Beacon Security Petroleum sign reaches $55,000 in bidding war

A rare Beacon Security Petroleum sign excited petroliana bidders to achieve dazzling results at a February 28-March 1 auction in Illinois.

Beacon Security Gasoline sign
Auctioneer Dan Matthews said that sale was the highest-grossing in the history of the company, a market leader for petroliana

The 9.5-graded sign sold for $55,000 after an intense bidding war at the event, which took place prior to March 3's Chicagoland Petroliana Show.

Such examples are highly sought after for their fantastic lighthouse graphics.

"I had never sold a Beacon sign at auction, that's how rare this piece was, so it didn't surprise me when it brought that much," said auctioneer Dan Matthews. "Arms were shooting up everywhere. It was a real bidding war."

The single sided porcelain die-cut sign has great gloss and colour, its condition affected only by a few tiny "flea bites" around the perimeter.

The two-day auction continued with more strong sales, as over 650 lots of petroliana and advertising signs came up for bids. A scarcely seen Harbor Petroleum Products porcelain die-cut sign with seaplane graphics brought the second highest bids, selling at $40,700. Rated 8.5 for condition, its final sale price was hampered by a chip in the centre of the field.

Following was a very rare 1933 double-sided porcelain sign advertising Cadillac and LaSalle (V8/V12/V16), which was rated 9+ (a particularly high rating for this rarity). It sold for $36,300.

Rarity and design appeal combined to produce the leading lots. Another such example was a hard-to-find Peerless Stages Bus Depot double-sided porcelain die cut sign, showing a graphic of a late 1930s General Motors bus. Rated 8.5 and advertising a company that only operated in the San Francisco Bay area, it sold for $17,050.

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