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


The sign was the top lot at the three-day event in Raymond, Ill., where 2,000+ lots were sold.

(RAYMOND, Ill.) – A rare Oldsmobile double-sided porcelain “Rocket” sign, the one that hung under the regular Oldsmobile sign to advertise the auto maker’s “rocket” engines, sold for $6,050 at an auction held Nov. 23-25 by Matthews Auctions, LLC, based in Nokomis, Ill. The auction was held at the gallery of Pope Auction Center, on Illinois Route 48 in Raymond.

The sign, measuring 10 inches by 60 inches, was rocket-shaped and boasted excellent color and gloss. It was the top achiever of the more than 2,000 lots that came up for bid, in a wide array of categories: toys and firearms (on day one) and petroliana (gas station collectibles), antique advertising and country store collectibles, soda and breweriana (on days two and three).

Whippet and Willys-Knight double-sided porcelain sign, with great gloss and color ($4,125).

“This auction actually did better than I thought it would, with some nice surprises in the form of high prices realized for items we didn’t think would bring as much as they did,” said Dan Matthews of Matthews Auctions, LLC. “We also had many different kinds of merchandise in one sale, so there really was something for everybody. Buyers and sellers went home happy.”

Around 200 people attended the auction live (out of which about 150 had bid numbers). In addition, 735 people registered to bid online, via Proxibid, and they accounted for a 35 percent sell-through. Telephone bidding was also quite strong (especially on Saturday, the sandwich day of the sale) and Mr. Matthews described absentee bidding as “heavy throughout the auction.”

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

A Whippet and Willys-Knight double-sided porcelain sign (“Authorized Service – Genuine Parts”), 24 inches by 36 inches, both sides rated 9+ out of 10 for condition, with great gloss and color, gaveled for $4,125; and a Wrigley’s Doublemint/Spearmint Gum double-sided porcelain sign (“Lunch”), rated 8, 9 inches by 30 inches, with some wear and chips, hit $3,740.

Two lots posted identical prices of $3,575. The first was a DeSoto – Plymouth “Sales and Service” double-sided porcelain sign, 18 inches by 35 inches, rated 9 both sides, with good gloss and color but a few chips here and there. The second was a Fisk Tires wood sand painted sign (“Tubes, Service Station”), with a boy-in-tire logo, rated 8 and 7, with frame and hanger intact.

An Eagle Bird Cigarettes single-sided porcelain sign with ten layers of porcelain and exhibiting great color and gloss, rated 9+ and measuring 30 inches by 20 inches, made $3,300; and original mixed media on artist board artwork for Pepsi-Cola (“The Light Refreshment – Refreshes Without Filling”), rated 8.9, with a bottle cap applied over the painting, hit $2,530.

A Grape-Nuts cereal single-sided tin self-framed sign (“To School Well Fed”), 30 inches by 20 inches, with super color and graphics but some wear on the outside frame, made $2,310; and a 1920s Winchester Flashlight five-piece cardboard window display poster, 40 inches by 24 inches, with a man working on his early roadster using a Winchester flashlight, rose to $2,090.

In the toys category, a Dale Evans “Queen of the West” official holster outfit, new in the box, rated 9 (box is rated 7), die-cast and leather, with guns and holster in very good condition, hit the mark for $715; and a “Have Gun, Will Travel” die-cast and leather travel holster set, with an image of actor Richard Boone on the box, new in the box, made by Halco, commanded $633.

Also, an official “Bat Masterson” cartridge-loading toy pistol with removable chambers, die-cast, new in the box with the gun never-before used, in fair condition, made by Carnell Mfg., went for $440. As for real firearms, a World War II commemorative Thompson 45-caliber semi-automatic rifle with 18-inch barrel, rated new, with no wear on the never-fired gun, made $1,430.

Matthews Auctions, LLC will hold live online-only auctions in December, January and February, before its next live audience sale, slated for Feb. 19-20, 2013 in Raymond, also at the gallery of Gavin Pope Auction. Headlining the auction will be antique and modern toys, plus petroliana items, glassware, pottery, decorative accessories and other items yet to be secured.

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 firm’s calendar of upcoming auctions, log on to