Advertising is as much a part of American history as the automobile, baseball and apple pie. That historical significance, along with the creativity and beauty seen in much of the country's antique advertising, make auctions like the one being held Sept. 21 at the Burley Auction Gallery in New Braunfels, Texas, and online at iCollector.com so enticing for collectors.
With more than 5,000 items up for bid, the upcoming antiques auction will have something for everyone who is interested in exploring America's history through its commercial output. And for those who want to venture outside the advertising category, there will also be a selection of classic firearms, antique furniture, slot machines and even some sculpture.
Offering the entire inventory from a top Texas collector, many of the items are jewels of Western Americana. A rare Lone Star Beer double-sided porcelain sign in very good original condition is just one of the many signs available from that company.
But, since it's Texas, beer lovers will have their choice of signs from makers of classic brews. Coors, Dixie, Old South, Texas Pride and Atlantic Ale will also be on the block, making for lots of logos for lip-licking libations.
Signs are all around
Classic advertising from some of the titans of American commerce, like Coca-Cola and John Deere, will also be up for bid. Specimens from more obscure, yet still noteworthy, companies like the Hood's and Blue Bell ice cream companies and Royal Crown Cola, with their signs that should qualify for art exhibitions, have found their way into the collection.
There are even a variety of offerings from two of the most American of products – tobacco and gasoline. A professionally restored Dixie Premium Gasoline Pump is especially eye-catching, but there will also be plenty of adverts for now-defunct companies Mayo's Plug Tobacco, Duke's Mixture Tobacco and the Magnolia Petroleum Company.
Other items up for bid
It won't just be signs, neon and collectible advertising items that bring in the crowds, though. There is also such a large assortment of antique weapons that on their own they would qualify as an appealing knife and firearms auction.
The highlight among the many guns and knives has to be the Colt .44-40 engraved by Buffalo Bill Cody with supporting documentation. But that's just the tip of the iceberg. There are dozens of options you can bid on to add to your collection of antique weapons, including a restored Colt Sheriff's Model .44-40 that was one of only 32 made, an antique pistol attributed to the Alamo, a Winchester 1866 Yellow Boy Musket .44 Rimfire and an early Republic of Texas-era Bowie Knife.
Of course, with so many items, signs, guns and knives barely even begin to scratch the surface. Collectors of antique furniture will have the opportunity to lay their hands on a mid-19th century red-painted Texas cupboard from the Hatfield plantation, and art lovers can purchase an oil painting of bluebonnets and longhorns by famed artist Robert Harrison.
iCollector.com is your one-stop auction shop for antiques and collectibles that will get you in touch with the minutiae of American history.