Rich Penn Des Moines Auction

. October 26, 2008

Country Store, Advertising, Coin-Operated Machines, and related items will be offered at the Rich Penn Auction Event in Des Moines, Iowa. This could be an early Christmas shopping opportunity, taking place at the Iowa State Fairgrounds November 1 & 2.

“Our fall Country Store and Advertising Auction offers several great collections and a wide variety of items,” says Penn. “It looks like Santa came early!” The two day auction event brings to market a diverse selection of over 1,300 lots, including items from the superb round oak stove collection of Deb Steimle and Fred Kibler. Also included are more great things from the country store collections of Jerry Rudy, John Reech, Alan Bitterman, Edwin Brztowski and others. Among those collections comes a huge variety of country store, advertising, a rare restored Sidney advertising clock (and other clocks), drug store, soda fountain, barber shop and toys from 1900 to 1960, including pressed steel, tin, windup, live steam, battery operated and more.

Among the great toys selling are a half dozen German driving school models, several BO robots, (among them an excellent 1962 Horikawa Astronaut), Japanese racers, Lionel and Ives trains, Marx windup toys that include a Main-Street in the box, a Roy Rogers lamp, rifles, revolvers, and even a tent. Other character pieces include Popeye & Lone Ranger items, a BO Mickey Mouse drummer, a rare Mr. Peanut floor model cast-iron peanut roaster, and much more.

In addition to the toys, Penn has a diverse offering of country store items. There are display cases & cabinets, even two rare double tower tombstone counter cases. Penn always has a nice selection of spool & dye cabinets and soda fountain items, Coca-Cola signs, clocks and calendars. This auction also includes other advertising signs, gum & candy jars and displays, apothecary jars & show globes, ice cream dippers and syrup dispensers. Among the syrup dispensers are a number of very rare ones, about twenty.? Some of the rarest are: the Dixie-Flip, Cherri Bon, Cardinal Cherry, Indian Rock, Reddy Chocolate, Liberty Root Beer, and a very unusual Vernor’s Ginger Ale dispenser. The dispensers, according to Penn, all come with the correct marked pump for the dispenser. There’s even a classic soda fountain back bar to put them on.

Says Penn, “This auction is even more diverse than our spring auction. Great pieces have come to us from collections in every corner of the United States. We have items from California, Arizona, Texas, Kansas, Michigan, New Jersey, Florida, and just about everywhere in between.” And diversity can arrive or leave on wheels. You could drive away in a 1925 Model T touring car. Or if you’re a fisherman, equip your collector fishing boat with one of almost a dozen outboard motors. There are even western & cowboy items. And when that cowpoke returns to the ranch, the rare number 12 Round Oak stove from the Stiemle/Kibler collection can keep him warm. Their collection also included wonderful examples of early weather vanes and lightening rod balls.

For the Breweriana collector, there are several extremely difficult to find pieces. Among the early Budweiser and Miller beer pieces are a rare large AB brewery outdoor neon sign from St. Louis, (it may have been a corner sign at the brewery), a pair of corner porcelain signs for Miller beer, and even two Paul Stanley mechanical pieces for Lone Star Beer. If you can’t spend enough at the auction, you can always put your money in the coin-operated machines. There are slots, vending and arcade pieces. “One of the vending pieces is a superb original condition Stollwerk vender. It’s a wood case four column “L” shaped chocolate vendor,” says Penn. “This machine was jammed with a bent 1917 penny. The only other coin inside was a 1905 Indian head penny. The machine was missing the key and I think we were the first to open it since that 1917 penny went in it.” Penn is also offering a very rare Mills double Dewey floor model slot machine, with music. “This machine, in nickel & quarter play, is a rare version in a cabinet that had a mahogany finish. It looks and works perfectly. And it’s about as correct as you could ask for.”

Variety means salesman’s samples too. With several to choose from, perhaps the most unusual is the jail cell salesman’s sample.? In it’s own carrying case, and from the Hendriksen Electric Safety Grating System in Chicago, the 1904 patented device shows the jailer how an alarm is triggered if someone were to saw through a bar.

If buyers are inclined to collect smalls, there are over 200 watch fobs & lodge pins. With many grouped in lots of 10 or so, it will be easy to start a collection. When you think of smalls, many smalls were for Buster Brown items. Here could be the largest Buster Brown piece you’ll ever find. Take a spin on a rare four horse 1950’s Buster Brown store Merry-Go-Round. Among the more unusual pieces in the auction, the Merry-Go-Round was used in a shoe store to keep the little ones happy while Mom shopped for their shoes. This piece came to auction directly from an Ohio shoe store. “We’ve heard of this piece, but never seen one before.? Buster Brown collectors should just love it!” Penn commented. When you think of smalls, you often think of Planters Peanuts too. Planters Peanut collectors can roast their own peanuts in an authentic early 1900’s Planter’s Peanut floor roaster. Definitely not a small. With four cast-iron Mr. Peanuts on each corner and a cast-iron name plate, it clearly identifies itself as a true Planters piece. According to Penn, “The motor works and it looks like it could roast. It’s probably the heaviest Planters piece we’ve ever sold.”

Noting the huge variety, Penn went on with the vast assortment in the auction. The litany covered yard long lithographs, dental cabinets, vet cabinets, Black memorabilia, stained glass windows, straw dispensers, even a new old stock set of Burma Shave road signs.

Other unusual pieces include the collection of German circa 1940’s driving school models. These pieces are all working scale models used to teach students how an automobile or a truck worked. According to Penn, this group of seven pieces is the largest group to come to auction in recent years. The pieces show working electronics, engines & drive trains. And if you like scale models that you can actually drive, there’s a miniature promotional milk truck with a gas engine. And if you want something full-sized to drive, crank up the 1925 Model T touring car in original correct condition with rebuilt engine and transmission. Drive it home if you like!

While driving that Model T home…..you might make a stop at the barber shop. You’ll find a nice selection of barber shop pieces too; several barber chairs, even a beautifully restored Koken, barber bottles, occupational shaving mugs and many razors. Several of the occupational mugs are considered quite rare. Two of those would be for the Light House Keeper and the Billiard Player.

Both the Saturday session and the Sunday session will include many great advertising signs and display pieces as well as toys. Penn said, “This is going to be a great Pre-Holiday auction event. Collectors will once again have 1,300 great choices and it’s ALL AT NO RESERVE. A perfect chance to buy yourself a Christmas present you know you’ll like! This is an auction to get on your calendar now.” Preview is at noon to 6 p.m. on Friday, October 31. Saturday and Sunday sessions begin at 9 a.m., with preview at 8 a.m. until auction start. Penn is glad to accommodate absentee and telephone bidding. The auction will also be broadcast through LiveAuctioneers, live on eBay. And streaming video can be accessed from Penn’s Web site. Full color catalogs for this auction are available. To order one or to get a complimentary flyer, call 319-291-6688. Penn is a member of both the National Auctioneers Association and The Iowa Auctioneers Association.

Category: Auction News

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