Vintage advertising & general store antiques at Morphy’s

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2015-06-26 10:30:49

Vintage advertising & general store antiques at Morphy’s

Morphy’s March 30 auction of Advertising & General Store Antiques presents a real slice of American brand marketing and promotional history.

Known as a Morphy speciality, 125 lots of occupational shaving mugs are offered. Highlights among them include a mug depicting a man walking up a lighthouse stairwell, valued at $3,000-$5,000, and a 1927 early aviation mug depicting a biplane over the countryside, estimated to sell for $5,000-$10,000.

Over 80 antique safes, most 19th century, are offered from the Guy Zani Jr collection, amassed over 25 years. The finest and most obscure models are available, including salesman’s samples, mini cannonballs, Hobnails, money chests, brother/boudoir and pedestal parlour safes.

Two rare Hobnail safes lead the group. Hobnail produced safes between 1824 and 1840. An 1830 Rogers Hobnail safe, the predecessor to the first combination-lock safe in existence, is estimated at $6,000-$8,000. The oldest known salesman’s sample safe known, an 1826 Hobnail safe, is valued at $10,000-$15,000.

This auction would not be complete without a section of the ever popular tobacco and cigar advertising collectibles. A selection of figural Vestas, pocket-sized match safes, showcase an Unger Bros Indian Chief (estimate $800-$1,200), a woman golfer ($400-$600) and a Columbian Exposition Uncle Sam ($400-$600).

Over 150 lots of Coca-Cola collectibles include a six piece Taylor Smith Coca-Cola china grouping, estimate $2,000-$4,000. Vintage Coke signs are led by a 1905 Lillian Nordica cameo celluloid sign, valued at $2,000-$3,500, and a 1929 embossed tin Gas Today sign, $2,000-$3,500.

A strong contender for soda pop glory is a circa 1910 Allens Red Tame Cherry embossed tin sign. A pair of children sip bright red glasses of pop, above the phrase: ‘Drink Allens Red Tame Cherry and you’ll smile too’. This rare item is estimated to sell for $20,000-$30,000.

General advertising highlights are an early 20th century Gluek Brewing Co Vitrolite sign, valued at $3,000-$5,000, and a Peters Cartridge Co calendar for 1906 valued at $3,500-$5,000.

Highlights among over 60 lots of advertising figures are a plaster tableau for Stanfield’s Unshrinkable Underwear, picturing two men arm wrestling in long johns, valued at $2,500-$3,500.

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