Auction Report: Rare Beacon Sign Tabs $55,000 in October Petroliana Auction

A Beacon Ethyl Gasoline single-sided porcelain die-cut sign with lighthouse-shaped design took top lot with a bid of $55,000.

PEOTONE, Ill. — A rare Beacon Ethyl Gasoline single-sided porcelain sign with a die-cut lighthouse-shaped design, made around 1940 and in remarkable condition, gaveled as the top lot with a bid of $55,000 at a Fall Petroliana & Automobilia Auction held Oct. 17 and 18 by Matthews Auctions.

The two-day event was held prior to the start of the popular  Chicagoland Petroleum & Advertising Show, held twice annually in Peotone.

Approximately 200 lots of petroliana and automobilia crossed the block on the event’s first day, with another 450 lots coming up for bid the following day. More than 200 people attended in person, with another 350 people bidding online through

An additional 30 bidders participated by phone and through absentee bidding

“We had lots of aggressive buyers, in person, online and over the phone. By the time it was all done, we grossed [more than] $800,000,” said Dan Matthews of Matthews Auctions.

Following are additional highlights from the auction. All prices quoted include a 10 percent buyer’s premium:

The Rickenbacker double-sided porcelain sign, rated near mint, sold for $38,500.

• An exceedingly rare and near-mint Rickenbacker Authorized Flat Rate Service double-sided porcelain sign, showing the Rickenbacker firm’s iconic logo and reading “A car worthy of its name”—a reference to the auto maker’s famous founder, Eddie Rickenbacker, the highly decorated World War I flying ace—topped out at $38,500;
• A scarce double-sided porcelain die-cut sign for Rand McNally Official Hotel with a graphic of a Native American drawing on a wall knocked down at $29,700. The sign was the most common of the five types produced, and was probably made in the 1920s;

A Rand McNally Official Hotel double-sided porcelain die-cut sign with Indian graphics, went to a new owner for $29,700.

• A super-rare Wyeth Tires single-sided porcelain curved shield-shaped sign, rated near-mint and showing a whimsical graphic of a boy in driving gear sitting in a stack of tires, breezed to $34,100;
• A Mohawk Gasoline single-sided tombstone-shaped neon sign mounted on a can, with a graphic of an Indian with a single feather, fetched $30,800; and an Oilzum Motor Oils (“The Cream of Pure Pennsylvania Oil”) double-sided porcelain sign with logo, went to a determined bidder for $27,500;
• A Peerless Stages Bus Depot double-sided porcelain shield-shaped sign with great gloss and color and in super condition, hammered for $33,000; and a Dodge Service double-sided porcelain sign with early an Dodge Brothers logo, went to a new owner for $7,150;
• A Saxon Motor Car double-sided porcelain sign, marked Ohio Valley Enameling Co., garnered $19,800; and a Cadillac double-sided porcelain oval sign with crest logo, rose to $17,600.
• A Paragon Motor Oil double-sided porcelain sign with derrick, truck and refinery graphics and in the original ring, hit $16,500; and an original Auburn Sales & Service porcelain flange sign, marked Veribrite Signs, made $14,800.

Matthews Auctions’ next big event will be the third annual Thanksgiving gun, antique advertising and petroliana sale, slated for Nov. 29 through Dec. 1. Day one will feature guns, firearms advertising and coins, to include a collection of silver dollars (1880s to 1920s); days two and three will have petroliana (including rare gas pumps) and soda-pop and country-store items.
For more information, visit Matthews Auctions’website.

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