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Two major Michigan collections headlining 2,200-lot auction

More than 40 categories of antiques and collectibles will be represented during an auction with more than 2,200 lots during an auction April 4-6 through Showtime Auction Service.

ANN ARBOR, Mich. — More than 2,200 lots from two major collections and several consignments will be sold at auction April 4-6 by Showtime Auction Services. The three-day event will be held at the Washtenaw Farm Council Grounds, located at 5055 Ann Arbor/Saline Road in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Online bidding and phone bidding will be permitted throughout the sale, with Internet bids faciliated by both and

Headlining the event will be the lifetime collection of Robert and Janet Straub of Kansas

Syrup dispenser

Hires Rootbeer soda fountain syrup dispenser (green version). Excellent original condition, with a presale estimate of $15,000 to $25,000. (Photo courtesy Showtime Auction Services)

and the lifetime collection of Neil J. Frick of Michigan, owner of Frick’s Country Store. Both collections are diverse, representing 40 different categories of antiques, including petroliana, automobilia, salesman’s samples, Heinz collection, trade cards, general store and country store, advertising signs, match safes, trays, cast iron toys, pressed steel toys, barber shop and saloon.

“This will undoubtedly be one of the most diverse auctions we’ve ever held, and it could end up being the best spring auction we’ve ever staged,” said Mike Eckles of Showtime Auction Services, based in Woodhaven, Mich. “The Straubs and the Fricks are dedicated collectors in their categories, and I encourage fans of primitives and country store to bid early and bid often.”

Individual items expected to draw significant interest include an all original Happy Jap Gum Dispenser with a shelf and original porcelain sign, a 1910 Yuenling’s Beer reverse glass sign (“Purity, Cleanliness, Porter & Ale, Pottsville”), a 1942 Wurlitzer Model 42 jukebox with keyboard in excellent working condition and a 1932 Packard 902 standard 8 convertible coupe, fully restored and in running condition.

Other featured lots include an early 20th century Smith’s Kidney Pills tin sign in its original frame, with Black/Americana subject matter. Also, a seldom-offered Glencoe Brewing Company Beer Vitrolite sign with original copper flashed frame. A green version Hires Rootbeer soda fountain dispenser is also being offered.

Additional categories include tobacciana, cigar store figures, hardware, store tins, Coca-Cola, whiskey, breweriana, primitives, lamps, bronzes, drug store, soda fountain, ice cream, gambling, cash registers, fishing, folk art, furniture, store displays and fixtures and fire fighting antiques.

Previews are Thursday, April 3, from 8 a.m. until 5 p,m., and from 8-9 a.m. on the days of the auction, April 4-6. The auction begins at 9 a.m. all three days.


Zinc sheep weathervane in excellent original condition, with an estimate of $20,000 to $30,000. (Photo courtesy Showtime Auction Services)

Looking ahead to the fall, Showtime Auction Services has another big sale planned for the weekend of Oct. 3-5, offering the lifetime collection of Bud and Sally Bassett of Arizona. The collection, spanning more than 50 years, is being offered with no minimums and no reserves. Mr. Bassett was Arizona’s most highly decorated war veteran in the state’s history, having fought in both the Korea and Vietnam conflicts.

For more information about the April auction, visit Showtime Auction Services at To consign items for a future sale, call (951) 453-2415, or e-mail


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