DB26

A Question For Porcelain Sign Collectors

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I should post pictures of my eclectic sign collection but most of your collections put mine to shame. I split mine into two locations one has farm/forestry/parks/etc the other is auto/petro. I prefer originals but will not break the bank. The other problem is once friends and family know you collect signs they give you signs and some of them are repros, I hang the repros if I like them and store the once I don't (after a few years I add them to my Hershey pile). I still have some room for additional signs, but not a lot, so I'm selective on what I buy both in content and price. I figure if I stop now it is still a nice collection that I like to look at.

 

I sold some nice signs back in the late 70s that I got cheap and didn't fit my interests, when I see how the price have went up I wonder if I should have hung on to them but I made a good a nice profit on them considering all but one I only had a couple of years. The last of that batch was a large Sunco diamond shaped sign that after hauling to Hershey a few times I found a spot on my wall where it hung for 30+ years. When we moved my new shop wall space would have been crowded with such a large sign, but was going to move it. I had a fellow deliver stone for the driveway at the old place to make it more marketable and the fellow walked into my shop where I was packing things to give me the bill and asked what I was going to do with the big sign. Said I guess move it, he asked how much I would take. I had not kept up on prices but threw price at him I would be happy with knowing I didn't really want to move it and he reached in his pocket and pulled out a roll bills and started pulling hundreds off the roll. I figured I probably asked to little but I was happy not to move it.

 

I bought these signs out of the basement of a closed Chevy dealership and had almost nothing in them. When I went to look at the stuff the fellow wanted to sell he had several crates of dealer manuals with paint and upholstery samples and other manuals and all kinds of iron parts not in boxes but new. When he saw I was mostly interested in the paper he admitted to having hauled several pickup loads to the dump, I almost cried. When I got all parts and such off the benches and shelves the signs were being used as part of the shelving, I wondered how many of those went to the dump. I worked out a deal to haul a load to Hershey and split the profits 50:50, he agreed, I came back with 90% of the parts but he was happy with the cash I gave him. Ask him if he wanted to sell me the leftover parts for my half of the profits and he jumped on it. Still have some of the paper, sold out of that stash at Hershey for many years. So you can see the signs didn't owe me anything.

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I was invited to bring my 1940 sprint car to a private Race Car reunion held every December at a farm in rural Texas. The owner invited me in to his one bedroom farm house to see his advertising. Every square inch of this house is covered with pristine porcelain signage  This is the dining room. 

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Around 1985, my buddy & I stumbled upon an abandoned junkyard in eastern PA somewhere. I say 'abandoned' because there was no fence, no gate, no border, no buildings, no signage, no evidence of scrapping or moving them around & it was all overgrown. Looked like occasionally they'd tow a car in there and just leave it in the patch of trees. We wandered thru it, and there was a double-sided porcelain dealership sign there; DeSoto-Plymouth, about 4 feet in diameter and 8 or 10 inches thick, circular, and some of the neon lettering was still on it. I suppose if one of us had access to a truck, it would've followed us home. At some point in the '90s the whole area was cleaned out & I have to believe it was all crushed/scrapped. Man, I wanted that sign.

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I have a few (very few) cheap repros, and two real originals in fair condition. One rectangular Studebaker sign, probably from the mid '10s or very early ''20s. And one Paige and Jewett sales and service sign (mid '20s). The Paige sign I bought for $40 about fifty years ago, and my wife gave me the Studebaker sign over twenty years ago. I know she paid too much for the Studebaker sign at the time, but I imagine it is worth a bit more now? (Kidding!) Actually, I would almost be afraid to find out what they might be worth. I really do not want to sell either of them, and do have a friend I would consider giving the Studebaker sign to if I did need to re-home it. (And for that matter, I do know a Paige owner, don't know if he collects signs or not?) On the other hand, if I could get enough for them that I could buy a decent car I could enjoy? 

I am not sure right now that I would want to know?

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1000s of dollars in games and prizes..............................!

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Posted (edited)

Here is an original UNRESTORED Packard dealership sign with NO restoration of any kind. It was outside for less than six months and taken down....according to the story, it looks like it may have been outside for just a bit longer........but not much. Porcelain is perfect, no cracks, holes, or delam. We installed new modern transformers...........it's heavy! And now hangs off the wall over a Packard. 

 

Interestingly there was a small oil can dent in the top of it.......and it was there when they applied the porcelain so there is no cracking.............guess they figured it was on top and no one can see it. 

 

 

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Edited by edinmass (see edit history)
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So far, I see lots of wonderfully preserved signs in all kinds of condition.    Besides overhead, and wall signs, and thermometers, does anyone have any porcelain door pushbars in their collection?

 

Craig

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Okay everyone. I have a confession to make. I’m the one who actually won the sign from eBay. I was doing a little fishing for information to see if I was a fool for agreeing to such a price. It should be here in one week. I plan on cleaning it up and letting it be. It’s going to hang in the garage as is. 

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DB26- if your happy with your purchase.........then all is fine. Having something at 600 or nothing at 3k. Only you need to be satisfied. Enjoy it.👍

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My 6' diameter porcelain BA sign.  Very rare in the blue/orange combination as it was quickly replaced with Gulf signs.

 

And my Coca-Cola porcelain finish door push.

 

Craig

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1 hour ago, DB26 said:

It’s going to hang in the garage as is.

