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


The sign was the top lot in the sale of the single-owner lifetime collection of William ‘Bill’ Dagg

(INA, Ill.) – An exceedingly rare Sinclair Aircraft double-sided porcelain sign with plane graphics, 48 inches in diameter and rated just 7.9 out of 10 on both sides for condition but still desirable because of its rarity regardless of any flaws, sold for $19,800 at the sale of the lifetime single-owner collection of William “Bill” Dagg held Sept. 14-16 by Matthews Auctions, LLC.

Despite some fading on both sides and some small chips, too, the Sinclair sign was by far the top lot in a sale held at the Ina facilities of Southern Illinois Auction Company (Matthews Auctions is based in Nokomis, Ill.). Mr. Dagg, a resident of Wayne City, Ill., not far from Ina, consigned thousands of items, mostly petroliana, country store, farm and advertising collectibles.

It was a massive collection, so big three days were needed to auction it. By the time the final hammer came down, over 5,000 items (some of them sold in multiple lots) changed hands. That included the three days in the main venue plus two separate auction rings that hummed with activity on Saturday and Sunday. About 300 people attended the event live; others bid by phone.

But perhaps most impressive were the 575 people who registered to bid online (through “That was a record number of online bidders, nearly doubling the old record,” said Dan Matthews of Matthews Auctions, LLC. “It was a great sale, with lots of variety. I was amazed at how much some items sold for. Overall we grossed 30 percent more than I predicted.”

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

Two other lots topped the $5,000 mark. A Studebaker Cars-Trucks single-sided porcelain neon sign mounted on a can in very good condition, rated 9+ and measuring 88 inches by 33 inches by 6 inches, garnered $5,500; and a rare Campbell’s Condensed Vegetable Soup single-sided porcelain curved sign, rated 7 and measuring 22 inches by 15 inches, commanded $5,225.

A Penn Drake “100% Pure Pennsylvania Oil” double-sided tin sign with seal, 30 inches in diameter and rated 8.5, showing only minor wear to the reverse side, soared to $4,125. Also, a Goodyear Service Station die-cut porcelain flange sign with world-in-tire graphics and boasting super gloss and color, rated 8.9, measuring 30 inches by 26 inches, changed hands for $3,960.

A pair of lots finished with identical prices realized of $3,850. One was an Indian Gas milk glass globe body, with Havoline signage down the sides, rated highly at 9.5 and having been repainted very well. The other was a scarce Ebbert Waggons original single-sided tin sign (“In the Shade of the Old Apple Tree”) with great graphics, rated 9, measuring 26 by 38 inches.

A Maxwell House tin flange sign with great graphics, rated 9 and measuring 27 inches by 14 inches, breezed to $3,520; a rare Liberty “80” Guaranteed porcelain pump plate sign with super gloss and color, 14 inches by 10 inches, rated 8, made $3,025; and a Fisk “Time to Re-Tire” single-sided tin embossed sign dated 1949, rated 8.9, 32 inches by 40 inches, hit $3,640.

A Prairie Farms Butter single-sided porcelain sign with wonderful graphics, rated 7.75, 15 inches by 30 inches, garnered $3,410; a GMC Trucks Sales & Service double-sided porcelain sign with marvelous color and gloss, 42 inches in diameter, rated 8.75, went for $3,190; and a Firestone Tires Auto Supplies porcelain flange sign, rated 9, in great condition, brought $2,750.

A McDougall-Butler Paints Varnish Agency tin flange sign with buffalo logo, rated 7.9, 14 inches by 18 inches, knocked down at $2,750; a rare Pepsi-Cola tin thermometer, dated 1948, showing a lady drinking from a straw, 27 inches by 7 inches, rated 8, hit $2,310; and a Bunny Bread single-sided tin die-cut embossed sign, 36 inches by 28 inches, rated 8.75, sold for $2,200.

A “Fresh Up With” 7Up single-sided tin sign (“It Likes You”), with a lady on the bottle logo, marked Stout Sign Company and dated 1951, rated near-mint at 9+ and measuring 43 inches by 13 inches, knocked down at $2,200; and a Bunny Bread with flange sign with spinner, dated 1956, 14 inches by 21 inches and rated at 8.75, went to a determined bidder for $2,090.

A Wareco neon window sign made around 1990 and one of only about 100 known, rated 9, in working condition, coasted to $1,100; a Donald Duck Soft Drinks celluloid button made by Philadelphia Badge Company, Inc., rated 9, 9 inches in diameter, realized $1,108; and a Pepsi-Cola cardboard sign in an aluminum frame, showing a woman in a bathing suit, fetched $990.

Matthews Auctions, LLC’s next big auction will be held on Friday, Oct. 19, on the day before the start of the very popular Chicagoland Petroliana & Advertising Show, held twice a year in Peotone, Ill. Offered will be petroliana and country store advertising items. The event will kick off at 11:30 a.m. with a discovery auction. The catalog auction will start at 12 noon.

Then, a three-day mega-event is planned for Nov. 23-25, in Raymond, Ill., starting on Friday, Nov. 23, with a sale dedicated to petroliana, soda, breweriana, country store, toys and guns. The action will kick off at 10 a.m. (CST). Nov. 24 and 25 will feature petroliana, Coca-Cola, Pepsi, breweriana, country store, hunting advertising, hand and long guns, gas pumps and antique and modern toys. The three-day event will be held at the gallery of Gavin Pope Auction.

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 directly 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 the Oct. 19 and Nov. 23-25 auctions, please log on to