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Milestone to launch new gallery with July 27 auction of breweriana, advertising, coin-ops and muscle cars
Heineken’s Imported Holland Beer reverse-painted on glass cab-style light, 13 x 8in. Est. $1,000-$1,500. Image courtesy of Milestone Auctions.

WILLOUGHBY, OH.- Milestone Auctions in suburban Cleveland will open the doors to their brand new, purpose-built gallery on Saturday, July 27 with an 800-lot sale of breweriana and advertising; coin-ops, and classic-era muscle cars offered with no reserve.

“In only a few short years, our auction business has grown exponentially,” explained Miles King, who co-owns Milestone Auctions along with business partner Chris Sammet. “Because of that growth, we really needed a larger space. We decided to take the leap and, instead of renting, custom-built a large, comfortable gallery our customers would enjoy. Our team had been feeling the pinch, too. There was a need for more storage space for consignments as well as a dedicated area for shipping. We ship goods all over the world, and there’s never any down time in that department. Our new gallery gives us everything we need to fulfill our business plan for the future.”

To launch the new venue, Milestone’s team scoured the country for first-class consignments, focusing on several categories that are popular with their bidders, starting with antique advertising. The centerpiece of the July 27 sale is an important private collection of breweriana that boasts many rarities from the late 1800s through 1950s. There are signs of all types (including illuminating), brewery prints, back bar advertising items, serving and tip trays, advertising figures, novelty bottles, tap knobs and more.

A superb 19th-century chromolithographed sign for Isaac Leisy’s Brewery depicts a bustling Cleveland business that was once a city unto itself. The artwork shows the landmark red brick brewery with stables for its horses and delivery wagons; trains in motion, and in the background, Lake Erie. Framed and measuring 47 by 33½ inches, this historical gem is expected to make $8,000-$10,000 at auction.

Rare and exceptionally beautiful, an oval Iroquois Indian Head Beer & Ale serving tray showing an Iroquois chief in profile is one of few known to exist. In a professionally framed presentation, the colorful oval tray is estimated at $2,000-$2,500. Another highlight from the collection is a reverse-painted on glass demilune bar light advertising Heineken’s Imported Holland Beer. It has a great Art Deco look and an artistic depiction of the trademark Heineken’s windmill. Estimate: $1,000-$1,500.

Gas and oil advertising is a specialty that always attracts a enthusiastic legion of bidders to Milestone’s sales. One particular lot tipped for success is a rare Texaco Marine Motor Oil double-sided porcelain sign. Its busy nautical image shows a variety of vessels, from a speedboat to an ocean liner, beneath a flock of seagulls and double Texaco logos. Glossy and bright, the 12½- by 11-inch sign is estimated at $8,000-$10,000.

Additional advertising categories include automobilia, food, dairy and ice cream; insurance, paint, hotels, soap, medicine, and many others. Of course, there will be a big selection of Coca-Cola and other soda pop advertising – another staple at Milestone’s auction events. There are porcelain, tin and cardboard signs, serving trays, thermometers, store displays and other items touting soft drinks. Among them is a framed 1934 Coca-Cola die-cut window display featuring child star Jackie Cooper and the durable Hollywood actor Wallace Beery. Estimate: $2,000-$2,800

A fascinating collection of salesman’s samples and models is led by a true engineering marvel in miniature: a J.D. Adams & Co. Road King leaning-wheel grader. This nickel-plated sample was made around 1910 and is accompanied by an Adams catalog of the period. Estimate: $8,000-$10,000. Another wonderful novelty is the salesman’s sample replicating an oak bar with pump tap and foot rail, with an applied company decal for its maker, The Brunswick Balke-Collender Co. “The bottom of the bar slides off, and a bottle is connected to the tap, so you can actually serve a drink from the bar,” Miles King noted. The auction estimate is $1,000-$1,500.

The fun continues with the whirring and ringing of slot machines, pinballs, trade stimulators, arcade and vending machines. A very nice example of a Mills castle-front 25-cent slot machine has been professionally restored to excellent working order. Accompanied by its original key, it comes to auction with an $800-$1,200 estimate.

A high-octane lineup of classic-era muscle cars will be ready to roll into the auction spotlight and show off their best assets. “This is a motorhead’s dream,” said King. “Each and every one of the cars is going to be auctioned with no reserve.” The group includes a 1974 Chevrolet Corvette, a 1971 Corvette Convertible, a 1968 Ford Mustang GT, and a 1974 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am.

The set of wheels grabbing the most pre-sale attention, however, is 1965 Ford Mustang Fastback 2+2 V8 ‘Bullitt Clone’ in Dark Highland Green. The car underwent a fastidious three-year restoration in the late 1990s. “The owner wanted a Mustang like the one Steve McQueen drove in the film ‘Bullitt’ and spared no expense to achieve his goal,” King said. “It’s a fast car and is a blast to drive. I can’t say enough about how clean and sharp this Mustang looks.” Accompanied by photos, videos, research papers and receipts to document its restoration, the pampered American classic is estimated at $30,000-$40,000.

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