“By far this is the best collection of antique advertising we have ever had the privilege of selling,” said Mike Eckles of Showtime Auction Services, based in Woodhaven, Mich. “We’ve held big auctions in the past, many of which featured advertising items, but never like this. The antique signs, in particular, are highly desirable and would be fine additions to any collection.”
In all, around 1,800 lots will cross the auction block over the course of the three days – 600 lots on Friday, Oct. 4, which will be for a live audience only (no phone, absentee or Internet bidding) and 1,200 lots on Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 5-6, which will be open to the live crowd, phone, absentee and Internet bidders.
The auction will feature many of the collection categories for which Showtime Auction Services has become renowned in the industry. These will include salesman’s samples, petroliana and automobilia, general store, country store, match safes, advertising signs, trays, cast-iron toys, pressed steel toys, tin toys, pedal cars, barber shop, tobacciana, cigar lighters and tip cutters, hardware, telephone, store tins, Coca-Cola, Western, Native American, guns, whiskey, primitives, lamps and bronzes.
Additional categories will include drug store, saloon, post office, coin-op, arcade, scales, gambling, cash registers, fishing, folk art, clocks, fine art and Santas.
“About the only thing regulars to our auctions won’t find are firefighting antiques and memorabilia,” Eckles said.
Specific collections expected to generate keen bidder interest include a group of around 20 rare cigar lighters and tip cutters, all circa 1890-1910; more than 15 slot machines, including an upright; several early 1900s Muto-Scopes arcade viewers; and a large collection of cast-iron toys, many of them rare, by Arcade and other makers.
Other collections of note will feature over 20 hard-to-find pedal cars, firearms and gunpowder posters and calendars, hundreds of tobacco and cigar tins, a large collection of breweriana, and scarce showcases, country store displays and counters. Also offered will be a fabulous Nickelodeon and three extremely rare Regina music players with discs from the 1890s, all in playable condition.
Individual lots that deserve special attention include a salesman’s sample cigar store showcase with original carrying case by Whitcomb Cabinet Co., Kansas City, Mo., circa 1895.
“I feel very strongly that this is one of the top 10 salesman’s samples ever offered at auction,” Eckles remarked. “It wouldn’t surprise me to see it sell for $50,000, maybe more.”
Another expected star lot is a Campbell’s Soup embossed tin sign, showing an image of an American flag fashioned from soup cans (“6 Plates for 10 Cents – Just Add Hot Water and Serve”), one of eight known. A similar sign, with a slight variation, was the top lot at Showtime Auction Services’ April 12-14 sale, where it brought $60,000. The one being sold is even nicer.
Other lots to watch include a rare 1958 two-sided petroliana sign for Mobile (not Mobil) Gasoline, 6 feet in diameter, with a graphic of a Bonneville Salt Flats-type car, one of possibly two known and graded 9 out of 10 on both sides for condition; and a complete three-station barber shop back bar, with chairs, occupational shaving mugs, razors and barber poles.
The hours for Oct. 4 live bidding will be noon to 6 p.m. Eastern. Auction hours for Saturday and Sunday (Oct. 5 and 6) will be from 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
Showtime Auction Services 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 email him at MikEckles@aol.com or email@example.com.
ADDITIONAL LOTS OF NOTE