Morphy’s automobilia auction soars past pre-sale estimates

Morphy’s automobilia auction soars past pre-sale estimates

Vintage dealer license plate brings 17 times its estimated value

Morphy’s auction of automobilia and petroliana generated $2.8 million in sales in early October, the Pennsylvania-based auction company announced, pointing out that bidding “rose to two and three times the high (pre-sale) estimate.”

Morphy’s added that many of the bidders were newcomers to the hobby.

Bengal gasoline globe sells for nearly $20,000

Calling the sale “an absolute blockbuster,” Morphy Auctions president and founder Dan Morphy said consignments from “several outstanding collections” excited bidders, “including that great collection from Canada, which grabbed a lot of attention at the preview.”

Canadian consignments included the top seller of the auction, a Buffalo Brand Gasoline, Oils and Greases of Winnipeg, Manitoba, embossed tin sign promoting Electro Gasoline and English Motor Oil. 

“One of few known examples of its type, the 60- by 36-inch sign featuring the image of a stern-faced buffalo, condition 7.5+, thundered past its $5,000-$10,000 estimate to stop at $43,050,” the auction house said.

‘Slate boy’ sign sells for $15,600

Three “eye-catching” pieces of advertising emblazoned with the Bengal Gasoline leaping tiger were among the sale’s leaders, the company added, noting Bengal Pep & Power porcelain sign that sold for $40,590, and two Bengal Green Gasoline 15-inch gas pump globes, each of which brought $19,200.

A 48-inch porcelain sign from Enarco/White Rose Gasoline, with the Canadian company’s trademark “slate boy,” had a pre-sale estimate of $3,500 to $6,000 but sold for $15,600.

Coors Dairy sign sells for $43,520

“Anyone who has taken a leisurely Sunday drive in the countryside has probably passed a dairy, but the days are long gone when one might see a roadside sign as attractive as the one Morphy’s offered for Coors Dairy,” Morphy’s said.

“The double-sided die-cut porcelain neon sign with Art Deco styling and the image of a figural cow illuminated flawlessly in vivid green and red. Garnering 33 bids, the condition 7.9+ sign swept past its $10,000-$20,000 estimate to settle at $43,520.”

$27,650 was price paid for this restored gas pump

A restored Wayne Roman-column gasoline pump with an illuminating glass cylinder in Richfield Gasoline’s yellow and cobalt blue livery brought $27,650. A 1910 Maryland dealer license plate in porcelain sold for $8,610, 17 times its high pre-auction estimate.

Among non-petroleum items, a Five Roses Flour porcelain sign with a Native American graphic sold for $12,300 and a 1939 “Drink Coca-Cola — Fountain Service” sign brought $6,150.

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