Morphy’s Oct. 12 Petroliana Auction features signs, gas pumps, bikes

Mobil Pegasus neon porcelain ‘cookie cutter’ sign, est. $5,000-$7,500. Morphy Auctions image

Mobil Pegasus neon porcelain ‘cookie cutter’ sign, est. $5,000-$7,500. Morphy Auctions image

DENVER, Pa. – Petroleum and the Keystone State have had a long and storied partnership. It was in 1859, in the northwestern Pennsylvania town of Titusville, that the first commercial oil well was drilled. Pennsylvania is still producing oil, and Morphy Auctions continues to produce diverse, well-attended auctions dedicated to petroliana. The next such specialty sale will take place on Sunday, October 12, the day after Morphy’s conducts its first-ever Classic Car Auction. Internet live bidding will be available through LiveAuctioneers.

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 matthews@morphyauctions.com.

View the fully illustrated catalog and sign up to bid absentee or live via the Internet at LiveAuctioneers.com.

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View the fully illustrated catalog and register to bid absentee or live via the Internet as the sale is taking place by logging on to www.LiveAuctioneers.com.


ADDITIONAL LOTS OF NOTE


Mobil Pegasus neon porcelain ‘cookie cutter’ sign, est. $5,000-$7,500. Morphy Auctions image

Mobil Pegasus neon porcelain ‘cookie cutter’ sign, est. $5,000-$7,500. Morphy Auctions image

Schwinn Centennial Black Phantom bicycle, est. $1,500-$2,500. Morphy Auctions image

Schwinn Centennial Black Phantom bicycle, est. $1,500-$2,500. Morphy Auctions image

Tokheim Model #36B double-computing gas pump, est. $4,000-$6,000. Morphy Auctions image

Tokheim Model #36B double-computing gas pump, est. $4,000-$6,000. Morphy Auctions image

K-W Road Smoothers paper advertising poster with early car graphics, circa 1914-1915, est. $8,000-$12,000. Morphy Auctions image

K-W Road Smoothers paper advertising poster with early car graphics, circa 1914-1915, est. $8,000-$12,000. Morphy Auctions image

Closeup of top of Oilzum Motor Oil double-sided porcelain curb sign on stand, est. $15,000-$25,000. Morphy Auctions image

Closeup of top of Oilzum Motor Oil double-sided porcelain curb sign on stand, est. $15,000-$25,000. Morphy Auctions image

Royaline Hi-Test Gasoline & Pennsylvania Motor Oils double-sided porcelain sign, est. $8,000-$14,000. Morphy Auctions image

Royaline Hi-Test Gasoline & Pennsylvania Motor Oils double-sided porcelain sign, est. $8,000-$14,000. Morphy Auctions image

Chevrolet Super Service rolled-edge neon porcelain sign, est. $6,000-$8,000. Morphy Auctions image

Chevrolet Super Service rolled-edge neon porcelain sign, est. $6,000-$8,000. Morphy Auctions image

Delahaye (French) porcelain automobile sign in shape of radiator, est. $2,500-$3,500. Morphy Auctions image

Delahaye (French) porcelain automobile sign in shape of radiator, est. $2,500-$3,500. Morphy Auctions image

Wooden three-dimensional automotive store display advertising Berry Brothers Color Varnishes, est. $2,500-$4,000. Morphy Auctions image

Wooden three-dimensional automotive store display advertising Berry Brothers Color Varnishes, est. $2,500-$4,000. Morphy Auctions image