lots that changed hands. Online bidding was facilitated by and About half of the lots sold to the room, while 48 percent went to online bidders, and one percent each sold to telephone and absentee bidders.

The auction was packed with much petroliana and automobilia, to include signs, globes and oil bottles from the Ron Throckmorton collection, a great collection of Coca-Cola and soda-related items (like signs, thermometers and trays), country store items and more. Following are additional highlights from the auction. All prices quoted include a 10 percent buyer’s premium.

The second top lot was a United Motors Authorized Service double-sided porcelain die-cut sign (“With Delco-Remy and Klaxon”). Rated 8.9 on both sides and measuring 17 inches by 18 inches, the sign brought $5,225. Also, a hard-to-find “Ford Benzol For All Motor Cars Authorized Distributor” double-sided porcelain sign, professionally restored, garnered $4,400.

A D-X 3-D identification porcelain sign, rated 9 with great gloss and color and measuring 40 inches by 78 inches, realized $3,300. Also, a “Standard” Motor Gasoline Polarine Oil double-sided porcelain sign (for Standard Oil of New Jersey), 30 inches tall and both sides rated 8.5 with fine gloss and color, coasted to $3,190.

A pair of Texaco stained-leaded glass lenses in a metal body, with the distinctive Texaco “star” logo, fetched $3,080. The 14-inch display lens was rated 9, while the reverse lens was rated 7.5. The globe was in need of cleaning. Also, an Oak Motor Oil double-sided porcelain curb sign with base, having tree graphics and standing 20 inches tall, rated 8, went for $2,310.

A Mobo Auto Body Polish (“The Lustre Lasts”) cardboard stand-up (circa 1925-1935), with a graphic of a man polishing an early sedan and measuring 40 inches by 20 inches, rated 8+ with great color, earned $2,640; and a Winchester double-sided tin sign with a Western graphic of a cowboy on horseback holding a 30-30 rifle, 38 inches tall and both sides rated 9, hit $2,200.

Two Trackage “Tank Car to Your Car” 13.5-inch lenses on a wide glass globe body, with rail tank car logo, the display lens rated 7.5 and the reverse lens rated 6.75, demanded $2,475, while a Shell Gasoline porcelain die-cut sign with red background, measuring 12 inches by 12 inches, with good gloss and color and marked “Made in the USA” at the bottom, brought $1,870.

An original Phillips 66 “Tires Batteries” double bubble clock with orange and black logo, 15 inches tall and rated 9, in good working condition, went to a determined bidder for $1,595, and a Coca-Cola “Take Home a Carton of Big Size Six-Pack” single-sided tin sign, with a fish-tail logo, measuring 28 inches by 20 inches, rated 9, marked “Robertson 1958,” rose to $1,045.

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