Auction Report: Cardboard Diorama Tops $5,000 at Petroliana & Advertising Sale

This cardboard diorama for Mayo-Skinner Automatic Windshield Cleaner, graded 8.5 out of 10, sold for a surprising $5,060 at the Fall Peotone Petroliana & Advertising Auction on Oct. 16, 2009.

This cardboard diorama for Mayo-Skinner Automatic Windshield Cleaner, graded 8.5 out of 10, sold for a surprising $5,060 at the Fall Peotone Petroliana & Advertising Auction on Oct. 16, 2009.

PEOTONE, Ill. – A dazzling cardboard diorama, advertising Mayo-Skinner Automatic Windshield Cleaner and graded 8.5 on a 1-10 scale for condition, sold for $5,060 at a Fall Peotone Petroliana & Advertising Auction held Oct. 16 in advance of the annual Fall Chicagoland Advertising Show in Peotone.

“The diorama was just a great piece with great graphics, in all-around good condition,” said Dan Matthews of Matthews Auctions, which facilitated the auction “It also showed that cardboard advertising signs can command high dollar prices at auction right along with gas globes, lenses, porcelain signs and more glamorous items.” The diorama, measuring 27 inches by 32 inches by 12 inches, had minor damage at the edges.

Some 440 lots changed hands at the sale, which grossed a little more than $250,000. The event drew 125 people, while about that many bidders participated online, via Proxibid. An additional 25-30 people bid by phone, while more than 20 bidders left bids by fax and other means.

“We were very happy to take the online bids, but there’s nothing like selling to the room and by phone,” Matthews said.

“The auction did about as well as we expected,” Matthews added, “but how we got there wasn’t what we expected. Some of the lots we figured would bring top dollar ended up selling flat, while other items we didn’t think would do too well sold for way more than their high estimate. It made for an interesting day. And the good news is, people came to spend their money. Bidding was very spirited.”

Following are additional highlights from the sale (all prices quoted include a 10-percent buyer’s premium):

The top lot of the sale was this Marine Gasoline 15-inch lens in metal globe body, garnering $10,450.

The top lot of the sale was this Marine Gasoline 15-inch lens in metal globe body, garnering $10,450.

• The top lot of the sale was a Marine Gasoline 15-inch single lens in metal globe body, with speed boat graphic and graded 8.9 for condition. It soared to $10,450. Also, a Hancock “Cock ‘o the Walk” 15-inch single lens in metal globe body, with rooster graphic and graded 8.9, brought $7,979; and an Oldsmobile Service 42-inch double-sided porcelain sign with crest logo and great gloss hit $5,170.

• A Conoco Gasoline 26-inch double-sided porcelain sign with soldier graphic, graded 8.5 and with good color and gloss, garnered $5,500; a Paragon Gasoline 25-inch double-sided porcelain sign with truck, derrick and refiner scene, both sides graded 7.5, with pole and generic base, changed hands for $6,600; and a (Red Indian) Gasoline Motor Oil single-sided 60-inch porcelain sign reached $5,500.

• A Buick Valve-in-Head Authorized Service double-sided 42-inch porcelain sign, marked Walker & Co. (Detroit) breezed to $4,400; an updated Refiners Gasoline Motor Oil double-sided porcelain sign, 36-inch (not 42-inch), graded 9.5 and with super color and gloss, attained $3,300; and a Studebaker Authorized Service double-sided porcelain sign, 42-inch, both sides grade 9, hammered for $3,025.

Hancock “Cock o' the Walk” 15-inch single lens in metal globe body, with rooster graphic, sold for $7,979.

Hancock “Cock o’ the Walk” 15-inch single lens in metal globe body, with rooster graphic, sold for $7,979.

• A Wesco 48-inch single-sided porcelain sign with big “W” and jet logo, graded 8.9 and with good color and gloss, fetched $4,125; Liberty Gasoline 15-inch lenses in original metal globe body with original “GILLCO” sticker, the body lenses rated 9, went to a determined bidder for $2,640; and a White Eagle Full Feather milkglass one-piece cast globe, graded a near-perfect 9.5, made a respectable $2,200.

• An 18 inch by 21 inch McColl-Frontenac (Red Indian) Products single-sided die-cut porcelain sign, graded 9 and marked P&M (1946) crossed the block at $3,740; a Weed Chains “As Necessary As Gasoline” single-sided tin price board sign, 24 inches by 17 inches and graded 8.9, rose to $3,575; and a Wings Ethyl Gasoline porcelain point-of-purchase sign, 6 inches by 7 inches and graded 9, hit $2,970.

• A spectacular Texaco Gasoline Motor Oil 42-inch double-sided porcelain sign with black “T” and both sides graded 9.5, with hanging ring, coasted to $5,225; a Dodge-Plymouth “Dependable Service With Dodge Trucks” double-sided porcelain die-cut sign, 48 inches by 48 inches, both sides graded 9, reached $4,620; and a Waverly Motor Oil double-sided porcelain die-cut curb sign hit $3,300.

Oldsmobile Service 42-inch double-sided porcelain sign with crest logo and great gloss was hammered at $5,170.

Oldsmobile Service 42-inch double-sided porcelain sign with crest logo and great gloss was hammered at $5,170.

• A Mobil (Flame Socony) Vacuum Bottle Gas double-sided porcelain sign with iconic Pegasus horse bracket (sign 17 inches by 30 inches, Pegasus 32 inches by 25 inches) sold as one lot for $2,750; Frontier Gas “Rarin’ to Go!” 13.5-inch display lenses on a glass globe body, graded 8.5, commanded $2,750; and a Texaco metal globe, dated 1938, both sides graded 9 and with clean fields, made $1,705.

• A Hupmobile 8 & 6 double-sided porcelain sign, 24 inches by 35 inches, graded 7.5 on display side and 6.75 on reverse side, went for $2,090; a Standard-Vacuum Oil Co. Kerosene Oil porcelain flange sign with elephant graphic and Arabic lettering, 18 inches by 25 inches, graded 8.5, realized $1,760; and an updated, medium detail White Eagle milkglass one-piece cast globe, 9.5, made $1,430.

• A Johnson Gasoline Motor Oil double-sided porcelain sign, 48-inch, graded 9 (display) and 8.9 (reverse), with chrome hanging ring, achieved $2,750; a Rolling Ridge Polled Herefords (Paul Greening, Owner) double-sided porcelain sign, 48 inches by 60 inches, both sides graded 9+, sold for $1,100; and a Texaco Motor Oil “Free Crankcase Service” single-sided porcelain sign, 30 by 30 inches, rose to $880.

Dodge-Plymouth “Dependable Service With Dodge Trucks” double-sided porcelain sign brought in $4,620.

Dodge-Plymouth “Dependable Service with Dodge Trucks” double-sided porcelain sign brought in $4,620.

Matthews Auctions’ next big auction is coming up quick—an Absolute Petroliana & Gas Pump Auction slated for Saturday, Nov. 7, in Wisconsin Rapids, Wis.

For more information about these auctions, call (217) 563-8880, e-mail to info@matthewsauctions.com or visit the Matthews Auctions Web site.

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  1. Mary Piskac says:

    i have a 1917 advertisinh calendar the royal tailors chicago- new york i would like know what it worth thanks i can send picit is sing by pearl christy thank you mary

  2. donald seals says:

    how much would a Kentucky River Boat From the Early Tomes Collection printed by Dean Cornwell be worth?