Fresh-to-market Sinclair Aircraft porcelain service station sign with unbeatable airplane graphic was airborne at $62,400
DENVER, Pa. – Led by an enviable array of rare advertising signs, gas pumps, globes and early service station and motoring accessories, Morphy Auctions July 19-20 Automobilia & Petroliana auction attracted bidders from coast to coast and cruised to a grand total of $2.3 million, inclusive of buyer’s premium. The 1,000-lot sale featured superior-quality consignments from a number of advanced collections, offering bidders a chance to buy elusive pieces at condition levels that would be nearly impossible to improve upon.
To no one’s surprise, a clean, fresh-to-the-market Sinclair Aircraft double-sided porcelain service station sign with an early airplane graphic landed in the auction’s #1 slot. Measuring 48 inches in diameter and graded a strong 9.0 and 8.0 on each of its sides, the coveted sign was pursued by not only petroliana collectors but also aviation enthusiasts. Propelled by multiple bidders, it rose to a lofty altitude, settling comfortably within its estimate range at $62,400.
Collectors will pay a premium to acquire gasoline signs that are known to be rare, but even more so if they include attractive images of vehicles. A circa-1940s Paragon Gasolene double-sided porcelain sign with a tanker trunk graphic, its sides graded 8.0 and 7.9, respectively, sold for $27,600 against an estimate of $8,000-$16,000. A very scarce Sunset Gasoline & Rainbow Motor Oil double-sided porcelain service station sign depicting a brilliant sunset flanked by images of a speeding car and airplane sold near the top of its estimate range for $24,000.
Neon car dealership signs, especially those in nice original condition, are always in demand as well. The July auction featured an outstanding dual-brand Cadillac and Oldsmobile die-cut porcelain neon sign with its correct bullnose attachment. A major statement piece measuring 82 by 108 inches and graded 8.75+ condition, it sold above high estimate for $25,200.
A gleaming lineup of more than 160 gas pump globes crossed the auction block, with many tempting rarities in the mix. A complete 15-inch-diameter Jumbo Gas “Power To Pass” gas pump globe was made in the 1930s and retained its original high-profile metal body. One of few known examples, its main attraction was its outstanding central graphic of a lumbering elephant. Graded 8.5 out of 10 and estimated at $7,000-$14,000, the globe had many bidders chasing it until its run concluded at $20,910.
Another great example of early 20th-century art was the rare one-piece S-M (Southern Minnesota) Oil Co., Red Hat Gasoline gas pump globe with a jaunty top-hat graphic on each side. Made in the 1920s and one of only a handful of extant examples, it boasted a condition grade of 8.0 and sold for $20,000 against an $8,000-$14,000 estimate.
A Jenney (Boston, Mass.) Aero Solvenized Gasoline globe lens in gorgeous orange and periwinkle blue colors enhancing an airplane graphic was another top performer, selling for $21,600 against an estimate of $7,000-$14,000. Right alongside it, a rare and exceptional circa-1930s SIPO (Silent Power Gasoline, San Antonio, Texas) 13.5-inch single-globe lens presented in very fine 9.0 condition. It sold within its estimate range for $20,910.
What would an automobilia or petroliana collection be without an antique gas pump? A circa-1920s Wayne Roman column 10-gallon visible gas pump in 8.0 condition sold above high estimate for $28,800; while a Wayne Model #50 showcase gas pump restored in royal blue and white Pure Gasoline livery earned $26,400 against an estimate of $10,000-$15,000.
Soda pop advertising was an added attraction of the two-day sale. The offerings were led by an exceedingly rare 14-inch Pepsi-Cola reverse-painted, illuminating glass “bullet” sign with a bottle graphic. Produced in the 1940s and retaining its original wood base and metal “can,” the condition 9.25 sign surpassed its high estimate to command an effervescent $21,420.
To discuss consigning automobilia or petroliana to a future auction at Morphy’s, please call toll-free 877-968-8880 or email email@example.com. All enquiries are kept strictly confidential. Visit Morphy Auctions online at www.morphyauctions.com.
All prices quoted in this report are inclusive of buyer’s premium.
All images courtesy of Morphy Auctions
Rare and outstanding SIPO (Silent Power Gasoline, San Antonio, Texas) 13.5in single-globe lens, circa 1930s. One of few known examples. Condition: 9.0. Sold within estimate for $20,910
Circa-1940s Paragon Gasolene double-sided porcelain sign with tanker trunk graphic, 26in diameter. Condition: 8.0, 7.9. Sold for $27,600 against an estimate of $8,000-$16,000
Outstanding Cadillac and Oldsmobile die-cut porcelain neon sign with crests for both brands, bullnose attachment. Size: 82in x 108in. Condition: 8.75+. Sold above high estimate for $25,200
Circa-1920s Wayne Roman column 10-gallon visible gas pump with excellent patina. Size: 105in high. Condition: 8.0. Sold above high estimate for $28,800
Outstanding Sinclair Aircraft double-sided porcelain service station sign with airplane graphic. Clean, fresh-to-market example. Condition of each side: 9.0 and 8.9+. Sold within estimate range for $62,400
Wayne Model #50 showcase gas pump restored in royal blue and white Pure Gasoline livery. Sold for $26,400 against an estimate of $10,000-$15,000
Exceedingly rare 14in Pepsi-Cola reverse-painted glass ‘bullet’ lighted sign with bottle graphic, circa 1940s. Original wood base and metal ‘can.’ Condition: 9.25. Sold above high estimate for $21,420
Rare one-piece S-M (Southern Minnesota) Oil Co., Red Hat Gasoline etched gas pump globe with iconic red top hat graphic on each side. Circa 1920s. One of few known examples. Condition: 8.0. Sold for $20,000 against an $8,000-$14,000 estimate
Rare Sunset Gasoline & Rainbow Motor Oil double-sided porcelain service station sign with speeding car and airplane graphics alongside a brilliant setting-sun image. Condition: 8.5, 7.0. Sold near top of estimate range for $24,000
Rare and complete 15in Jumbo Gas ‘Power To Pass’ gas pump globe with excellent elephant graphic. High-profile metal body. Circa 1930s. One of only a few known examples. Condition: 8.5. Sold for $20,910 against an estimate of $7,000-$14,000
Rare Jenney (Boston, Mass.) Aero Solvenized Gasoline globe lens with airplane graphic. 13.25in diameter. Sold for $21,600 against an estimate of $7,000-$14,000