Auction PR Publicity Announcements News and Information
Auction PR Publicity Announcements News and Information


The auction coincides with the popular Check the Oil Show in Dublin, Ohio, near Columbus.

(DUBLIN, Ohio) – Hundreds of examples of petroliana (gas station collectibles) and automobilia – to include porcelain and tin signs, countertop displays, cardboard advertising, globes and more – will come up for bid on Saturday, June 23, when Matthews Auctions, LLC, based in Nokomis, Ill., holds its annual Check the Oil Show auction in Dublin, near Columbus.

Like last year, the 2012 auction will be held at the Embassy Suites Hotel, in the northwest corner of metro Columbus, on the second day of the popular Check the Oil Gas & Oil Show, an annual gathering of petroliana and automobilia enthusiasts from around the country. “It just makes sense that we’d have our auction during the show. The folks love it,” Dan Matthews said.

Bidders will have the choice of attending the auction live, or online through or Phone and absentee bids will also be accepted. The first gavel is scheduled to come down promptly at 11 a.m. (EST). “We’ve got a few surprises in the form of special items sure to get attention,” Matthews said. “This may just be our best Check the Oil auction ever.”

Case Agency tin flange sign with Old Abe the eagle mascot graphic, rated 9 (est. $7,000-$9,000)

Four items in particular are expected to generate strong bidder interest. One is a rare Case Agency tin flange sign, rated 8.9 out of 10 for condition and measuring 24 inches by 16 inches (est. $7,000-$9,000). The sign features great graphics, with Old Abe (the Case Agency mascot) perched on a world globe. The sign is clearly marked “The H.D. Beach Co., Coshocton, Ohio.”

Old Abe was an eaglet that Chippewa Indians in Wisconsin found and kept as a pet after felling a tree in 1861. When the young bird got too big to keep, the Indians traded it for a bushel of corn to a man who later joined Company C of the Eighth Wisconsin Regiment during the Civil War. He brought the eagle, who he named Old Abe, into battle and kept him as a mascot.

After the war, the story of Old Abe reached Jerome Case, a businessman, who adopted Old Abe as the symbol of his business. The Case Agency was the automotive division of the J.I. Case Company, which in 1910 purchased the Pierce Motor Company and renamed the cars Case. Case produced cars from 1911-1926, including the Jay-Eye-See Brougham and the Touring-Y.

The second item is a framed photo of the United States Airship Akron, built by the Goodyear Zeppelin Corporation. The photo, signed by the photographer, Margaret Bourke White, had been given to the winner of a Goodyear tire sales contest in 1931. It shows the USS Akron and the airship dock where it was built. The photo is expected to realize $5,000-$7,000.

Measuring 20 inches by 26 inches, the photo is housed in a frame made of Duralumin, the same material used to make the framework of the airship. The USS Akron was a helium-filled rigid airship of the U.S. Navy and served as a flying aircraft carrier made for launching F9C Sparrowhawk bi-plane fighters. Tragically, the Akron went down in a storm, killing 73 people.

The third item of interest is a Red Rooster Fruit and Produce single-sided porcelain sign, 20 inches in diameter (est. $5,000-$7,000). “We see the Red Rooster sign like this from time to time, but usually in horrible condition,” Matthews said. “This one’s rated 9 and should do well.”

And the fourth lot sure to generate bidder buzz is an exceedingly rare Texaco Easy Pour Can single-sided porcelain sign, advertising the two-quart sized can and boasting great graphics (est. $6,000-$8,000). “This is the best example of this sign I’ve ever seen,” Matthews said of the 15 inch by 16 inch piece. “It’s rated 9+ and would be a 10 except for a few minor factory flaws.”

Other Texaco lots in the sale will include a seldom seen curved ad glass for the National A-38 gas pump, rated 8 and showing the Fire Chief Gasoline graphic with fireman’s helmet; a Texaco Gasoline Filling Station single-sided porcelain sign, 42 inches in diameter, rated 9; and a Texaco “No Smoking” single-sided porcelain sign with Texas company logo, rated highly at 9+.

Neon signs, light-up signs and globes will feature a small neon United Motors Service single-sided porcelain neon sign with touring car graphic, rated 9, in excellent working order; a Mercury Made Sunoco Motor Oil porcelain light-up oil bottle display with two glass inserts, three oil bottle racks and 18 Sunoco bottles; and a nice Yellow Ripple Gill globe body, rated 9+.

Oil signs will include a Petro Oil Burner single-sided porcelain sign with early tanker truck graphics, 30 inches by 21 inches, rated 8.5; an Ace High Motor Oil single-sided tin embossed sign with great early car and airplane graphics, 14 inches by 20 inches, rated 7.75; and a Conoco Germ Processed Motor Oil double-sided porcelain curb sign with logo, rated 9.75/9+.

Rounding out just some of the day’s expected top lots: a rare United Motor Service two-piece single-sided porcelain sign, made for neon with articulating wheels, 58 inches by 96 inches, rated 7.5 with excellent gloss and color; and a McCormick-Deering Service double-sided porcelain sign with radiator graphics and great gloss and color, 24 inches by 32 inches, rated 8.5.

Matthews Auctions, LLC has several other blockbuster events planned for the balance of the summer. A two-day event will be held July 6-7 at the Wakonda Legion Hall in Wakonda, S.D. The July 6 session will feature a massive automobile sales literature auction, while July 7 will be dedicated to the sale of a collection of gas, oil and automobile signs and memorabilia.

Then, on Sunday, July 29, important petroliana, early automobile parts and railroad collections from Minnesota and Tennessee will cross the block in Raymond, Ill. Nothing will be shipped from this auction until after the Iowa Gas Show auction that Matthews Auctions will be conducting on Friday, August 3. That event will be held in Des Moines, Iowa, in conjunction with the popular Iowa Gas Show.

Matthews Auctions, LLC is always accepting quality consignments for future sales. To consign a single item, an estate or an entire collection, you may call them toll-free at (877) 968-8880, or you can send an e-mail to Dan Matthews, at [email protected].

Mr. Matthews has written a book about petroliana, titled The Fine Art of Collecting Petroliana. For information on how to order a copy, please log on to the Matthews Auctions, LLC website, at For more information about Matthews Auctions, LLC and their calendar of upcoming auctions, please log on to