Riding on the wake of a buoyant million-dollar advertising sale in February, Morphys
is gearing up for another wide-ranging advertising auction, with the added bonus of Part II of the David Silverman pinball collection. The April 26-27 event will feature 1,660 choice lots of antique advertising, coin-ops and figural cast-iron pieces.
Day one will open with a selection of more than 600 lots of soda pop signs and related items. Both an extremely rare 1930s Dr. Pepper porcelain triangle truck sign and a 1936 Orange Crush embossed tin sign are entered with individual estimates of $2,500-$3,500. Another scarce Orange Crush sign, constructed of tin over cardboard, is expected to make $3,000-$4,000. Although sampling the contents is not advisable, an extremely rare, unopened 6-pack of Dr. Pepper cone-top cans could rise to the $3,500-$5,000 range.
A 40-year single-owner collection of more than 100 early syrup dispensers features many seldom-seen types among them, one of very few known examples of a Fan-Taz 5-cent DRINK of the FANS dispenser in the form of a realistically stitched baseball with bat motif. Made around 1900 and retaining its original pump, it carries a $30,000-$60,000 estimate.
Other top syrup dispensers include: Chero Crush, $20,000-$30,000; Cherry Chic, $12,000-$18,000; and World Liquid Force, which is shaped as a globe of the world with bas-relief continents, $14,000-$25,000. Morphy Auctions founder and president, Dan Morphy, noted that there are many other dispensers whose estimates are well within reach of beginning and intermediate collectors. Its a really beautiful collection with impressive examples at every price point. Theyve been on display here at the gallery and the compliments have been constant, Morphy said.
Moving into the Coca-Cola category, the highest-estimated lot at $10,000-$15,000 is a large, 1930s stainless steel and neon outdoor sign made by Flexlume Electrical Advertising Co., of Buffalo, New York. Other desirable Coke signage includes a 1931 cardboard cutout easel sign with the image of a bathing beauty with sunburst parasol, $3,000-$5,000; and a 1935 shield-shape porcelain Fountain Service sign, $2,500-$3,500. From the late 19th century, an extremely rare Hutchinson-style bottle, with a straight-sided as opposed to cabriole shape, will be offered with a $2,500-$4,500 estimate.
The Saturday session will wrap with more than 150 lots of tobacciana. One of few known examples of a Sweet Violet Tobacco vertical pocket tin is estimated at $1,000-$2,000. A Mayos Plug Cock o the Walk porcelain sign features an appealing image of a crowing cockerel, while a Buster Brown cigar tin displays an amusing image of comic strip character Buster Brown and his trusty bull terrier Tighe. Each of the latter two lots is estimated at $2,000-$3,000.
Day two of Morphys April 26-27 auction will open with the companys second offering of pinball machines from the 35-year David Silverman collection, previously displayed at the National Pinball Museum. Film-related machines lead the grouping, with a 1993 Williams Indiana Jones pinball estimated at $6,500-$7,500; and a 1992 Creature from the Black Lagoon with fantastic artwork by Kevin OConnor, expected to reach $4,500-$6,000. Other notable lots include two Gottlieb pinball machines: a rare, low-production 1950s Buffalo Bill, $2,000-$2,500; and a 1952 All-Star Basketball, $1,500-$2,000.
Bidders will want to reserve as much pocket change as possible for the 200+ lots of gambling machines and coin-ops that follow. The highest-estimated item in the auction, at $100,000-$120,000, is a superb Caille double-upright floor model slot machine that combines a 5-cent Centaur and 25-cent Big Six in its gold-plated oak casing. Another handsome upright model, a Mills Two Bits Dewey Jackpot upright slot machine, is estimated at $25,000-$30,000. Among the most desirable snack-vending machines are a Ryede Gum, Peanut and Candy dispenser, $12,000-$15,000; and a circa-1899 Wrigleys Gum slot machine/trade stimulator that was given to retailers if they ordered 10 cases of gum, $2,500-$4,000.
More than 300 lots of automotive-related advertising will be auctioned, led by an array of early to mid-19th-century signs. Highlights include: a 1920s Texaco Filling Station porcelain sign, $2,500-$4,500; a near-mint double-sided Cadillac Authorized Service porcelain sign, $3,000-$4,000; and an Armstrong Rhino-Flex Tires flange sign, $1,500-$2,000. A near-mint Oil Creek Ethyl gas globe is entered with a $3,000-$5,000 estimate.
Closing out the sale is a selection of more than 100 pieces of figural cast iron. Animal forms include a 15-inch doorstop depicting a bear holding a honey pot, $4,000-$6,000; an all-original, excellent-plus Hubley giraffe doorstop, $6,000-$9,000; and a lawn sprinkler replicating a wood duck, $1,500-$2,000. Human shapes include a cast-iron black butler string holder, $2,000-$3,000; and a French soldier doorstop, $1,800-$2,500.
Morphys April 26-27 Antique Advertising, Coin-op & Figural Cast Iron Auction will begin at 9 a.m. Eastern Time. All forms of bidding will be available, including live online through Morphy Live (www.morphyauctions.com), LiveAuctioneers or Invaluable. For additional information on any item in the sale, call 717-335-3435 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.