Washington Chief gas sign realizes $20,900 at Matthews Auctions

A 72-inch Washington Chief Gasoline double-sided porcelain sign with full Indian headdress profile for a graphic climbed to $20,900 at an auction held Aug. 6 by Matthews Auctions, LLC, based in Nokomis, Ill. The sale was conducted on the final day of the 2010 Iowa Gas Show, held at the Airport Holiday Inn in Des Moines. Both events were held there.

The Washington Chief sign was the top lot of the more than 500 lots of petroliana (gas and oil signs, globes, cans and a collection of rest room signs) that changed hands that day. Headlining the sale were 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 were also featured in the auction.

“Petroliana and automobilia are alive and well as collectibles, particularly gas and oil signs,” said Dan Matthews of Matthews Auctions, LLC. “Globe prices were a little depressed and oil cans just held their own, but overall the auction was a big success. In fact, it was our largest one-day sale ever.” Internet bidding, via LiveAuctioneers.com and Proxibid.com, was very brisk, Mr. Matthews added.

Following are additional highlights from the sale. All prices quoted include a 10 percent buyer’s premium.

The second top lot of the day was a rare Ace High & Wil-Flo Motor Oil porcelain thermometer, 38 inches tall by 8 inches wide. It went for $13,200. A pair of lots flirted with the $10,000 mark but just fell short. One was a Hood Tire Man with straight bow tie single-sided tin die-cut sign ($9,900). The other was a nice Associated Gasoline “More Miles to the Gallon” single-sided porcelain sign ($9,350).

A Dodge-Plymouth double-sided porcelain neon sign topped out at $7,425; a Goodrich Safety Tires single-sided porcelain sign with Mountie logo realized $6,600; a Hood Tire Dealer Man with straight tie single-sided porcelain die-cut sign brought $5,500; a Red Hat Motor Oil Gasoline double-side porcelain sign fetched $5,225; and a St. Helens Gasoline double-sided porcelain sign hit $5,280.

A Mobiloil Marine double-sided porcelain sign with Pegasus graphic, 30 inches, garnered $4,400; a Little Bear Gasoline gill single lens in a gill glass globe body changed hands for $4,675; a Clipper with airplane image 15-inch single-lens in metal globe body coasted to $4,400; and a Red Rooster Fruit & Produce single-sided porcelain sign with great graphic, 36 inches, sold for $4,950.

A Richfield Richlube Motor Oil double-sided porcelain sign with open wheel race car graphic, 24 inches, breezed to $4,675; a Veltex Company Fletcher Oil single-sided porcelain truck door sign, 18 inches, peaked at $4,400; a United Motor Service single-sided porcelain counter-top or window neon sign hit the mark at $4,950; and a Pure Lighted identification sign with two 48-inch lenses hit $3,850.

A Mobil Pegasus cookie-cutter single-sided porcelain die-cut sign, 69 inches by 92 inches, earned $4,125; the same amount was realized for a Mobil Pegasus two-piece cookie-cutter single-sided porcelain sign; a Mohawk Gasoline 15-inch single lens in a metal globe body attained $3,850; and an RPM Motor Oil ‘A Knockout For Winter’ one-sided tin sign with Donald Duck graphic fetched $3,850.

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