Published: November 27, 2007
A Mail Pouch brand six-sheet tobacco sign, a turn-of-the-century full-color lithograph, sold for $19,800 at the sale of the Jim Main collection, conducted September 28″0 by Showtime Auction Services at the Washtenaw Farm Council Grounds.
Impressive at 6 feet wide and more than 7 feet tall, the sign was in excellent condition, with no tears or stains. It was museum mounted on linen and framed under UV Plexiglas. “It was a real beauty, with all the color and action you could ever want in a sign of its type,” said Michael Eckles of Showtime Auction Services.
The sign was one of nearly 2,150 lots that sold over the course of the weekend in an auction that Eckles called his “best sale ever.” The event grossed just under $2.2 million. Attendance at the Friday session †at which 700 items were sold exclusively, with no Internet, phone or absentee bidding components †was standing room only.
The centerpiece of the sale, the Jim Main collection presented an array of country store and advertising items, padlocks and handcuffs, cigar cutters and lighters, devotional art, signs and more †many of them never before offered at auction. Also sold was the Larry Schroff collection (De Laval Cream Separator advertising signs) and the Dan Lewis collection (vintage National Cash Registers).
Highlights included a salesman’s sample Coca-Cola Glascock cooler. It went for $28,600. Measuring 10½ by 13 by 8 inches, the cooler did not have its original carrying case, but that did not matter to the determined bidders who waged a battle to own it.
A Princess Doraldina five-cent play fortune teller hammered for $24,750. A Mills Jockey coin-operated slot machine (one cent), boasting an oak cabinet with copper flash trim and keys, brought $12,100.
A Rock-Ola Commando jukebox, Model 1420, exceedingly rare and one of the most colorful of all the jukeboxes, crossed the block at $23,100.
A rare Curtis Moth biwing pedal airplane, made in the early 1930s by Gendron, soared to $15,400. Also, a rare Lukat the Lucky Cat coin-operated gumball vendor made of aluminum hit $13,200.
A vintage National Cash Register (Model #1, Serial #64923) rang up $14,300. The very early machine narrow, candy story-style cash register originally sold in 1893 †is very rare and desirable.
A California Powder Works paper sign made in San Francisco and nicely displayed in a period gesso frame, changed hands for $13,200. Also, a De Laval Cream Separator tin sign, the red version, with original frame brought $11,000.
An Electricity is Life coin-operated (one cent) electric treatment, dated 1900 and made by Midland Mfg Co., Chicago, realized $8,250. Also, a Columbia candy jar, 38 inches tall and with no chips or cracks, made $7,150.
All prices quoted include a buyer’s premium, which is 10 percent for in-house bidders, 20 percent for those who bid via phone, absentee and icollector.com.
Showtime Auction Services is presently based in Chino, Calif., but will move to Woodhaven, Mich., effective January 1. The company will keep its existing web address and email address. It will continue to conduct two large sales a year, as it has done for years.
For information, www.showtimeauctions.com or 951-453-2415.
5 Church Hill Road / Newtown, CT 06470
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