Petroliana Items From Three Major Collections to go on the Block at Iowa Gas Show

This rare Bulko Gasoline porcelain sign with elephant graphic and white background, rated 9+/10, will be among the petroliana items up for auction by Matthews Auctions on Friday, Aug. 6, 2010.

DES MOINES, Iowa – More than 500 lots of petroliana items—mostly gas and oil signs but to include globes, cans and a great collection of rest room signs—will be sold at auction by Matthews Auctions on Friday, Aug. 6, 2010 at the Airport Holiday Inn in Des Moines, on the final day of the 2010 Iowa Gas Show, held at the same venue.

“The Iowa Gas Show is a hugely popular annual event, and it’s our good fortune to be able to cap the festivities with an auction of this high caliber,” said Dan Matthews of Matthews Auctions, LLC. “We’ve got a lot of rare items in this sale, a wide variety of fresh to the market petroliana collectibles. There will be something for just about everybody. Plan to spend the day.”

Headlining the sale will be three major collections, consigned by Ray and Mary Sue Seider of California, the late Ace Feeks of Oregon, and Ron Ueberhein of Lincoln, Neb. Other consignments will also be featured. Online bidding will be facilitated by and Proxibid. “We’ll need two Internet platforms to keep up with the action,” Matthews said.

Several Mobil signs will be offered, to include a Mobil Marine double-sided porcelain sign with Pegasus graphic (30 inches, with original base, rated 9+ out of 10 for condition); a Mobil Pegasus cookie-cutter single-sided porcelain sign, dated 1954, the four-piece version (8.75); and a Mobil Pegasus single-sided porcelain die-cut sign with great color and gloss (9.75).

Gas signs will be offered up in abundance. Highlights include a rare Bulko porcelain sign with elephant graphic and white background, 12 inches by 12 inches (rated 9+); an Associated Gasoline “More Miles to the Gallon” single-sided porcelain sign with pitcher graphic (8.9); and a Washington Chief Gasoline double-sided porcelain sign with full headdress Indian profile (8.9).

Other gas signs of note include an early Conoco double-sided porcelain sign with ethyl logo, 26 inches, with great color and gloss (rated 7.9); another Conoco double-sided porcelain sign, this one with the Minuteman logo, 26 inches, also with great color and gloss (8.4); and a Red Hat Motor Oil Gasoline double-sided porcelain sign with logos, 32 inches, rated 8 and 7.5.

Motor oil signs should do well, too. Leading the pack will be an RPM Motor Oil single-sided tin sign with Mickey Mouse graphic, 23.5 inches, dated 1939, rated 6.9; another RPM Disney-themed sign, this one showing Donald Duck, saying “A Knockout For Winter” (9); and a Socony Air-Craft Oils Standard Oil Company of New York single-sided porcelain sign rated 8.5.

A Washington Chief Gasoline double-sided porcelain sign with full headdress Indian profile.

A Red Hat Motor Oil double-sided porcelain sign, 32 inches, rated 8 and 7.5, great color and gloss.

Other signs expected to pique bidder interest include a Super Chevrolet double-sided porcelain die-cut sign marked Walker & Co., 42 inches by 48 inches (rated 8.9 front, 8+ back); and a Veltex Company Fletcher Oil single-sided porcelain truck door sign, 18 inches (9). Also sold will be an Indian Motorcycle by Valvoline 1-gallon flat metal can with great graphic (7.5).

Petroliana thermometers will feature a Champion Spark Plugs “Dependable in All Weather” tin thermometer (user spins the wheel to tell what needs to be done to his car); and a rare Ace High & Wil-Flo Motor Oil porcelain thermometer, 38 inches by 8 inches (8.75). Also offered will be a Sunoco double-sided porcelain rest room sign with man and lady logos (8.5).

A Hood Tire Man single-sided tin die-cut sign, 36 inches tall by 13 inches wide, rated 8.9/10.

A pair of Hood Tire Man single-sided tin signs, both 36 inches by 12 inches, are expected to get paddles waving. One is a dealer sign with a straight tie graphic, rated 9; the other features a bow-tie graphic and is rated 8.9, with great color and shine. A top lot in the gas globes group is a Midway New Navy Gasoline 15-inch perforated globe with metal lenses in a metal body (7.5).

Other globes worthy of mention include a super rare Veltex Motor Oils Gasoline 15-inch globe with single lens in a metal body, 19.5 inches by 17.5 inches, rated 8+; a Clipper 15-inch single-lens globe with airplane graphic in a metal repainted body (9); and a Little Bear Gasoline gill single-lens globe in a gill glass body, with the lens rated a high 9+ and the body a solid 9.

A Mule Battery “It Has Kick” double-sided tin sign with a great graphic in the original wooden frame (24 inches by 24 inches) is rated 8.25 on the front, 7 on the reverse. Other signs include a Snowboy “Picked For Flavor” single-sided porcelain sign, 20 inches, rated 9; and a BP single-sided porcelain sign with a graphic of early cars and planes, 24 inches by 40 inches (7.9).

A RPM Motor Oil “A Real Knockout For Winter” single-sided tin sign with Donald Duck graphic.

A Red Rooster Fruit & Produce single-sided porcelain sign with great graphic, 36 inches, rated 8.9.

Rounding out the day’s expected top lots: a Richfield and State of New York “Don’t Pass on Hills” cloth poster, 42 inches by 28 inches, rated 8.5; a Red Rooster Fruit & Produce single-sided porcelain sign with great graphic and super gloss and color (8.9); and an Arden Protected Milk porcelain die-cut flange sign with a wonderful bottle and boy graphic, both sides rated 9.

For more information about this auction, call 217.563.8880, e-mail Dan Matthews at, or visit the Matthews Auctions web site.


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