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Lifetime advertising collection selling without reserve Oct. 3-5

The lifetime collection of a late Michigan couple will be presented to bidders Oct. 3-5 during a no-reserve auction presented by Showtime Auction Service. Items including Western-related advertising signs — with cowboys, cowgirls, Native American and horse-themed signs; and more than 100 serving trays, are some of the many pieces headlining this sale.

ANN ARBOR, Mich. – The single-owner lifetime collection of mostly advertising items from the late Bud and Sally Bassett will be sold without reserve the weekend of Oct. 3-5 by Showtime Auction Services, at the Washtenaw Farm Council Grounds in Ann Arbor. Everything in the collection will be sold to the highest bidder, with tens of thousands of items coming up for bid, many in bulk multiple lots.

“Bud and Sally became collectors of antiques back in the 1960s, and over the years

Roly Poly tobacco tins

Complete set of six “Roly Poly” Tobacco tins, produced for Dixie Queen, in exceptional condition. (Photo courtesy Showtime Auction Service)

they became friends with thousands of like-minded collectors as they ventured throughout the country,” said Mike Eckles of Showtime Auction Services. “We were saddened to have lost Sally three years ago and then Bud last year. It is an honor that we were asked to sell their collection. They were true friends.”

The collection is broad in scope and tremendous in volume. Offered will be many Western-related advertising signs, to include cowboys, cowgirls, Native American and horse-themed signs; more than 100 serving trays (mostly beer and brewery related); and vintage Halloween and Christmas items (papier-mâché figures of pumpkins, Jack-o-Lanterns, Santas, candy containers and more).

Also sold will be early military medals, including Civil War, Spanish-American War and World War I. These would seem to be an unusual sidelight to the Bassetts’ collection, until you factor in Mr. Bassett’s remarkable military career. He was the most decorated serviceman in the state of Arizona, having collected an amazing 32 medals during his years served in Korea and Vietnam.

Around 2,000 lots will come up for bid over the course of the three days, almost all of them from the Bassett collection. The bulk lots in the Bassett collection will comprise tens of thousands of California fruit labels, cigar labels, grocery can labels and more – approximately 50,000 items in all. These will be sold in large bulk quantity lots.

The Bassetts were originally from northern California, but lived much of their adult life in

serving tray

North Western Brewery tin serving tray showing a topless Native maiden on a buffalo, one of only four known. (Photo courtesy Showtime Auction Services)

Chino Valley, Ariz., just north of Prescott. They were well-known in collecting circles. “Anyone who was lucky enough to meet Bud and Sally became friends right away,” Eckles said, “and most likely had dealings with them in the years that followed. That was certainly true for Lori and me.”

Internet bidding (available all three auction days) will be facilitated by and Phone and absentee bids will also be accepted. Flyers will be mailed out the first week of August and catalogs will be ready by the first week of September. People should be able to start bidding around Sept. 5th, when the virtual catalog is posted online, at

The host hotel is Weber’s Hotel, at 3050 Jackson Avenue in Ann Arbor. For reservations, call (734) 769-2500. To get a 260-page color catalog, call Showtime Auction Services at (951) 453-2415. The firm’s next big auction after this one is scheduled for April 10-12, 1915, also in Ann Arbor. It will also feature another lifetime collection of 35 years of quality antiques.

Showtime Auction Services is based in Woodhaven, Mich. The firm is always accepting quality items for future sales. To consign an item, an estate or a collection, you may call Michael Eckles at 951-453-2415; or, e-mail him at . To learn more about Showtime Auction Services and the upcoming Oct. 3-5 auction, visit


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