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Ex-UPS President Wallace’s Advertising, Gambling, Saloon Collection to be Auctioned

by WorthPoint Staff (09/08/09).

A later replica of the famous Moxiemobile, an advertising vehicle that promoted the soft drink Moxie, will highlight the auction of the Ron Wallace collection.

A later replica of the famous Moxiemobile, an advertising vehicle that promoted the soft drink Moxie, will highlight the auction of the Ron Wallace collection.

ANN ARBOR, Mich. – The entire collection of Ron Wallace, a dedicated collector for over 30 years and former president of shipping giant UPS, as well as some 1,000 other lots of investment-grade antiques and collectibles from several other prominent collectors, will be auctioned off on Oct. 2-4.

Wallace has turned his focus to opening a chain of Celtic Pubs. All of the pubs are decorated with original antique fixtures and he has found that searching for these fixtures has replaced his desire to continue growing his collection of fine antiques.

The auction will be held at the Washtenaw Farm Council Grounds, 5055 Ann Arbor-Saline Road in Ann Arbor, Mich., and facilitated by Showtime Auction Services.

Wallace, himself is a larger-than-life figure, resides in a 44,000-square-foot home in suburban Atlanta where he houses his massive collection of vintage advertising, gambling, saloon, brothel, country store and general store items—some 800 lots in all. These are displayed in a mind boggling, full scale replica of Tombstone, Arizona as it existed in 1892.

A western town replica of Tombstone, Ariz., with over 200 running feet of storefront, will be auctioned.

A western town replica of Tombstone, Ariz.

Wallace enlisted Rick Clark, who has done work for Six Flags of America, to construct 14 facades (storefront replicas) for one wing of his home. It consists of more than 200 running feet and stands 27 feet tall. Other great items to cross the block will include a Brunswick Balke & Collander front and back bar, circa 1890. This is the desirable mahogany L.A. model, featuring two hand-carved, full bodied nudes and matching liquor cabinet.

In addition to the Wallace collection, the sale will also feature gambling, toys, advertising, barber shop, country store, soda fountain, paintings, western memorabilia, coin-op, trade signs, folk art and many other surprises; about 1,800 lots in all. A crowd of between 400 and 500 people is expected (typical for a Showtime Auction). Phone, internet and absentee bids will be accepted on Saturday and Sunday but only live audience members can bid on Friday. Online bidding will be facilitated by iCollector and LiveAuctioneers.

One lot sure to turn heads is a Moxiemobile car, a later replica of the vehicles first created in 1915 by Frank Archer to advertise and promote the soft drink Moxie. Originally known as the Moxie Horsemobile, there were several Moxiemobiles on American roads in the 1930s, mainly in parades. The example to be sold is a Rolls Royce version Moxiemobile with a Ford engine. It’s in excellent condition.

National Fine Beers tin sign

National Fine Beers tin sign

Advertising signs include a National Fine Beers tin sign (New Orleans, La.), made by Kaufmann & Strauss Co. and dated 1893; an exceedingly rare Jeweled Cigar trade sign with two-side light-up, quite possibly the only one of its kind in existence; and a hard-to-find Oldsmobile and Cadillac neon porcelain sign, two-sided, in excellent working condition. The sign is approximately 13 feet in height.

From the vintage toys group, expected top lots include An all-original Buddy L water tower fire truck, one of the rarest of the 1920s fire trucks, with a real working pumper that can spray up to 25 feet; a Sturdy Toy 1920s dairy tanker pressed steel tractor and trailer; an unusual 1920s Keystone pressed steel Packard tank truck with a yellow tank; and a toy 1954 Mercury convertible car with a travel trailer.

Other anticipated top lots include a rare Caille Centaur 50-cent upright slot machine with mahogany cabinet and nickel-plated trim, in excellent working condition; a Red Wing Grape Juice bottle topper boasting fabulous color and featuring graphics of a boy and a girl; and a rare Black Americana mechanical fishing boy. When it’s plugged in, the boy’s head nods and his eyes move back and forth.

Oldsmobile and Cadillac neon porcelain sign

Oldsmobile and Cadillac neon porcelain sign

A preview will be held on Friday, Oct. 2. The auction that day will run from noon to 5 p.m. for a live audience only, no Internet bidding. On Saturday and Sunday (Oct. 3-4), previews will be held from 8-9 a.m. The auction on Saturday, Oct. 3, will run from 9-5; on Sunday, Oct. 4, the auction hours are from 9-4. Internet, phone and left bids will be accepted on Saturday and Sunday.

For more information, call Showtime Auction Services (951) 453-2415 or e-mail to mikeckles@aol.com.

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