Automobilia and petroliana collectors can fill 'er up at Morphy's Feb. 24-25 auction in Las Vegas

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Automobilia and petroliana collectors can fill 'er up at Morphy's Feb. 24-25 auction in Las Vegas
Rare and outstanding Sunset Gasoline (Sunset Pacific Oil Co., Los Angeles) 15in single-globe gas pump lens. Circa 1920s showing earlier ‘blue-sky’ background. Possibly the only surviving example of its type. AGS-certified and graded 91. Estimate: $15,000 - $30,000.

LAS VEGAS, NEV.- It’s time for automobilia and petroliana collectors to rev up their engines and head for Las Vegas, where Morphy’s will host an exciting February 24-25 auction of antique and vintage gas- and oil-related memorabilia. The 1,247-lot sale lineup, with most major pieces certified and graded by AGS, includes exactly what today’s gearheads want. There are pristine porcelain and neon advertising signs, gas pumps and globes; 85 vintage oil cans, service station display items, logo’d wall clocks, plus 68 lots of railroadiana. Those who cannot attend the high-octane gathering at America’s entertainment capital have the option of bidding absentee, by phone, or live online through Morphy Live.

The auction room will be ablaze with color from rare early signs like a coveted Clipper Gasoline (Independent Petroleum Co., Portland, Ore.) oval porcelain sign emblazoned with an iconic airplane graphic and artistic italicized lettering. A sizable 60 inches long by 35 inches wide, the sign has been AGS-certified, with its sides graded 87 and 79, respectively. The auction estimate is $30,000-$60,000.

Other top highlights within the 721-lot selection of signs include three round examples with irresistible eye appeal: a double-sided Frontier Gas “Rarin’ To Go’ sign with the company’s iconic cowboy-on-rearing-horse graphic, estimated at $40,000-$80,000; an exceptionally fine and rare circa-1930s Houston Gasoline sign depicting Texas hero General Sam Houston on horseback, $30,000-$40,000; and a double-sided Sinclair Aircraft porcelain sign with a central image of an early monoplane, $25,000-$50,000.

One of the premier neon signs chosen for the auction is a beautiful 54-inch by 42-inch Mohawk Gasoline porcelain neon sign of cathedral shape with a Native American brave shown in profile. Exhibiting very good color and gloss throughout, this most-wanted sign is AGS-certified and graded 90. The pre-sale estimate is $30,000-$60,000.

Pets are always allowed in a petroliana collection, especially when the subject is the beloved parrot mascot for Polly Gas. Adding its star power to Morphy’s February 24 session, a Polly Gas neon porcelain sign lights up in three colors and features the captivating tropical bird on her perch, with one foot lifted up. Collectors would appreciate that the 96-inch-long sign has never been removed from its original can and that it has been AGS-certified and graded 82. Polly is ready to charm auction bidders, but being a genuinely “rare bird,” she won’t be settling for crackers. This prized sign is likely to command $60,000-$100,000 on auction day.

Mother Nature inspired the gorgeous ocean-sunset color palette for a rare and outstanding Sunset Gasoline (Sunset Pacific Oil Co., Los Angeles) 15-inch single-globe gas pump lens. Deemed an earlier iteration due to its “blue-sky” background, the piece dates to around the 1920s. John Mihovetz, Head of Morphy’s Petroliana & Automobilia department, believes it is possibly the only surviving example of its type. It has been AGS-certified and graded 91, and is estimated at $15,000-$30,000.

A classic Musgo Gasoline (Muskegon Oil Co., Muskegon, Mich.) one-piece baked gas pump globe, with its stunning graphic of a Native American chief in full feather bonnet, also displays the slogan “Musgo Michigans Mile Marker.” An interior date stamp reads: September 17th, 1929. The globe is in overall excellent condition and has been AGS-certified and graded 90. Estimate: $15,000-$30,000

A circa-1930s Rainbow Gasoline & Motor Oil (True’s Oil Co., Spokane, Wash.) 15-inch single-globe gas pump lens sits on a metal high-profile body. Its vibrant motif captures a gas station scene, with a well-dressed gentleman chatting to an attendant who strides toward the customer’s car with pump hose in hand. This rare and exceptionally clean example has been AGS-certified and graded 95. Estimate: $15,000-$25,000

Nothing says “Oklahoma oil” like the brand “Kerr-McGee.” The February auction includes a circa-1940s Kerr-McGee Oil Industries Inc. (Oklahoma City) Sooner Supreme Products 13.5-inch gas pump globe lens that graphically portrays the company’s – and the petroleum industry’s – economic impact on the state. The densely detailed art shows Oklahoma as a bustling hive of modern industrial activity alongside a symbol of its history: a horse-drawn covered wagon. AGS-certified and graded 92, the globe lens is expected to reach $15,000-$25,000.

Also worthy of mention are the 68 lots of railroadiana that will cross the auction block. Subcategories include advertising, train station and railroad crossing signs; railroad-themed art, step boxes, lanterns and lamps; sound-emitting devices, embossed brass keys and check tags; railroad manuals and more.

Dan Morphy, founder and president of Morphy Auctions, sees an open-ended future for automobilia and petroliana sales at the company’s recently opened Las Vegas auction facility. “Las Vegas is one of the fastest-growing metropolitan areas in the United States. It used to be a place to visit, but now it’s a place for luxury living and leisure pursuits. It’s also a magnet for West Coast car culture and classic-car events. When you put all of those things together, Las Vegas is the ideal place for Morphy’s to hold automobilia and petroliana sales. So far, the feedback from collectors has been extremely positive.”

The Feb. 24-25, 2024 auction will be held live at Morphy’s satellite venue located at 4520 Arville St., #1, Las Vegas, Nevada 89103.

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