Antique fireworks light up Morphy's advertising auction

Cola Boy

Cola Boy

2015-07-22 08:55:16

The upcoming Morphy’s Premier Advertising Auction is set to go off with a bang – as a collection of antique and vintage fireworks crosses the block.

The sale will offer 250 lots, ranging from firecracker packs and boxes to pyrotechnical advertising and rare salesman’s samples.

Highlights from the collection include a Rochester Fireworks Co. salesman’s sample display, circa 1890s, valued at up to $5,000-$15,000; a Rochester 'All Rocket' display with 11 different rockets, also valued at $5,000-$15,000; and a near-mint 9½-inch-long American Cannon cracker, patented in 1885, valued at $2,000-$8,000.

As usual, the sale will also include a wealth of antique soda pop advertising. An Art Nouveau Pepsi-Cola china syrup urn is estimated at $20,000-$40,000, followed by an Art Deco Dr. Pepper porcelain awning sign priced at $6,000-$9,000 and more than 100 lots of Coca-Cola related signs, thermometers, calendars, posters, drinking glasses and serving trays.

In addition to the usual vintage advertising lots, the auction will also offer a collection of handcuffs and leg irons once owned by the renowned escapologist Earl Lockman (1893-1967). Lockman was regarded as a true heir to Harry Houdini, who performed successfully for decades with the motto "Locks Don't Lock Lockman".

“Earl Lockman was the first escape artist to appear on television, and he was obviously very smart about self-promotion,” said Dan Morphy, founder and president of Morphy Auctions. “He would display his collection of handcuffs and restraints in the lobbies of theaters where he performed to draw attention prior to his shows. Later, he would use those same devices in his act.”

The sale will offer a wide variety of Lockman's shackles, including dozens of handcuffs and a pair of rare 'McKenzie Mitts' estimated at up to $4,000.

Bidding on Morphy's Premier Advertising Auction begins at 9 a.m. ET on Sunday July 26.

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