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Texaco Home Lubricant Counter-Top Display Rack Sells Tops Petroliana Sale

by WorthPoint Staff (07/26/11).

This very rare Texaco Home Lubricant counter-top display rack, made of painted metal and rated 9+, sold for $7,425, making it the top lot in the petroliana and automobilia sale hosted by Matthews Auctions.

DUBLIN, Ohio – An extremely rare Texaco Home Lubricant counter-top display rack made of painted metal, was the top lot of the approximately 420 items of petroliana and automobilia sold at an auction hosted by Matthews Auctions at the annual Check the Oil Show in Dublin, just outside of Columbus, Ohio.

The sign, measuring 12 inches by 13 ½ inches by 5 inches and rated 9+ on a scale of 1-10 for overall condition, sold for $7,425 and was called “the best of example of this piece I have ever sold at auction,” said Dan Matthews of Matthews Auctions. “Condition is what drove the price up, for this and other lots.”

More than 200 people packed the Embassy Suites Hotel in Dublin—where the auction was held on June 25—to bid on porcelain, tin and cardboard signs, globes, great display pieces and other examples of gas station and automotive collectibles, all rising stars in the collecting world. Telephone and absentee bidding was very brisk, in fact accounting for a good percentage of the top lots sold.

“Many of the top earners were cardboard displays and other display pieces, not signs, and that runs counter to what we’ve seen in previous sales,” Matthews said. “Display pieces are becoming more and more sought after by collectors and are an up-and-coming category. Of course, condition is what matters most. Items rated 8.5 or 9 and above all brought high dollars.”

This Ford Genuine Parts single-sided tin counter-top (or hanging display) neon sign sold for the second-highest amount on the day, garnering $6,050.

Online bidding was facilitated by Proxibid and LiveAuctioneers.Following are additional highlights from the auction (all prices quoted include a 10-percent buyer’s premium):

• The second top lot was a Ford Genuine Parts single-sided tin counter-top (or hanging display) neon sign, circa late 1920s, rated 8.5 with good color and original neon tubing, switch and transformer. It knocked down at $6,050. In third place was a tin flange sign reading “Stop Here for Silver Edge Raybestos Brake Service,” boasting great graphics. It commanded $4,675.

• A Johnson Sea Horse Outboard Motors single-sided tin self-framed sign (“Bailey Service, Inc.”), with sea horse logo, 32 inches by 56 inches, rated 8.9 with great color and shine, brought $3,850; and a Stanley Garage Door Holders single-sided tin wood-back sign (“Hold Your Garage Doors Open!”), with great graphics, rated 8, 26 inches by 34 inches, made $3,520.

This Raybestos Brake Service “Stop Here For Silver Edge” tin flange sign, rated 8, sold for $4,675.

• Two lots coasted to identical hammer prices of $3,300. One was a single-sided porcelain oval sign having “Power With Race Horse & Jockey” graphics (and meant to have neon around the perimeter), rated 9 with great gloss and color. The other was a set of 15-inch lenses in a metal globe body for Associated Green Gold Gasoline, with original body and the display lens, rated 9.

• A single-sided tin embossed sign for Kelly-Springfield Automobile Tires / Consolidated Rubber Tire, 14 inches by 20 inches, rated 8.75 with good color and shine (marked H.D. Beach Co., Coshocton, Ohio), fetched $3,190; and a double-sided tin tombstone-shaped sign for Reo Sales & Service, Heavy Duty Trucks, Safety Buses, 30 inches by 20 inches, rated 9, hit $2,970.

• A Spectral Ford Radio three-piece cardboard stand-up display with great graphics went for $2,420. The cardboard easel-back signs measured 61 inches by 40 inches, 61 inches by 20 inches and 37 inches by 19 inches. All were rated 7.5-8. Also, a single-sided cardboard sign for Splitdorf (“Pep!”) Spark Plugs, 30 inches by 22 inches, rated 7.75, changed hands for $2,200.

This Stanley Garage Door “Hold Your Garage Doors Open!” single-sided tin sign brought $3,520.

• A Goodyear Service Station porcelain flange sign with tire-around-the-world logo, 30 inches by 26 inches and rated 8.9 for the display and 8.5 for the reverse, with great gloss and color, breezed to $2,200; and a Union Gasoline 15-inch single lens in a metal body, rated 8 and in overall good condition, with the “Ethyl” logo and the original (repainted) body, made $2,035.

• An Off ‘n’ On Tire Chains die-cut cardboard tri-fold display, 12 inches by 22 inches by 6 inches, rated 9, sold for $1,760; a Dreadnaught Chains “Always Grip, Never Slip” die-cut cardboard easel-back sign, with battleship and chained tire graphics, rated 9.5, garnered $1,650; and a Mapco Speedway Coil single-sided tin embossed sign, rated 9, also topped out at $1,650.

• Rounding out the day’s top lots, an Oak Motor Oil double-sided porcelain sign with tree graphic and good gloss and color, rated 8.25 for the display, demanded $1,650; an “Ask For Veedol Motor Oils, 100% Pennsylvania Supreme Quality” double-sided porcelain tombstone-shaped sign with the display rated 9.5 went for $1,540; and an “X Liquid Repairs Leaky Radiators” single-sided tin self-embossed sign, marked Burdick and rated 9, realized $825.

Matthews recently completed writing a book about petroliana, titled “The Fine Art of Collecting Petroliana.” For information on how to order a copy, call 877.968.8880, e-mail to danm@matthewsauctions.com or visit the Matthews Auctions website.

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