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Miller & Miller announces results of Petroliana, Advertising Signs & Memorabilia Auction
Circa 1930s Red Indian single-sided porcelain sign, also circular, five feet in diameter, from Harron’s General Store in Elsinore, Ontario. Their slogan: “Call Elsinore, 424”. (CA$27,140).

NEW HAMBURG.- A 1930s Canadian Eco Model 160 clockface gasoline pump and a circular, 1946 McColl-Frontenac double-sided porcelain sign, also from Canada, each knocked down for $35,400 in an online-only Petroliana, Advertising Signs & Memorabilia auction held December 4th by Miller & Miller Auctions, Ltd. based in New Hamburg, Ontario.

All prices in this report are in Canadian dollars and include an 18 percent buyer’s premium.

The rare, 1930s Canadian Eco Model 160 clockface gas pump with original reverse painted glass dials and the correct nozzle marked, “Service Station Equipment”, was the expected top lot of the auction, with a pre-sale estimate of $20,000-$25,000. Eager bidders beat the high estimate by $10,000. The clockface pump had had an older, professional restoration to the Texaco colors.

The 1946 McColl-Frontenac porcelain sign, six feet in diameter, marked “P&M-46” on the bottom, was expected to realize $12,000-$15,000, but aggressive bidding more than doubled the high estimate, Also, a 1930s Red Indian single-sided porcelain sign, also circular, five feet in diameter, marked “The W. F. Vilas Co. Limited, Cowansville, P.W.”, went for $27,140. Both signs were from Harron’s General Store in Elsinore, Ontario. Their slogan: “Call Elsinore, 424”.

The 530-lot auction featured seldom-seen Canadian soda signs from the 40-year collection of James Burridge and the advertising collection of the late Dave Toccalino. The sale also boasted a carefully curated offering of jukeboxes, gasoline pumps, toys and original memorabilia from the 1890s-1970s. Major categories included advertising signs, and tins, general store, tobacciana, clocks, co-op, petroliana (gas station collectibles), automobilia (car collectibles) and breweriana.

“Most of the content in this sale had been tucked away in private collections for decades,” said Ethan Miller of Miller & Miller Auctions. Ltd. “Collectors jumped at the chance to own what they’d likely never see again. Condition has always been the great divider. Many of the top lots went to buyers who were investing in condition. Some of the numbers were staggering. Good soda advertising, good petroliana – it’s all on fire. I have a feeling we haven’t seen the end of it.”

Following are additional highlights from the auction, which attracted 519 registered bidders who placed a total of 11,973 bids, for an overall gross of $568,789. Nearly all (99 percent) of all lots found new owners, and 36 percent of lots exceeded the high-end estimate. Internet bidding was via and the Miller & Miller website.

A circular, 1957 Supertest double-sided porcelain sign, among Canada’s most iconic service station signs, five feet in diameter, marked “P&M Orillia 57”, with an overall condition grade of 8.25, changed hands for $11,800; and a 1950s Canadian ESSO double gas pump, professionally restored to Imperial ESSO, with the original porcelain faces and a reproduction globe, tagged “Gilbarco Sales”, graded 8.25, 72 inches tall by 48 inches wide, found a new owner for $5,900.

A 1940s American Desoto Plymouth Service dealership sign, double-sided porcelain, graded 9.25, circular, 40 ¼ inches in diameter, rang up $8,850; a 1940s Canadian Ford Smaltz double-sided painted metal oval dealer sign with applied reflective sand script, 20 ½ inches by 27 ½ inches, graded 7.75, finished at $5,900; and a Canadian 1950s Shell Wayne 70CD gasoline pump, 71 inches tall and graded well at 9.0, professionally restored to Shell colors, hit $5,605.

Nothing goes together better than a jukebox and a Coke. A 1956 Seeburg (Chicago) model VL200 Select-O-Matic American jukebox, often referred to as “VL” or “The Cadillac of Jukeboxes”, operated via coin or a credit button, realized $6,490; while a 1930-era Canadian Coca-Cola single-sided tin sign, vertically produced at 54 inches tall by 18 inches wide, marked “St. Thomas Metal Signs, Ltd., Ontario” and graded near-perfect at 9.25, commanded $7,375.

Orange Crush signs proved to be hugely popular with collectors. They included the following:

• An exceedingly rare 1930s Canadian Orange Crush single-sided tin sign, 54 inches tall by 18 inches wide, graded 8.75, marked “St. Thomas Metal Signs, Ltd., Ontario” ($6,490).

• A 1930s Canadian Orange Crush single-sided tin vertical bottle sign, 53 ¼ inches tall by 17 inches wide, graded 8.5, marked “St. Thomas Metal Signs, Ltd., Ontario” ($5,900).

• Another Orange Crush vertical single-sided tin bottle sign, this one 1940s American, with the iconic ‘Crushy’ hoisting a crinkly brown bottle of Orange Crush, graded 9.5 ($5,310).

Rounding out just a couple more top achievers from the sale, a Canadian Pepsi-Cola double-dot vertical single-sided tin sign from the 1920s, showing the slogan, “Famous For Over 30 Years”, 48 inches by 16 inches, graded 8.5, fetched $5,900; and a Canadian 1940s single-sided tin sign advertising Black Cat Cigarettes, embossed and within a painted black wood frame, marked “CCC 53” (Continental Can Company), 24 inches by 24 inches, graded 7.5, reached $5,605.

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