The auction was conducted the day after the very popular Iowa Gas Show in Des Moines, Iowa.

(DES MOINES, Iowa) – An Empire Gasoline double-sided porcelain sign with great color and gloss, 30 inches in diameter, sold for $10,450 at an auction held Aug. 3 by Matthews Auctions, LLC, based in Nokomis, Ill., on the day after the end of the popular Iowa Gas Show. The auction was held at the Airport Holiday Inn in Des Moines. Both events were held there.

The Empire sign, featuring a sunburst logo, was in overall excellent condition, rated 9 out of 10 for condition on the front and 8.5 on the back. Some heavy wear on the reverse side on the bottom didn’t deter bidders, who were drawn to the sign’s rarity and great looks. It was the top achiever in a sale that saw around 475 lots, mostly petroliana and automobilia, come up for bid.

“It was a very strong sale, loaded with quality merchandise,” said Dan Matthews of Matthews Auctions, LLC. “And I couldn’t have asked for better bidding, both in person and online.” Internet bidding was hosted by Proxibid. Phone and absentee bidding was described by Matthews as “healthy” on both counts. He estimated the crowd at approximately 150-160 people.

Following are additional highlights from the auction. All prices quoted include a 10 percent buyer’s premium.

A rare Texaco Marine Lubricants single-sided porcelain sign with ships graphics, scarce because of the black “T” and rated highly at 9, soared to $9,900. The 15 inch by 30 inch sign, dated 1934, boasted great color and gloss. Also, an extremely rare, original Ford Service canopy-mounted globe with Ford’s “The Universal Car” logo, rated 9, 16 inches in diameter, hit $8,250.

A pair of Sunray Gasoline lenses in an original orange ripple globe body, with the lenses in nice shape and rated 9, breezed to $6,875. The globe was also good looking, but the body had a crack in the base. Also, a Guide Lighthouse Service Station tin three-dimensional display with light (“Be Safe!”), 49 inches tall and 25 inches in diameter, in excellent condition, made $6,050.

A Santa Fe Trail single-sided oval sign, 16 by 24 inches, with gorgeous gloss and color and showing a horse team pulling a Conestoga wagon, rated 9.5, rose to $4,675. The sign, signed Irving Shope and dated 1948, had a clean field, with just a few minor chips. Also, an AC Spark Plugs tin thermometer, new in the box, with “Sparky the Donkey” graphics, commanded $3,960.

A Guide Light “Check Your Lights” tin flange sign with great lighthouse graphics, rated 9+ on both sides, 13 inches by 18 inches, garnered $6,050. The sign, dated 1940, was extremely clean, with excellent color and shine. Also, a Red Crown Gasoline double-sided porcelain sign with crown logo and great color and gloss, rated 9 and 8.5, 30 inches in diameter, made $7,150.

A Sunray D-X Petroleum Products porcelain pump plate with excellent gloss and color, rated near-mint at 9+ and measuring 9 inches by 9 inches, earned $3,080. The only flaw was a tiny chip on the left-hand mounting hole. Also, a Coca-Cola porcelain button sign with bottle graphics, 36 inches in diameter, rated 9+, with outstanding color and gloss, topped out at $1,650.

A Tomahawk Hi-Speed Motor Oil one-quart round metal can, with tomahawk graphics, rated 9 and 8.25, made by the Mohawk Refining Company (Newark, N.J.), with great color and gloss and the display side in excellent condition, went for $1,100; and a Reilly Oil Company porcelain pump plate for regular gas, 18 inches by 12 inches, rated 6.75 but very rare, hit $330.

Matthews Auctions’ next big sale will be the single-owner lifetime collection of William “Bill” Dagg, a man who accumulated thousands of items, mostly petroliana, country store, farm and advertising memorabilia. His collection will be auctioned the weekend of Sept. 14-16, at the gallery of the Southern Illinois Auction Company in Ina, Ill., a town located in southern Illinois.

Mr. Matthews said by the time the final gavel comes down on Sunday, Sept. 16, as many as 5,000 items will have changed hands. For people unable to attend the event in person, Internet bidding will be facilitated by Proxibid.com, and phone and absentee bids will also be accepted. Ina, Ill., is located about 50 miles southeast of St. Louis, Mo., not far from Interstates 57 and 64.

The action will kick off on Friday, Sept. 14, at 3 p.m. (CST), with a session dedicated to coffee cans, cereal boxes and containers, tobacco tins, signs and advertising, beer and soda cans, quart oil cans and handy oilers – over 400 lots in all. A day-long preview will be held from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Previews for the Saturday and Sunday sessions will be held from 8-9 a.m. on both days.

The Saturday, Sept. 15 session will feature petroliana, soda, automobilia, hunting, outboard, country store, signs, globes and nearly 100 antique clocks – more than 500 lots. The Sunday session (Sept. 16, with a 9 a.m. start time) will feature over 500 lots of farm collectibles (tractor, seed, animal and fertilizer), petroliana and soda, toys and additional vintage clocks. A color catalog for this sale is available for $25 plus shipping. To order one, call 877-968-8880.

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 www.matthewsauctions.com. For more information about Matthews Auctions, LLC, and the Sept. 14-16 auction in Ina, Ill., please log on to www.matthewsauctions.com