An exceptionally clean Richlube Motor Oil double-sided porcelain sign, proclaiming "100% Pure Pennsylvania" soared to $7,425 at the Spring Petroliana & Advertising Auction held on March 4 by Matthews Auctions. The sale was conducted the day before the popular Chicagoland Petroliana & Advertising Show, held each spring and autumn in Peotone.
The Richlube sign, consigned by a collector in upstate New York, featured a small race car graphic and was graded nine out of 10 on the front for overall condition, and 8.9 on the reverse side. The sign boasted super gloss and colour, the only flaws being some minor crazing in the centre, and small chips in the outer field and around the mounting holes. Otherwise, it was mint.
The sign was the top achiever of the more than 475 lots that changed hands in an auction that attracted over 150 collectors and investors and had more than 400 registered online bidders. About half of the lots sold to the room, while 48% went to online bidders.
"It was a very strong auction, both in terms of participation and prices realized," said Dan Matthews of Matthews Auctions. "Bidding was spirited all day long. It was an even better auction than I hoped it would be."
The auction was packed with much petroliana and automobilia, including signs, globes and oil bottles from the Ron Throckmorton collection, a great collection of Coca-Cola and soda-related items, country store items and more.
The second top lot was a rare United Motors Authorized Service double-sided porcelain die-cut sign. Rated 8.9 on both sides and measuring 17 inches by 18 inches, the sign brought $5,225.
A hard-to-find Ford Benzol For All Motor Cars double-sided porcelain sign, professionally restored, garnered $4,400.