December 4, 2023

Featured: Rare gas & oil signage, gas pumps & globes, service station items, 400 lots of train-related memorabilia from three long-held collections

DENVER, Pa., March 22, 2022   /PRNewswire/ — Ever since the first Model A car rolled off Ford’s assembly line in 1903, America has had a fascination with cars. Now, nearly 120 years later, that attraction has become a pleasant obsession for the legion of collectors who regard Morphy Auctions as the No. 1 source for signage, gas pumps, globes, and other service station equipment from motoring’s golden era. Morphy’s next Automobilia, Petroliana & Railroadiana Auction will be held on March 29-30 at the company’s gallery, with absentee, phone, and online bidding also welcome.

Nearly 1,500 lots will be offered, with day one primarily focused on Railroadiana from a major central Ohio private collection plus two other advanced collections from Southern California and Montana. Train buffs will definitely want a boarding pass for this 400-lot session, since everything to be auctioned is fresh from those collections, which were amassed over 30-40 years. The comprehensive auction lineup includes locomotive number plates, signs from legendary railroad lines, train stations and depots; signals, whistles, fire alarms, bells, locks, lamps, headlights, and antique railroad lanterns with colored-glass lenses.

Morphy’s Automobilia & Petroliana department head John Mihovetz said he expects bidding wars over an original circa-1930s Western Motor Gasoline globe lens with the image of cowboys riding horses across a Southwestern landscape. In 9.0/8.9+ condition, it is estimated at $20,000$30,000.

Also poised to leap to the top of prices realized is a fantastic 15-inch Gilmore Red Lion Gasoline single-globe lens issued in the 1930s by Gilmore Oil Company, Los Angeles. As the brand’s name suggest, its mascot is a ferocious red lion, in full stride with its mouth agape and claws extended. Over the past 10 years, a globe of its type has only appeared for public sale a couple of times. Morphy’s example, in 9.0 condition, could reach $15,000$25,000.

Bidding is sure to take off when Lot 2560 is announced. It’s an outstanding (8.9+ condition) example of the ever-popular Aviation Gasoline single-globe lens from Marland Oil Company of Ponca City, Oklahoma. With an eye-catching graphic of a biplane flying above the clouds, it could land at $10,000$18,000.

The centerpiece of any gas and oil advertising collection is, of course, a vintage gas pump, and they don’t get any better than the Wesco Model 212 in Morphy’s sale. It’s a large-bodied pump finished in Hancock livery, with a clock face, brass nozzle and bevels; and three different Visiglas lenses at the top. “You just never see one of these pumps. In fact, I can’t recall ever seeing one at auction,” Mihovetz remarked. Estimate: $15,000 to $30,000

Car dealership signs are always in demand, especially if they’re as rare and sought after as Lot 2013, a 42-inch-diameter Cadillac Authorized Service double-sided porcelain sign with the brand’s crest and “deep V” graphic. “This one’s going to be a crowd fave,” Mihovetz said. “It’s originally from a dealership in Mississippi and has retained high gloss and strong 9.0+ condition. I think we’ll see it go for a high price.” Estimate: $12,000$22,000

Morphy’s March 29-30, 2022 Automobilia, Petroliana & Railroadiana Auction will be held live at Morphy’s gallery, 2000 N. Reading Rd. in Denver (Lancaster County), PA 17517, starting each day at 9am ET. Questions: Call Dan Morphy: 877-968-8880 or email [email protected] Visit the catalog online at 

SOURCE Morphy Auctions


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