The top lot at an August Petroliana & Gas Station Collectibles Auction was this Mohawk Gasoline single-sided porcelain neon sign, which soared to $30,250.
DES MOINES, Iowa – A Mohawk Gasoline neon single-sided porcelain sign, graded 9 on a scale of 1 to 10 for condition and with exceptional gloss, sold for $30,250 at a Petroliana & Gas Station Collectibles Auction held here on Aug. 7.
“This was one of our best auctions ever, at what is the biggest sale in the country for gas station collectibles and petroliana,” said Dan Matthews of Matthews Auctions, LLC, which hosted the three-day Iowa Gas Show. “Some 570 lots—mostly cans and signs—changed hands, and we had close to 200 people in attendance. Bidding was brisk online, too, through Proxibid. We had over 140 registered online bidders. They bought 22 percent of the lots.”
Matthews said he detected some buying trends at the sale. Globes, common signs and readily available collectibles, for example, brought soft prices, while signs, oil cans and hat badges commanded nice high prices. “Overall, though,” he added, “the sale actually did a little better than I thought it would do. We were all done in six hours and fifteen minutes. Everybody went home happy. It was a good day.”
The Mohawk sign, which would have achieved a 10 rating were it not for a few minor edge chips, was the top lot of the auction. Additional highlights included (all prices quoted include a 10 percent buyer’s premium):
Indian Gasoline milk glass globe with Running Indian logo.
• An Ace High Motor Oil single-sided tin sign in a wood frame (48 inches by 96 inches), graded 8.75 for condition, was the second top lot of the day, bringing a respectable $23,100. Also, an Indian Gasoline one-piece etched milk glass globe, with Running Indian logo and Havoline etched vertical on each end, climbed to $9,900. Both sides of the piece had been repainted and the body was in good shape.
• A Signal single-sided porcelain sign, graded 9.5 and measuring 28 inches by 4-¾ inches, realized $5,060; an Oilzum Motor Oil single-sided tin sign in a wood frame, dated 1948 and measuring 19 inches by 61 inches, rated 9.75 and with the slogan “If motors could speak we wouldn’t need to advertise” with logo, brought $4,510, and a Bee Line Capco neon sign, 13 ½ inches, both lenses excellent, made $4,400.
A can of Husky Motor Oil of Cody, Wyo.
• A Wasatch single-lens neon sign on a reproduction blue ripple body in good condition, gaveled for $4,400; a Perfect Circle single-sided tin sign with a graphic of a large car (36 inches by 29-½ inches), graded 8 and with good color, coasted to $4,400; and an extremely rare Texaco single-sided porcelain sign, advertising the Texaco Easy-Pour 2-quart can of motor oil, graded 8.5, rose to $3,575.
• A Mobil Gargoyle one-piece embossed milk glass cabinet globe, graded 9.5, demanded $3,300; a Piggly Wiggly single-sided porcelain sign, 27 inches tall, graded 8.75, with some touch-up work done to the grommet holes, fetched $3,410; a Sunset Gasoline hat badge in excellent condition (2 inches by 2 inches) hammered for $3,520; and a Seaside Gasoline hat badge, also in excellent shape, made $1,980.
• Tops among the oil cans was a full one-quart round metal orange can of Husky (Cody, Wyo.) Motor Oil, graded 8.5 (it soared to $2,090. Also, an empty one-quart round metal can of The Bomber motor oil, graded 8.5, breezed to $990; a full one-quart round metal can of Ace High motor oil, graded 9.5, commanded $1,045; and an empty one-quart round metal can of Skunk Oil, graded 8.5, made $900.
Oilzum Motor Oil tin sign (1948)
Matthews Auctions, has another big sale planned, for Saturday, Oct. 16, when it will hold its annual Fall Peotone Petroliana & Advertising Auction in Peotone, Ill., one day before the start of the Fall Chicagoland Advertising Show (Oct. 17-18). The firm will conduct a smaller petroliana and gas station collectibles auction, in Wisconsin Rapids, Wis., in early November.
For more information, call Matthews Auctions at (217) 563-8880 or (217) 259-7059, or e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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