Studebaker Sign Lit Up Milestones Vintage Advertising, Toys And Coin-Ops Auction Art Deco Bull-Nose Porcelain Neon Sign Went For $21,000

July 10, 2024

Condition was the key word throughout Milestones June 15 auction of vintage advertising, toys, coin-ops and old coins. The 814-lot sale, which totaled a robust $650,000, was chock-full of gasoline, oil and travel-related signs, including a high-quality, fresh-to-the-market collection from California. Other categories were woven throughout the sale, such as advertising clocks and thermometers; watches and jewelry; old radios, pocket knives and ships bells. An all-original Studebaker Art Deco porcelain neon bullnose sign, with size, originality and great eye appeal in its favor, finished at the top of prices realized. The double-sided sign with a sharp-looking cobalt blue, red and white motif measured 10 feet 6 inches long. It was made by the noted sign manufacturer Walker & Co. and achieved $21,000 against expectations of $15,000-$25,000. Even if a neon sign isnt working perfectly, it will still attract bidders as long as its in great condition and the flaw is fixable, said Milestone Auctions co-owner and principal auctioneer Miles King. His comment was made specifically with regard to a single-sided, three-dimensional porcelain and neon Chevron Dealer sign. Formed in the petroleum companys distinctive chevron shape and red, white and blue colors, its neon flickered, but did not light up. Neon sign collectors would know where to go to get that remedied, noted King. The sign sold for $12,000 against an estimate of $2,000-$4,000. Like the Chevron sign, a double-sided round porcelain sign for Cadillac Authorized Service was another example of how effective primary colors can be in conveying a message. Described by Milestones expert cataloger as being in equally fine condition on both sides and marked Walker & Co. Detroit, this appealing sign emblazoned with the distinctive Cadillac brands crown-and-shield French coat of arms easily glided past its $5,000-$7,000 estimate to bring $11,700. Right alongside the Cadillac sign, both price-wise and condition-wise, a Night Lubrication double-sided porcelain sign produced for Shell Gasoline & Oils Co., boasted a bright palette of colors dominated by sunset orange and crimson. With its included stand, it raced past its $4,000-$5,000 estimate to realize $11,700. Some lucky collector will now be able to motor away in high style with their summer vacation wardrobe safely secured in a vintage Louis Vuitton automobile travel trunk. Complete with its two correct interior suitcases, the unit was in 100 percent original condition with a black leather finish, nickel hardware and LV monograms. It even retained its original Louis Vuitton red-and-white label bearing the firms 70 Champs Elysees (Paris) address and branch addresses in London, Nice and Lille. Miles King explained that the trunk had come from a local (Cleveland-area) estate. It caught the attention of vintage car buffs and Louis Vuitton aficionados both stateside and abroad, opening at its high estimate of $5,000. Five phone bidders were in the fray, competing against the floor and Internet, King said. Ultimately, it sold to a U.S. buyer for $19,305. A fine selection of signs advertising various products of a century ago included a double-sided porcelain flange sign for Cressmans Counsellor 5 Cigar, $4,059 against an estimate of $300-$500, and a single-sided porcelain sign advertising Lorillards Beech-Nut Chewing Tobacco. Displaying rich red, white and blue colors and the trademark image of a Beech-Nut tobacco packet, it more than doubled its high estimate, selling for $3,159. Early American toys have been on a winning streak lately, and that includes at Milestones June sale. An unusual 62-inch-long childs Hook and Ladder No 1 wagon presented in all-original condition, even retaining its original side-riding ladders. Finished in red, green and yellow with stenciled lettering and yellow metal wheels and steering handle, it rolled to $4,212 against an estimate of $600-$800. Soda pop fans lined up for Pepsi-Cola, not a bottle or can of the popular beverage, but a ca. 1955 VMC Model 81D Pepsi 10 bottle-vending machine. It had been professionally restored in its correct royal blue with red and white accents and surpassed its high estimate to sell for $6,457. After the 11-hour auction over which he presided, King observed: There was a lot of action on the phones, but you never know where the winning bids are going to come from. This time most of the big-ticket items sold to the floor, to local buyers. The strongest category was gas and oil, but every category came through for us. In the end, the lots were 99.9 percent sold. Any auctioneer will tell you thats a very good day. All prices shown in this report are inclusive of buyers premium as stated on Milestones website. For more information, call 440-527-8060 or email All images courtesy of Milestone Auctions.


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