Soulis promises ‘something for everyone’ at its Annual Year-End sale Dec. 28

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LONE JACK, Mo. — An eclectic mix of Americana rounds out Soulis Auctions‘ 2023 season Thursday, December 28 with its Annual Year-End Auction, promising “something for everyone.” The catalog is now available for bidding at LiveAuctioneers.

The top estimate in the sale, at $5,000-$7,000, belongs to the ever-popular Western Union stock market ticker. Available by contract from the once-dominant telegraph network operator, the device would print out transmitted stock prices from the Dow Jones exchange in New York for financiers and investors able to pay the hefty monthly fee. The tapes would become obsolete at the end of every trading session, hence the use of them as confetti in what would become known as ‘ticker tape parades’ in Manhattan.

Trade stimulators were once a common sight in watering holes around America. The idea was to convince patrons to drop a penny or nickel and take their chances to possibly win a prize (often, a cigar). This Sun Manufacturing stimulator features a balloon-tired bicycle that when activated, spins its wheels in roulette fashion, eventually stopping to indicate whether the patron has won anything. It carries an estimate of $4,000-$6,000.

The post-World War II period in the United States saw an unprecedented boom in hobby activities as newly returned soldiers got married and started families. Largely forgotten now, ‘thimbledrome racing’ featured gas-powered miniature vehicles racing a banked circular track while tethered around a central anchor point. A huge industry of manufacturers, fresh off wartime efforts, flooded the space with hundreds of designs and brands of so-called ‘tether cars’, as this selection from Soulis illustrates. Leading the group is a Bremer Whirlwind racer complete with its original drive train, estimated at $2,000-$3,000.

Reverse-on-glass advertising signs have long been highly sought after by collectors. Created by applying the design in reverse on the back side of the glass, the artwork would then be more likely to last longer in commercial use than a front-decoration version. This billiards and barber sign is believed to have been originally displayed at a Wabash Avenue building in downtown Chicago, and was included in a 2003 book on billiards collectibles. Marked for Jas. D. Ahearn Company of Chicago (founded in 1914, the firm still exists), the lot is estimated at $3,500-$5,000.
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Western Union stock market ticker, estimated at $5,000-$7,000 at Soulis Auctions.
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Sun Manufacturing stimulator, estimated at $4,000-$6,000 at Soulis Auctions.
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Bremer Whirlwind thimbledrome racer tether car, estimated at $2,000-$3,000 at Soulis Auctions.
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Billiards and barber reverse-on-glass sign, estimated at $3,500-$5,000 at Soulis Auctions.
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J. Dixon Crucible Company pencil sharpener, estimated at $3,500-$5,000 at Soulis Auctions.
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Antique pedals cars took the lead at Milestone’s $500K toy auction

American National Deluxe Coupe pedal car, luxury version with opening doors, sliding windows, interior upholstery and curtains. Length: 68 inches. Sold for $66,000 against an estimate of $20,000-$40,000

WILLOUGHBY, Ohio – Milestone Auctions gave collectors what they wanted on September 24th, rolling out a diverse offering of antique and vintage toys from the Mark Smith collection along with high-quality additions from several other consignors. The 755-lot sale was active from start to finish, with many international bidders taking part. After a long but rewarding day at the podium, auctioneer and company co-founder Miles King closed the books at $505,200 (inclusive of buyer’s premium).

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