Published: May 24, 2022
Review by Madelia Hickman Ring, Photos Courtesy Rich Penn Auctions
WATERLOO, IOWA – On May 13-15, Rich Penn Auctions offered 2,075 lots of unreserved property in its “Collector Trove” auctions. Of those, only seven lots were passed for a sell-through rate of 99.6 percent.
In addition to locally sourced property, several estate collections from Illinois, Minnesota, Missouri and Kansas contributed to the varied mix. Named collections were from the late Ron Dugan, Jerry Castagna, Walt Oswald, Howard Simmering and Mary Jane Kauffman. Dugan’s collection was strong in toys, advertising, stoneware, firearms and rare Americana. Castagna was an auto body man and he and wife Teresa collected related pieces as well as coin-operated, advertising and soda fountain items. Simmering enjoyed Tobacciana and cigar lighters and cutters, while Kauffman had an affinity for Native American jewelry. As for Oswald, well, he apparently loved everything and his collection presented, among other things, cast iron doorstops, windmill weights, weathervanes and just about anything that had a relationship to agriculture.
It would be hard to think of two top lots that could be more dissimilar. Rolling to the head of the sale at $11,900 was an “End of Day” glass onionskin marble with a cobalt core, swirled opal interior and multi-colored flake. Measuring just 2¼ inches in diameter, the condition was rated VG+ with a few light nicks.
From one of the smallest lots in the sale to what almost certainly have been one of the largest lots – if not THE largest -and coming in with a second place finish at $9,520 was a Cretors Model D horse-drawn popcorn wagon, a 1964 renovation with Creators electric popper, serial number 70147 with an in-painted galvanized metal cab with oak window frames, an animated clown peanut roaster, five cobalt marquee side lights and a later gabled canvas roof cover on an iron frame. It measured 116 inches in height and 152 inches in length and was considered in generally good condition, though a little additional restoration would not have been amiss.
The rest of the sale saw high prices for fine art and advertising. Contemporary artist George Morrison (1919-2000) was represented in the sale with two works, both offered on the last day. Both abstract paintings done in oil in primary colors on artist’s board, one that was painted in 1960 and measured 7 by 11¼ inches found a new home for $8,330. The second work, painted a year later and of a larger size at 16 by 20 inches, rose to $5,653.
The top price realized on the first day of the sale was $5,058, for an original painting of a steam locomotive in a mountainous setting by Grif Teller (1899-1993). Teller was known for painting images that were used for calendars for the Pennsylvania Railroad from 1927 to 1959. Though the name of the railroad on the tender was indistinct, the oil on canvas painting in an original frame that measured 25¼ by 40 inches was in very good condition with some yellowing and minute scattered paint flakes.
Advertising was in ample supply and offered bidders the luxury of choice. A lithograph Tobacciana advertising sign for Prince Albert tobacco for R.J. Reynolds by American Art Works featured the Nez Perce Native American Chief Joseph and heated up to $7,140, just ahead of a Breweriana sign for Gold Top Beer and the Jetter Brewing Company in Omaha, Neb., which featured a bugling elk that bidders stalked to $6,545.
Another lot that also sold for $6,545 was a salesman’s sample of a silo with open door made by the Vesper Wood Manufacturing Company in Vesper, Wis. Patented in 1911, the wood and metal sample measured 21 inches tall and was in excellent working condition with some wear to the edges.
Coca-Cola collectibles are perennial favorites with bidders and there were nearly 70 lots emblazoned with the company’s distinctive red and white logo, all offered on the second day of the sale. Offerings included dispensing machines, lithograph advertising and signs, dispensers and seemingly everything else the company issued to promote themselves. Leading the group at $5,355 was a coin-operated ten-cent Vendo machine, model 44, with an embossed marquee that was in excellent condition and included the keys.
Prices quoted include the buyer’s premium. Rich Penn Auction will sell Petroliana on July 30. For information, 319-291-6688 or www.richpennauctions.com.
September 26, 2023
September 26, 2023
September 26, 2023
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