Home Taxi service All signs point to success at Morphy’s $2.4 million Automobilia, Petroliana &...

All signs point to success at Morphy’s $2.4 million Automobilia, Petroliana & Railroadiana auction


Rare 1940’s RPM Motor Oils ‘A Knockout For Winter’ taxi cab spare tire insert sign with Donald Duck graphic, 23½ inches in diameter. Outstanding colors and graphics with high overall shine. Sold for $18,000 against an estimate of $2,500 to $4,500
Morphy Auctions

DENVER, Pa. — Trains, planes and automobiles were on the minds of bidders who brought their A-games to Morphy’s grand Automobilia, Petroliana & Railroadiana auction on March 29-30. The colorful 1,498-lot sale featured rare and fresh-to-market examples of signage, gas pumps, globes and other service station equipment from the golden age of the automobile. The two-day grand total came to $2.4 million.

Unsurprisingly, the top lot of the sale was a Wesco Model 212 wide-body gas pump with a clock face, brass nozzle, and bevels; and three different Visiglas glasses at the top. With visual appeal to spare, the extremely rare pump had undergone a beautiful restoration, as evidenced by its bright orange body and image of Hancock Gasoline’s “Cock O’ The Walk” mascot. Possibly the first pump of its type to be offered at auction, it attracted 23 bids before settling well above the estimate at $38,400.

The neon appeal, combined with pristine condition, led to a brilliant result for a Buick Authorized Valve In Head porcelain sign in pristine original condition. Each of its faces received a solid 9.0+ rating, with the auction catalog’s condition report noting a “super clean field with no chipping or wear”. He captured a winning bid above the estimate of $27,600.

Although the Ford Edsel may not have been a hit with consumers when it debuted in 1957, dealership signs for the short-lived car designed for “the young executive” have been fashionable collectibles for many years. years. Automobilia fans jumped at the chance to bid on a rare and exceptional Edsel Automobiles double sided porcelain neon sign in green and white with a large ‘E’ dot logo. Measuring 127 inches long and authenticated by TAC, it opened at $10,000 and settled into its valuation range at $24,000.

Extremely rare and beautiful West Coast Equipment Company model #212 gas pump manufactured by Wesco and professionally restored in Hancock Gasoline livery. Sold for $38,400 against an estimate of $15,000 to $30,000
Morphy Auctions

“It’s ironic that in its day an Edsel could be bought for the equivalent of what this sign was selling for, with plenty of spare change,” said John Mihovetz, head of Automobilia & Petroliana at Morphy. [When they debuted, Edsels could be purchased for as little as $2,484, which would be approximately $21,730 in today’s money.]

A round, double-sided porcelain Signal Gasoline sign with a traffic sign graphic, yellow lettering and a red border was particularly desirable due to its 45-inch size. “Most signs with this particular design on a black background are 72 inches in diameter. Displaying it would take up a lot of space on the wall. For that reason alone, some collectors prefer the smaller, more manageable size,” Mihovetz said. With sides ranked 8.25+/8.0+, the sign easily surpassed its $6,000-$12,000 estimate, stopping at $21,600.

Bidders chasing a 1940s RPM Motor Oil “A Knockout For Winter” sign, featuring an image of Donald Duck punching a snowman, faced cross competition from Disney collectors. Originally designed for use as a taxicab spare wheel insert panel, it has survived the past 60 years with no apologies necessary for its condition. With a solid 8.9+ rating, exceptional color and high overall gloss, it went up for auction with a suggested estimate of $2,500-4,500, but rose through the ranks to close at $18,000.

A slew of vintage gas pump globes, 143 in all, included such rare beauties as an original 1930s Western Motor Gasoline globe lens featuring the image of cowboys on horseback through a southwestern landscape . An important aspect of the globe was its original red ripple shaped body, which serves as an ideal setting for art. Mihovetz said he could only recall “one or two other examples of this globe design with a red corrugated body appearing at auction.” With sides rated 9.0/8.9+ respectively, the example presented by Morphy’s was top of its class, selling within the estimate for $23,370.

Another favorite was a beautiful 1930s Gilmore Gasoline Red Lion globe with an image of a fierce red lion charging at full stride. Over the past decade, very few globes of this particular type have appeared at auction. The one offered by Morphy’s was recognized for its exceptional 9.0 condition and fetched a winning bid of $20,910. Also from Animal World, a rare and exceptional 1930s Husky Ethyl Gasoline Globe with an image of the company’s husky dog ​​mascot was described as new/old stock in 9.75+ condition. It easily exceeded “sit and stay” expectations at $18,450. The lion and dog were joined by a 1930s Hancock “Cock O’ The Walk” globe, whose rooster mascot charmed more than $10,455 from bidders.

Morphy’s yard was overflowing with 400 lots of tantalizing rarities from a major private collection in central Ohio, as well as advanced collections from Southern California and Montana. The fine range of train-related items included locomotive number plates, signs of legendary railway lines, stations and depots; signals, whistles, fire alarms, bells, locks, lamps, beacons, and two dozen desirable railroad lanterns, many with colored glass lenses.

Buick Authorized Valve In Head porcelain neon sign in perfect original condition, rated 9.0+ on both sides. Sold above estimate for $27,600
Morphy Auctions

Some railroad lots sold for several times their pre-sale estimates. One of the finest was a three-chime bronze Crosby steam whistle that measures 40½ inches high by 13 inches in diameter. Only a few dozen of this size were produced by Crosby, and of these very few have survived. With a wide estimate of $2,000 to $15,000 to guide them, collectors jumped at the chance to own the rare whistle, bidding it at $17,220.

A richly hued red and gold cast iron Pennsylvania railroad station sign emblazoned with ‘OZONE PARK’ drew 31 bids before ending its auction at $11,070 against a pre-sale estimate of $1,000-$4,000 . Another lot that defied expectations was a cast iron Union Switch & Signal clockwork signal with a Peter Gray four-lens oil switch lamp mounted on its top. Mark YNH&HRRT and cataloged with an estimate of $1,000 to $5,000, it sold for $13,530.

To discuss consigning a collection or unique item to a future Morphy Auctions Automobilia, Petroliana & Railroadiana sale on a confidential, no-obligation basis, call 877-968-8880 or email [email protected] morphyauctions.com. Visit Morphy online: www.morphyauctions.com.