A Goodrich Tires “Mountie” porcelain sign from the 1930s, a pair of circular Supertest Service Station double-sided porcelain hanging signs, and a 1930s Good Year Tires double-sided porcelain flange sign – all Canadian in origin – are just a few of the headliners in Miller & Miller Auctions, Ltd.’s online-only Petroliana & Advertising auction, featuring the Bill McNevan collection, slated for Saturday, May 15th, at 9am Eastern.
“Most collectors of petroliana will recognize the McNevan name,” said Ethan Miller of Miller & Miller Auctions, Ltd. “Bill’s collection ranges from scarce dealer signs to rare service station ephemera and tins. Collectors will agree that gas and oil related advertising has become increasingly difficult to find, particularly in the condition McNevan demanded. To step into Bill’s garage was to enter an automotive time warp. His trappings have attracted huge interest.”
McNevan’s carefully curated, outstanding collection includes investment-grade service station memorabilia from Supertest, Red Indian, British American, Imperial, Reliance, Texaco, Fina, Cities Service, White Rose and more. Automobilia will include signs from Ford, General Motors, Dominion Tires, Good Year, Goodrich, Hart Batteries, AC and Champion Spark Plugs and more. Collectors of petroliana need to mark their calendars.
With a stout pre-sale estimate of $16,000-$20,000 (all prices quoted are in Canadian dollars), the Depression-era Goodrich Tires “Mountie” porcelain sign is the expected top lot of the auction. The 56 inch by 20 inch sign is arguably Canada’s most recognizable, iconic and highly sought-after automotive advertising sign. It features a full-figure Royal Canadian Mounted Police officer in uniform, shown in eight vibrant colors of porcelain, with only minor scattered porcelain loss.
The Supertest Service Station (“Canada’s All Canadian Company”) double-sided porcelain hanging signs both have estimates of $6,000-$8,000. One, from the 1930s, is 48 inches in diameter and housed in the original frame. The other is from the 1940s and larger in size, at 60 inches in diameter. It’s in the original aluminum frame. Both signs show minor loss and fade.
The Good Year Tires double-sided porcelain wall-mounting flange sign from the 1930s is quite rare and features Good Year’s “tire around the world” graphic. The sign measures 27¾ inches by 20 inches and is expected to change hands for $6,000-$8,000. It exhibits minor flaws one might expect from a 90-year-old sign: minor patches of porcelain loss and a little oxidation.
In addition to petroliana, the auction also features automobilia, general advertising and soda advertising. A Canadian Orange Crush steel and wood store soda cooler from the 1920s, having four embossed lithographed tin panels (two with chalkboards), is expected to hit $4,000-$6,000, while a 1940s Gray Coach Lines double-sided porcelain sign ensemble, including a “Tickets and Information” banner with shield logo hung below with steel straps, should reach $2,000-$3,000.
Vintage gas pumps are a must-have man cave accessory. A Bennett 541 Supertest pump from the 1940s, professionally repainted to Supertest branding, carries an estimate of $4,000-$6,000. The 92-inch-tall steel gas pump features new decals, hose and globe, and has the original ad glass and register dials. It’s tagged, “Service Station Equipment Co., Ltd., Toronto SSE Bennett ECO”.
A Canadian Red Indian single-sided porcelain service station sign from the 1940s, five feet in diameter, marked “The W. F. Vilas Co. Limited, Cowansville, P.Q.” lower edge, is expected to bring $4,000-$6,000. Also, a Canadian 1950s Regent two-sided porcelain service station sign, five feet in diameter, having five scattered small porcelain chips, should go for $2,500-$3,500.
A monumental and scarce Good Year Tires porcelain sign, made in the 1930s for the Canadian market and 60 inches by 36 inches, showing just a few minor blemishes, carries an estimate of $4,000-$6,000. Also, a 1930s porcelain Canadian Tire Products sign with the early “CTC” maple leaf logo, 24 inches in diameter, with light craze lines, should knock down for $2,000-$3,000.
Two 1940s Canadian automotive dealer signs, one Ford and one GM, have identical estimates of $3,000-$4,000. The Ford double-sided smaltz painted sign (“Ford Genuine Parts”) is made from lithographed steel, with applied reflective sand script. It measures 20 ¾ inches by 27 ½ inches. The General Motors Products two-sided porcelain dealer sign is displayed back-to-back in its original frame and is marked “Property of General Motors Products.” It’s 54 inches by 56 inches.
Two AC Spark Plug store counter displays made for the American market in the 1920s, one for Ford and the other for Chevrolet, each has an estimate of $2,000-$3,000. Both have lithographed tin bodies and feature a rotating integral spark plug storage shelf, complete with plug fitting charts. The displays both measure 11 inches by 11 ½ inches (diameter) and show minor losses.
Internet bidding for the 299-lot auction will be facilitated by LiveAuctioneers.com, as well as the Miller & Miller website: www.MillerandMillerAuctions.com. Bidders can tune in to the live webcast on May 15th to watch lots close in real time. Phone and absentee bids will also be taken.
To learn more about Miller & Miller Auctions, Ltd. and the Petroliana & Advertising auction scheduled for Saturday, May 15th at 9am Eastern time, please visit www.MillerandMillerAuctions.com. Updates are posted frequently.