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Sinclair Aircraft Double-Sided Porcelain Sign Flies off with Top Lot Honors at Sale

by WorthPoint Staff (10/01/12).

This rare Sinclair Aircraft double-sided porcelain sign with plane graphics, both sides rated 7.9, took off when the bidding began, leveling off at $19,800, making it the top lot in an three-day sale conducted by Matthews Aucitons.

INA, Ill. – An exceedingly rare Sinclair Aircraft double-sided porcelain sign with airplane graphics soared to $19,800 at the sale of the lifetime single-owner collection of William “Bill” Dagg, held Sept. 14-16 by Matthews Auctions, LLC, earning the top lot honors.

Despite some fading on both sides and some small chips, too, the Sinclair sign was by far the top lot in a sale held at the Ina facilities of Southern Illinois Auction Company (Matthews Auctions is based in Nokomis, Ill.). Measuring 48 inches in diameter, it rated just 7.9 out of 10 on both sides for condition. But it still proved desirable because of its rarity, regardless of any flaws.

It was just one of thousands of items consigned by Dagg, a resident of Wayne City, Ill., not far from Ina, mostly petroliana, country store, farm and advertising collectibles.

It was a massive collection; so big that three days were needed to auction it all. By the time the final hammer came down, more than 5,000 items (some of them sold in multiple lots) changed hands. That included the three days in the main venue plus two separate auction rings that hummed with activity on Saturday and Sunday. About 300 people attended the event; others bid by phone.

But perhaps most impressive were the 575 people who registered to bid online (through Proxibid). “That was a record number of online bidders, nearly doubling the old record,” said Dan Matthews of Matthews Auctions. “It was a great sale, with lots of variety. I was amazed at how much some items sold for. Overall, we grossed 30-percent more than I predicted.”

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

This Studebaker Cars-Trucks single-sided porcelain die-cut neon sign netted $5,500.

Two other lots topped the $5,000 mark. A Studebaker Cars-Trucks single-sided porcelain neon sign mounted on a can in very good condition, rated 9+ and measuring 88 inches by 33 inches by 6 inches, garnered $5,500; and a rare Campbell’s Condensed Vegetable Soup single-sided porcelain curved sign, rated 7 and measuring 22 inches by 15 inches, commanded $5,225.

A Penn Drake “100% Pure Pennsylvania Oil” double-sided tin sign with seal, 30 inches in diameter and rated 8.5, showing only minor wear to the reverse side, soared to $4,125. Also, a Goodyear Service Station die-cut porcelain flange sign with world-in-tire graphics and boasting super gloss and color, rated 8.9, measuring 30 inches by 26 inches, changed hands for $3,960.

This hard-to-find, original Ebberts Wagons single-sided tin self-framed sign, rated at 9, gaveled for $3,850.

A pair of lots finished with identical prices realized of $3,850. One was an Indian Gas milk glass globe body, with Havoline signage down the sides, rated highly at 9.5 and having been repainted very well. The other was a scarce Ebbert Waggons original single-sided tin sign (“In the Shade of the Old Apple Tree”) with great graphics, rated 9, measuring 26 by 38 inches.

A Maxwell House tin flange sign with great graphics, rated 9 and measuring 27 inches by 14 inches, breezed to $3,520; a rare Liberty “80” Guaranteed porcelain pump plate sign with super gloss and color, 14 inches by 10 inches, rated 8, made $3,025; and a Fisk “Time to Re-Tire” single-sided tin embossed sign dated 1949, rated 8.9, 32 inches by 40 inches, hit $3,640.

A Prairie Farms Butter single-sided porcelain sign with great graphics, rated at 7.75, brought in $3,410.

A Prairie Farms Butter single-sided porcelain sign with wonderful graphics, rated 7.75, 15 inches by 30 inches, garnered $3,410; a GMC Trucks Sales & Service double-sided porcelain sign with marvelous color and gloss, 42 inches in diameter, rated 8.75, went for $3,190; and a Firestone Tires Auto Supplies porcelain flange sign, rated 9, in great condition, brought $2,750.

A McDougall-Butler Paints Varnish Agency tin flange sign with buffalo logo, rated 7.9, 14 inches by 18 inches, knocked down at $2,750; a rare Pepsi-Cola tin thermometer, dated 1948, showing a lady drinking from a straw, 27 inches by 7 inches, rated 8, hit $2,310; and a Bunny Bread single-sided tin die-cut embossed sign, 36 inches by 28 inches, rated 8.75, sold for $2,200.

This Bunny Bread tin flange sign with spinner from 1956, 14 inches by 21 inches, hopped off with a $2,090-winning bid0

A “Fresh Up With” 7-Up single-sided tin sign (“It Likes You”), with a lady on the bottle logo, marked Stout Sign Company and dated 1951, rated near-mint at 9+ and measuring 43 inches by 13 inches, knocked down at $2,200; and a Bunny Bread with flange sign with spinner, dated 1956, 14 inches by 21 inches and rated at 8.75, went to a determined bidder for $2,090.

A Wareco neon window sign made around 1990 and one of only about 100 known, rated 9, in working condition, coasted to $1,100; a Donald Duck Soft Drinks celluloid button made by Philadelphia Badge Company, Inc., rated 9, 9 inches in diameter, realized $1,108; and a Pepsi-Cola cardboard sign in an aluminum frame, showing a woman in a bathing suit, fetched $990.

Matthews Auctions’s next big auction will be held on Friday, Oct. 19, on the day before the start of the very popular Chicagoland Petroliana & Advertising Show, held twice a year in Peotone, Ill. Offered will be petroliana and country store advertising items. The event will kick off at 11:30 a.m. with a discovery auction. The catalog auction will start at 12 noon.

For more information about this auction, call 877.968.8880, e-mail to or visit the Matthews Auctions website.


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