This General Gasoline double-sided porcelain transitional sign for Mobil, with Pegasus logo, sold for $18,150 at an auction held Aug. 1-2 by Matthews Auctions, timed to coincide with the popular Iowa Gas Swap Meet here in Des Moines.
DES MOINES, Iowa. – A rare General Gasoline double-sided porcelain transitional sign—showing the iconic Mobil Pegasus logo, signaling Mobil’s acquisition of General Gasoline and establishing its presence in the Western United States—sold for $18,150 at an auction held Aug. 1-2 by Matthews Auctions, timed to coincide with the popular Iowa Gas Swap Meet here in Des Moines.
The shield-shaped sign, rated 9+ out of 10 for condition and measuring 42 inches by 34 inches, advertised Socony-Vacuum Products and boasted great gloss and color. The fields were clean and the only flaws were a few small chips at the left-hand bottom point. In the end, its rarity and condition are what drove the price skyward. The sign was the top lot of the auction.
In all, about 650 lots of petroliana (gas station collectibles) and automobilia came up for bid over the course of the two days.
“It was a good, strong auction, with spirited bidding both in person and online (through Proxibid.com),” said Dan Matthews of Matthews Auctions. “We had a good selection of merchandise from the 50 or 60 consignors. The hobby is extremely healthy.” More than 200 people attended the auction in person, and about that many registered to bid on the Internet.
“There were lots of phone and absentee bids, as well,” Matthews said. “It was just a great sale all around.”
The second top lot was a Saxon Motor Oil double-sided porcelain sign, 18 inches by 18 inches, rated 8 and 7.5, with good gloss and color. It hammered for $9,350.
Following are additional highlights from the auction (all prices quoted include a 10-percent buyer’s premium):
• A rare Oldsmobile Service Rocket double-sided porcelain die-cut sign—the first example of this rare sign ever offered by Matthews Auctions—rated 9 for condition and measuring 10 inches by 59 inches, went to a determined bidder for $8,800. Also, a Union Minute Man Service double-sided porcelain sign with the Speedy logo, rated 8.5, also quite rare, topped out at $7,150;
• Many Mobil signs came up for bid, mainly because the auction included the second half of a big Mobil collection. A Mobiloil Aero single-sided porcelain shield-shaped sign, 13 inches by 12 inches and rated 9, with Pegasus logo, brought $6,600; and a very rare Mobil Kerosene single-sided porcelain shield-shaped sign, with Pegasus, made in 1955, rated 8.9, fetched $6,050;
This Mobiloil Aero single-sided porcelain shield-shaped sign with Pegasus logo, rated 9, brought $6,600.
This Texaco Gasoline Motor Oil single-sided porcelain sign with black “T,” 42 inches in diameter, gaveled for $3,575.
• A Mobiloil single-sided porcelain self-framed sign (“A Grade For Each Type of Motor Oil”), with gargoyle graphic and one-gallon square-can logos, rated 9, measuring 42 inches by 84 inches and in great condition, breezed to $5,225; and a Chevrolet Service single-sided porcelain die-cut neon sign (skin only), 42 inches by 46 inches, rated 7.9, commanded $4,675;
• A Chrysler-Plymouth Approved Service double-sided porcelain die-cut sign, rated 8.5 by the seller but Matthews upped that to 9, 42 inches by 44 inches, with wonderful gloss and color, knocked down at $4,620; and a Lubrication single-sided porcelain self-framed grease gun rack (“Complete Specialized Service”), rated 8+, marked Noland Co. (Minneapolis) rose to $4,400;
Rare Oldsmobile Service Rocket double-sided porcelain die-cut sign, rated 9, 10 inches by 59 inches sold for $8,800.
• A Texaco Gasoline Motor Oil single-sided porcelain sign (with black “T”), with a clean field and good gloss and color, 42 inches in diameter, rated 9+ with only a few chips around the perimeter, gaveled for $3,575; and a White Eagle Keynoil Motor Oil double-sided porcelain oval sign, 20 inches by 28 inches, rated 9+ with a few chips touched up on one side, realized $3,300;
• Two lots finished with identical selling prices of $2,750. The first was a General Ethyl Gasoline 15-inch single lens in a metal globe body (with logo), with the back having a Mobilgas Special lens, with original repainted body. The other was a set of Mobiloil Arctic Special Fulpruf oil bottles with rack, rated 9+, in great condition, measuring 22 inches by 19 inches by 10 inches;
This Saxon Motor Oil double-sided porcelain sign with logo, rated 8 and 7.5, 18-inches square, hammered for $9,350.
• A Pontiac full-feather Indian lighted clock, in good working condition, still lighting up, but with some light wear to the white area, rated 8.5, 18 inches in diameter, found a new owner for $2,200; and a Standard Oil Company Polarine Motor Oil one-gallon flat metal can with polar bear logo, rated 8.9, with lid, showing some light wear, empty (no oil in the can) sold for $1,496.
Matthews Auctions’ next big sale will feature a single-owner lifetime collection of motorcycle memorabilia—much of it Harley-Davidson and to include vintage clothing, posters, parts, signs and even three operational Servi-Car three-wheel motorcycles (“trikes”). The auction will be held on Wednesday, Aug. 28, at the Clarion Hotel & Conference Center in Davenport, Iowa.
Matthews has written a book about petroliana, titled “The Fine Art of Collecting and Displaying Petroliana.” For more information on how to order a copy, or to know about this and upcoming auctions, call 877.968.8880, e-mail to email@example.com or visit the Matthews Auctions website.
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