Congratulations.  You will smile every time you look at it and it didn't cost you $2500

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I didn't have it handy for the soap box derby banner post,  but let me show off my champ car.   Complete with sponsorship by Billing's Classic Car,  noted for building the 10 Duesenberg Toursters in the 70s.

 

Been sitting for 45 years in my dad's garage attic waiting for me to build a barn I've been planning since 1988.

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Posted (edited)

This is the only original I have.  It is not porcelain. Thick tin. I have not seen any like it. I purchased on eBay when searching old signage. Sometimes different worded searches on eBay yield results. The final price for the sign was $20.

 

I did a quick look. Mecum had two for auction.  Not as nice as mine in my opinion.  Sold for $354.  I feel good about my purchase!  https://www.mecum.com/lots/LN1019-390325/check-oil-now-oil-rack-tin-signs-lot-of-2/

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Edited by avgwarhawk (see edit history)
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Posted (edited)
13 minutes ago, avgwarhawk said:

This is the only original I have.  It is not porcelain. 12 guage steel. I have not seen any like it. I purchased on eBay when searching old signage. Sometimes different worded searches on eBay yield results. The final price for the sign was $20.

 

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Or incorrectly spelled.  I was looking for a vintage game system for my son for Christmas and found a great deal spelled “Nintindo” instead of “Nintendo.”  eBay will often auto-correct spelling, forcing you to intentionally try to choose the incorrect spelling.

 

There are tons of “Biuck” items on there right now that a person would never find if they didn’t force the incorrectly spelled search.

Edited by 39BuickEight (see edit history)
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On 1/3/2020 at 1:51 PM, Robert G. Smits said:

I have been into advertising as long as cars. They don’t require maintenance 

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Robert your sign collection looks awesome and love those cars.   It appears you have them roped off - do you drive them much or more for admiration?  

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Posted (edited)
On 1/3/2020 at 1:04 AM, WQ59B said:

Around 1985, my buddy & I stumbled upon an abandoned junkyard in eastern PA somewhere. I say 'abandoned' because there was no fence, no gate, no border, no buildings, no signage, no evidence of scrapping or moving them around & it was all overgrown. Looked like occasionally they'd tow a car in there and just leave it in the patch of trees. We wandered thru it, and there was a double-sided porcelain dealership sign there; DeSoto-Plymouth, about 4 feet in diameter and 8 or 10 inches thick, circular, and some of the neon lettering was still on it. I suppose if one of us had access to a truck, it would've followed us home. At some point in the '90s the whole area was cleaned out & I have to believe it was all crushed/scrapped. Man, I wanted that sign.

This Cadillac sign came from a Junkyard they were getting ready to do the final clean up on.  There were a few van bodies and buses with some NOS parts that all junkyards seem to get, that I was called in by a friend to buy from the family as the owner had passed.  This was tucked down in between a bunch of stuff in one of the bodies.  Alot of the cars had already been crushed and I'm pretty sure everything would have just been picked up with a claw and stuffed into dump bodies that was with this.  I laid everything out for the guy to see and made him and offer and he took it for the whole lot,  happily.  It was only a few hundred for everything.  I haven't been able to figure out what it was made for other than obviously Cadillac and from maybe around 1953. It's not real big and has a ton of factory rivet holes.  Fortunately the busy design takes away from the big wangers.  Odd part is they actually wrote on the back before firing the colors used.  Maybe it was a sample or test piece? I have also wondered if it was for something like the motorama as with all the holes it would make mounting it very easy at different venues.   It's maybe 20 by 24 inches. 

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Edited by auburnseeker (see edit history)

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Any idea what something like this would be worth? My neighbor offered me $350 for it but I passed. I've had it in my garage for about 15 years. I was too lazy to move the 28' extension ladder for the pic so sorry about that. It measures 3' x 7' 10". The pics are with and without the flash. There is a bullet hole in the big Q....

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while on this topic, I was thinking, is there any form of advertising that didnt go through the roof in the last 20 years and I came up with 5 gallon petrol cans. Some have great colors and many can be picked up for under 50 bucks.

 

that's what Im talking about.............!

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3 hours ago, avgwarhawk said:

This is the only original I have.  It is not porcelain. Thick tin. I have not seen any like it. I purchased on eBay when searching old signage. Sometimes different worded searches on eBay yield results. The final price for the sign was $20.

 

I did a quick look. Mecum had two for auction.  Not as nice as mine in my opinion.  Sold for $354.  I feel good about my purchase!  https://www.mecum.com/lots/LN1019-390325/check-oil-now-oil-rack-tin-signs-lot-of-2/

IMG_20200104_145850.jpg

Chris, your sign was used on a Seloil oil cabinet, which were usually on the pump island to display quart oil cans.

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2 hours ago, Lebowski said:

Any idea what something like this would be worth? My neighbor offered me $350 for it but I passed. I've had it in my garage for about 15 years. I was too lazy to move the 28' extension ladder for the pic so sorry about that. It measures 3' x 7' 10". The pics are with and without the flash. There is a bullet hole in the big Q....

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Try to squeeze a little more out of your neighbor, but 350 is good for that sign in that condition.

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2 hours ago, MetroPetro said:

Chris, your sign was used on a Seloil oil cabinet, which were usually on the pump island to display quart oil cans.

Thanks for letting me know.  I had wondered if the sign was on a shop wall or inside the gas station. 

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I would price the Quaker state sign at 550. or a little higher.

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