Rich Penn To Hold Three-Day Bonanza Sale On Nov. 1, 2, And 3

Many Popular Items In Numerous Categories Will Be Sold, Such As Country Store Memorabilia, Advertising, And Toys

October 18, 2019

Many auctioneers hear similar comments from both buyers and sellers. “We're buying back memories.” “That's what our business is all about,” according to Rich Penn. “In our 20 years of business, we've heard those stories a hundred times. Grandad had one of those. My dad had one of those. Now I want one. So that's what we do, we connect buyers to those memories,” furthered Penn.
The Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, Nov. 1, 2, and 3, Rich Penn auction event will offer collectors hundreds of memories in over a dozen categories. “There are categories in this auction that bring back a lot of great memories for me. I'm sure our buyers will have those same feelings,” said Penn. Once again, the auction will be held in Waterloo, Iowa, at the Five Sullivan Bros. Convention Center. “That 11,000-square-foot facility is going to be jammed with wonderful things,” stated Penn.
The 1,800-plus lot variety will cover 200 non-cataloged lots on day one, starting at noon. Those items are not included in the online auction, only in-house bidders. At 2 p.m., the 1,600 cataloged lots will begin. The first 300 will begin with WWII memorabilia, including Nazi items and even an unused WWII flamethrower. Several rare Civil War pieces are in this session as well. The balance of day one includes drug store memorabilia, soda fountain, country store and western items.
Day two starts at 9 a.m. The session will cover 700 lots, including several hundred toys such as German wind-ups, BO Robots, many with original boxes, and early pressed steel and cast-iron toys. Fitting in with the cast iron are dozens of salesman sample stoves, still and mechanical banks. Several automatons will also sell and entertain bidders.
Many country store pieces will be offered along with more drug store and soda fountain items, including a marble soda-fountain. Everyone knows drug store soda-fountains had Coca-Cola. And most soda fountain collectors love iconic Coca-Cola. This will be the biggest offering of early, pre WWII Coca-Cola items Penn has ever brought to market.
There's Breweriana too. For the collector of advertising for adult beverages, there is a very rare, ca. 1905 Anheuser Busch tin litho sign. For the regional brewery collector, there's a rare Potosi Brewery reverse-paint-on-glass sign. Black Americana continues to attract collector interest. The day two session will offer Black memorabilia from the late 1800s up to mid-1900s. It includes advertising, toys, tobacco pieces and kitchen items.
Kitchen items dealt with cooking. Small town store keepers bought their goods from traveling salesmen. Those salesmen carried samples. Even for the kitchen stove. There are several dozen of the salesman sample stoves, some coming with their own carrying case.
The third session brings on a different tone--big and flashy things, things to decorate the “man cave.” Petroliana is considered the strong suit for day three. With more than a dozen gas pumps, a one-owner 1973 Dodge Challenger SE 400 with just 54,000 miles, 100-plus signs and related pieces, and over 30 pedal cars and tractors, strong suit is a safe call. But there's also a great selection of coin-operated machines, decorative pieces, including Handel lamps, artwork, Western items, diamond rings, clocks, watches, and furniture.
“I have my own favorites in every one of these categories, and many of the items I've never seen before. That's one of the joys of this business. We get to meet great collectors and see their wonderful things,” said Penn. “Of all the auctions we've done, the breadth of items, the condition, rarity and quality in this auction is exceptional. Collectors won't want to miss this one.” For those looking to relive some old memories, or make new ones, this auction is a great place to do both.
The Ramada Hotel is the host site, conveniently connected to the Convention Center. It is located in downtown Waterloo, with easy access to major highways, one block off the freeway. For those staying over, ask for the $79.95 Rich Penn Auction rate. There's also a large free of charge parking lot within close walking distance for trucks and trailers.
For those who can't make it, Penn offers multiple bidding options, including absentee, telephone and live bidding online through LiveAuctioneers. Find the links to the online catalog on Penn's web site. Full-color catalogs will be available for $40. Prices realized will be posted online.
For additional information, call 319-291-6688 or visit


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