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


The expected top lot is a Harbor Petroleum single-sided porcelain sign with sea plane graphics.

(PEOTONE, Ill.) – Around 600 outstanding, high-value gas station and automobile signs will be featured in a Spring Petroliana & Advertising Auction scheduled for Feb. 28-Mar. 1 by Matthews Auctions, LLC, based in Nokomis, Ill. The auction will be held prior to the start of the enormously popular Chicagoland Petroliana & Advertising Show, held twice a year in Peotone.

Cadillac and La Salle double-sided porcelain sign with both logos, only manufactured one year (est. $20,000-$25,000).

“This auction promises to be one of the most exciting events we will stage in 2013,” said Dan Matthews of Matthews Auctions, LLC. “The sale will have fine petroliana and automobilia signs, the likes of which have not been seen at auction in recent memory. Gas station collectibles are my bread and butter, but these offerings are exceptional. It should be a memorable auction.”

The start times will be 6 p.m. (CST) on Thursday, Feb. 28, and 10 a.m. on Friday, Mar. 1. Internet bidding will be facilitated by The expected top lot of the auction is a Harbor Petroleum single-sided porcelain sign with sea plane graphics, from the Long Beach, Calif., area (est. $35,000-$40,000). The last time this sign was offered at auction it hit $55,000.

Also expected to generate intense bidder interest is a Beacon Security Lighthouse single-sided porcelain die-cut sign, in the shape of a lighthouse (est. $25,000-$35,000), a sign that has not been offered at auction in years; and a Texaco (white-T) Marine Lubricants single-sided porcelain sign with ocean scene of ships, speed boats, boyet and seagulls (est. $5,000-$7,000).

A Power-Lube Motor Oil “Smooth as a Tread of a Tiger” double-sided porcelain sign with great-looking tiger graphic isn’t an extremely rare piece, but it’s hard to find one in such good condition; it’s expected to realize $4,000-$5,000. Also sold will be a United Motors Service double-sided porcelain “arrow” sign, rated near-mint 9.5 on both sides (est. $5,000-$6,000).

A pair of Cadillac signs should both do extremely well. One is a Cadillac V-8/V-12/V-16 double-sided porcelain sign with both the Cadillac and La Salle logos, 24 inches by 36 inches, quite rare because it was only produced for one year (est. $20,000-$25,000); and a Cadillac Authorized Services double-sided round porcelain sign, 42 inches in diameter, rated 9 both sides.

A Mack Truck Services double-sided porcelain sign, made in the 1920s and featuring the shovel-nose graphic typical of the truck’s front end design, rated 8 both sides, should command $15,000-$20,000; and a Packard Service double-sided porcelain sign for radiators, rare because the radiator cap at the neck is in great shape, is expected to garner between $9,000 and $12,000.

Also sold will be a Ferrari single-sided tin sign in a chrome frame, documented to have come out of the Ferrari factory in the late 1960s, rated 9+ (est. $8,000-$10,000); a Porsche Stuttgart single-sided porcelain dealer sign, circa 1960, rated 9 (est. $3,000-$4,000; and an Indian Motor Oils single-sided self-framed porcelain sign (one sign of an oil bottle rack), 9.5.

A Berliet Automobiles double-sided porcelain sign for their “locomotive” car, with train graphics, rated 8, is nearly as rare as the car itself, which today routinely soars to $1 million or more at auction. Also sold will be a Book Cadillac Hotel (Detroit) single-sided porcelain sign with great graphics and color (“1,200 Rooms – Garage Services”), exceedingly rare and rated 7.

Rounding out the auction’s short list of expected top lots is a Perfect Single Piston Rings single-sided tin embossed sign (“Look Out, Hog Oil! I’ve Got X-90 Piston Rings Now!”), rated 8 (est. $3,000-$4,000); and a pair of DX Marine Gasoline 13 ½-inch lenses in a Capco globe body, rated a near-mint 9+ and carrying a relatively modest pre-sale estimate of $1,000-$1,500.

Prior to the Peotone auction, Matthews Auctions, LLC will conduct another sale, on Feb. 15-17 in Raymond, Ill., at the gallery of Pope Auction Center, on Illinois Route 48. Featured will be over 1,000 lots of antique toys, advertising items and decorative arts. Offered will be toys and signs from the Joe Russell estate out of New York City, plus a small Long Island toy collection.

The decorative arts will feature art pottery, early American pattern glass, Pickard china and other antiques. Matthews Auctions, LLC is always accepting quality consignments for future sales. To consign a single item, an estate or a 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