Massive antique country store collection and firefighting memorabilia crossing the block April 1-3, 2011

ANN ARBOR, Mich. – Over 1,800 lots of investment-grade antiques and collectibles – to include country store and advertising items from the Earl Hagerman collection, many pieces from the Chesapeake Bay Fire Fighting Museum in Maryland, and over 100 rare and vintage toys – will be sold to the highest bidder the weekend of Apr. 1-3 by Showtime Auction Services.

The April 1 session will be an uncataloged, live audience-only sale, with around 500 lots in a variety of categories. The sesson on April 2 will be dedicated to country store and advertising, while April 3 will feature fire fighting memorabilia, antique toys and miscellaneous items. On April 3, a major pressed steel toy collection out of Kansas will cross the block, with over 100 lots expected to generate great bidder interest. Examples by Buddy L, Keystone, Sturdytoy and others will be featured. The auction will also feature barber shop, candy, gum, soda fountain, Old West, saloon, gambling, coin-ops, music, pedal cars, folk art, tobacciana, petroliana, fine art, automobilia, pottery, glassware and more.

“I’m extremely excited about this auction,” said Mike Eckles of Showtime Auction Services. “It will be the best country store and advertising sale we’ve ever held, thanks to the outstanding lifetime collection of Earl Hagerman out of California. The firefighting memorabilia from the museum in Maryland is just outstanding, and the rare, vintage toys are sure to do well.”

One lot in the sale is expected to bring $50,000-$100,000. It’s a Rock Island Railroad reverse glass sign, made circa 1880 by one of the artists hired by Rock Island to paint the lamp shades on the Pullman cars. The one-of-a-kind piece is in near-mint condition and has been in the same family for the past 100 years. The auction will feature 25 vintage reverse glass signs.

Also expected to get paddles wagging is a Brook’s Cigar Store figure from the 1880s, in excellent condition and with most of the original paint (est. $40,000-$60,000). A great companion lot is a Sunset Trail cigar tin, the very rare “25” version (est. $3,000-$5,000). Also sold will be a great child’s barber chair with hand-carved horse head (est. $2,500-$4,000).

The fire fighting memorabilia will feature a 1919 La France Chemical fire engine, in service from 1920-1936 and professionally restored to original condition (est. $35,000-$50,000); a T.J. Coolidge horse-drawn fire hose cart from the 1880s, fully restored (est. $15,000-$25,000); and an 1858 fireman’s stove pipe parade hat, leather with painted graphics (est. $3,000-$6,000).

Vintage toys will include an extremely rare 1930 American National Packard toy car (est. $7,500-$10,000); a mechanically intriguing and all-original Buddy L trench digger (est. $5,000-$10,000), one of over 50 Buddy L toys in the auction; and a circa 1920s Gendron pedal car in excellent all-original condition and with the original spare tire cover (est. $12,000-$20,000).

Tin advertising pieces will include a rare Chilled Plow embossed tin sign with incredible color and graphics (est. 10,000-$15,000); an Allen’s Red Tame Cherry die-cut sign with original easel wire (est. $20,000-$30,000); a Ferris Corset tin store display in near-mint condition (est. $20,000-$30,000); and a Log Cabin Coffee tin store bin with original chimney ($6,000-$10,000).

Other advertising signs will feature a Ford Service Department arrow neon sign, fully restored and in excellent working condition (est. $15,000-$25,000); a Winchester cardboard sign depicting bear dogs and housed in the rare original wood frame (est. $5,000-$10,000); and an Iver Johnson Revolver die-cut two-sided tin sign, in wonderful condition (est. $4,000-$6,000).

Lots dedicated to various potables include an oversize Old Prentice Whiskey back bar display bottle with reverse glass label (est. $12,000-$15,000); a leaded, stained glass window advertising Yosemite Lager Beer, very colorful and vibrant (est. 7,500-$12,000); and a Nu-Grape tin die-cut  flange sign (est. $1,000-$2,000), one of over 100 soda-related items in the auction.

Coin-ops will feature a fabulous Doraldina Fortune Teller coin-operated arcade machine with wax head, in excellent condition (est. $10,000-$20,000); and a compact Model L Seeburg Nickelodeon five-cent play, in a beautiful quarter-sawn oak cabinet (est. $5,000-$10,000). Also to be sold is a rare, fully operational cast-iron ‘Leap Frog’ mechanical bank (est. $5,000-$8,000).

Lots that were originally meant for motion include a rare 1915 Shaw motorcycle, made by Stanley Shaw in Galesburg, Kan., in excellent condition (est. $15,000-$25,000); a full-body Hein tiger carousel figure, a turn-of-the-century piece with a great look (est. $8,000-$12,000); and a great early cast-iron pull toy featuring a man with a baby on his leg (est. $2,500-$3,500).

Rounding out the day’s anticipated top lots: a salesman’s sample display rack of a dozen walking canes, each one about 18 inches long and detailed same as the originals (est. $10,000-$20,000); a John Deere cast-iron deer head previously mounted outside a dealership (est. $7,000-$12,500); and a Bell Telephone Co. wall sconce lamp in the shape of a bell (est. $1,500-$2,500).

The event will be held at the Washtenaw Farm Council Grounds in Ann Arbor. Internet bidding via and will be available April 2 -3. Phone and absentee bids will be accepted both days. Items may be viewed at Showtime Auction Services beginning March 1. A catalog can be pre-ordered now ($35) by calling (316) 721-5236. To consign an item, an estate or a whole collection, contact Mike Eckles at (951) 453-2415.   Room trading is encouraged, at the venue’s preferred hotel, Weber’s Inn in Ann Arbor. For info and reservations, 734-769-2500.

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