The October 12 lineup features more than 500 lots whose contents cross the broad spectrum of advertising and product containers related to gasoline, oil, tires, and automotive parts and accessories. A special added attraction is a selection of antique and vintage bicycles.
Among the top items to be offered is Lot 78, a double-sided, round porcelain sign promoting Royaline Hi-Test Gasoline and Pennsylvania Motor Oils. Measuring 30 inches in diameter, it is described by Morphy’s petroliana expert Dan Matthews as “one of the best [he has] seen.” Rated 9+, it is expected to make $8,000-$14,000. Lot 60, a circa-1914 to 1915 paper poster advertising K-W Road Smoothers with early auto graphics, is estimated at $8,000-$12,000.
One of the most identifiable symbols of the entire petroliana realm, a Mobil Pegasus neon porcelain “cookie cutter” sign measures 108 inches at its widest point and is rated a 9 out of 10. It is entered as Lot 50, with a $5,000-$7,500 estimate.
A double-sided porcelain curb sign on an upright cast-iron stand, Lot 75 advertises Oilzum Motor Oils and Lubricants. Its orange and black motif features the familiar Oilzum man in goggles and motoring hat, with the Oilzum tagline: “If motors could speak, we wouldn’t need to advertise.” The sign is estimated at $15,000-$25,000.
Other signs to note include Lot 91, a neon porcelain rolled-edge example for Chevrolet Super Service, $6,000-$8,000; Lot 102, a French Delahaye porcelain sign in the shape of a radiator, $1,500-$3,500; and Lot 159, a colorful tin sign that announces “We Install the Boyce MotoMeter Free,” $3,000-$5,000. Also of tin, Lot 177, an Eveready Mazda Automobile Lamps sign with graphics of early automobiles driving at night, is estimated at 2,000-$3,000. Lot 128, a colorful, spoke-wheel-shaped automotive store display advertising Berry Brothers Color Varnishes could reach $2,500-$4,000 at auction.
Every petroliana collection should contain at least one great gas pump. An excellent choice in terms of bang for the buck would be the two-for-one Tokheim Model #36B computing gas pump, restored and ready to display. Designed to dispense both Esso and Esso Extra from its side-by-side pumps, Lot 57 is estimated at $4,000-$6,000.
Forty-seven antique and vintage bicycles will be offered, the oldest being Lot 8, a circa-1860s steel-wheel “bonecrusher” with steel wheels and wooden rims and spokes. A restored example, it is estimated at $2,000-$3,000. Many of the bicycles are from the 1950s/’60s, a period of production that is especially popular with collectors. Among the manufacturers represented are Schwinn, Columbia, Western Flyer, Winchester, Shelby and J.C. Higgins. Although a 1995 reproduction, Lot 47 is among the top-estimated bicycles, as it is from a limited edition of 5,000 bikes replicating Schwinn’s 1949 Black Phantom. Known as the Centennial Black Phantom, in reference to the 100th anniversary of Schwinn, it could attract a winning bid of $1,500-$2,500.
The auction will begin at 9 a.m. Eastern time. For additional information on any item in the sale or to reserve a phone line for bidding on auction day, call Morphy’s petroliana specialist Dan Matthews at 217-259-7059 or the gallery at 717-335-3435; email firstname.lastname@example.org.
View the fully illustrated catalog and sign up to bid absentee or live via the Internet at LiveAuctioneers.com.
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ADDITIONAL LOTS OF NOTE