Collectors get ready to fill ’er up at Morphy’s Aug. 1 Iowa Gas Auction in Des Moines Rare signs, oilcans, gas pumps and globes – guaranteed authentic – will be in plentiful supply at Morphy's Aug. 1 Petroliana auction held at the Iowa Gas Swap Meet.
News-Antique.com - Jul 29,2014 - DES MOINES, Iowa – More than 500 lots of oil, gas and auto-related advertising and collectibles are lined up and ready to go under the hammer at Morphy’s off-site Iowa Gas Auction on Friday, August 1st. The auction will be held at the Holiday Inn Airport in Des Moines, Iowa, with a 9 a.m. (Central) start time. All forms of bidding will be available, including live via the Internet.
Always a popular event, the auction is regarded by many as the high point of the renowned Iowa Gas Swap Meet, the world’s largest event devoted exclusively to petroliana and its fans. No reproductions are allowed in the auction. Bidders know they can trust each item to be authentic and exactly as described in the catalog by Morphy’s petroliana expert Dan Matthews.
A fantastic array of colorful advertising signs will be available, led by Lot 53, which publicizes Marigold Coach Lines Metropolitan System. This single-sided porcelain die-cut sign states, “Coaches Stop Here,” and is an artful depiction of a gold and green tourist motor coach, realistically detailed with reclining seats and window curtains. Restored to a very high standard, the 42 by 11˝ inch sign is expected to make $10,000-$15,000 at auction.
Another top piece is Lot 37, a shield-shape sign that confirms an establishment is a “Rand McNally Official Hotel.” Executed in vibrant hues, it has a Native-American theme that includes a brave in colorful attire, another brave in silhouette on horseback, and a picturesque lake scene. A double-sided die-cut, it is entered in the auction with a $6,000-$9,000 estimate.
Super glossy and in excellent condition, Lot 38, a porcelain flange sign for Johnson Products, includes the company’s hourglass “Time Tells” logo, and advises: “Coupons Accepted.” It measures 10 by 14 inches and is estimated at $8,000-$12,000.
An American classic, Mobil’s Pegasus is the focal point of an embossed, single-sided porcelain sign that Dan Matthews says is the “nicest one [he has] sold in a while.” Measuring 34 by 44 inches, the airborne depiction of the fabled flying horse is entered as Lot 51 and could realize $4,000-$6,000.
Triangular in shape, a single-sided porcelain die-cut sign advertising Hurricane Ethyl features a central image of a palm tree with fronds blowing sideways in high winds. This 18 by 12-inch beauty with a tropical theme may reach $2,000-$4,000.
Wood framed, a tin sign with embedded thermometer issued by Ajax Alcohol, “The Safest Antifreeze,” features a winking-owl mascot with the message “Be Wise this Winter.” An unusual find in 8+ condition, Lot 133 is estimated at $1,250-$1,750.
The auction includes many other categories of petroleum-related collectibles, including oilcans (Lot 35 – Harley-Davidson Motor Oil 5-gallon rocker metal can, est. $5,000-$8,000), salt and pepper shakers issued as service station premiums, gas pumps and globes.
Two of the top gas pump lenses in the sale are Lot 162, an example issued by Conoco with a Revolutionary War minuteman image in silhouette, estimate $1,250-$1,750; and Lot 282, a Hi-Power Gasoline lens with flying eagle logo, estimate