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International Harvester double-sided neon sign, which sold for $14,000 ($18,060 with buyer’s premium) at Bright Star.

Neon advertising signs brought a vintage glow to Bright Star and W. Yoder

SULPHUR SPRINGS, TX AND WAUTOMA, WI — Antique neon advertising signs continue to command top dollar from collectors, as demonstrated at two LiveAuctioneers-affiliated houses recently.

Bright Star Antiques Co. offered what appeared to be a 1950s-era porcelain and neon sign for International Harvester on May 4. The ‘man on tractor’ stylized I and H had been designed in the immediate postwar period, but was not fully rolled out until 1953 as the reigning corporate logo. The neon-enhanced sign measures 51.25 by 46.25in and is double-sided for use as either a hanging or a pole-mounted installation. Estimated generally at $50-$1,000, it took only two LiveAuctioneers bids for it to hammer at an astounding $14,000 ($18,060 with buyer’s premium).

Likely from a retired or scrapped GMC SceniCruiser (the so-called ‘two-story’ buses) is a Greyhound Bus Lines lithographed-tin dog sign ringed by contemporary neon in two colors. Massively large at 8ft by 3ft, the original Greyhound signs distinguished the vintage buses. Estimated at $50-$2,000 by auctioneer W. Yoder in its May 3 auction, the sign sold for $6,250 ($7,812 with buyer’s premium).

In the same sale, Yoder also offered a one-sided wall-mount steel and neon Greyhound Bus ‘Depot’ sign featuring the bus company’s trademark dog logo. It hammered for $5,000 ($6,150 with buyer’s premium). Measuring 52 by 31.5in, it carried the markings of its manufacturer: The Carey Mfg Co., Charleston W. Va.