McColl-Frontenac petroliana sign fetches $11,550 at Matthews Auctions' Check the Oil event, June 22 A McColl-Frontenac Products double-sided porcelain petroliana sign with “Red Indian” logo, rated near mint at 9.5, sold for $11,550 at a Check the Oil auction held June 22 by Matthews Auctions.
News-Antique.com - Jun 26,2013 - (DUBLIN, Oh.) – A round McColl-Frontenac Products double-sided porcelain petroliana sign with “Red Indian” logo, rated near mint at 9.5 out of 10 for condition, sold for $11,550 at a Check the Oil auction held June 22 by Matthews Auctions, based in Nokomis, Ill. The auction was conducted on the second day of the Check the Oil Gas & Oil Show, held annually in Dublin.
The sign – 36 inches in diameter and having great gloss and color, with a clean field – was marked Vilas Enamel Products. It was the top achiever of the nearly 500 lots of petroliana (gas station collectibles) and automobilia (car memorabilia) that came up for bid. Headlining the sale was half of an outstanding Mobil collection. Matthews will sell the other half later this year.
“This was a good, strong auction that didn’t see any superstar items soar into the tens of thousands of dollars, but many lots – in particular signs and oil cans – sold in the $2,000-$5,000 range, and that’s very encouraging,” said Dan Matthews of Matthews Auctions. “The state of the petroliana and automobilia market is very healthy. And we see more and more new collectors.”
Internet bidding was facilitated by Proxibid.com, with over 250 registered online bidders. About 15-20 participated by phone, while an equal number of absentee bids were fielded. The auction was held at the Embassy Suites Hotel in Dublin (as was the Check the Oil Gas & Oil Show), just outside Columbus. Matthews Auctions has held an auction at the show for years.
Following are additional highlights from the auction. All prices include a 10 percent buyer’s premium.
The runner-up top lot was a Harbor Petroleum Products double-sided porcelain die-cut sign with sea plane graphics, 39 inches by 35 inches. Rated a modest 7 on one side and 6.5 on the other, the sign fetched $8,250. “Condition is everything,” Matthews said. “Regulars to my auctions will remember the same sign, only rated 8.9 and 8.75, sold for $40,000 awhile back.”
Two lots realized identical prices of $7,700. One was a Sinclair Aircraft double-sided porcelain sign with single-engine airplane graphics, rated 8, 48 inches in diameter, in fine shape except for a hole drilled into the sign’s center. The other was a pair of Reliable Premium Regular 13 ½ inch lenses set in the original Capco globe body, rated 9.5, with both lenses in great shape.
The list of Mobil lots was long and impressive. The star of the group was an original Mobiloil “D” single-sided porcelain sign (“Recommended For All Motor Cycle Engines”), rated well at 9, with Gargoyle logo. It hammered for $4,125. “There are a lot of fakes of this sign, but they’re square and that’s how you can tell,” Matthews said. “This sign was real and rectangular.”
An extremely rare Mobiloil single-sided porcelain shield-shaped sign – scarce because it featured both the Pegasus and Gargoyle logos – went to a determined bidder for $3,850. The sign was rated a near-mint 9.75 and was