AC Spark Plugs tin die-cut flange sign ignites the crowd for $2,310 at Matthews Auctions

An AC Spark Plugs tin die-cut flange sign, dated 1936 and featuring the iconic “Sparky” logo, sold for $2,310 at an on-site estate sale held Sept. 24 by Matthews Auctions in Jaffrey, N.H.

Online PR News – 05-October-2011 – – (JAFFREY, N.H.) – An AC Spark Plugs tin die-cut flange sign, dated 1936 and featuring the iconic “Sparky” logo, sold for $2,310 at an on-site estate sale held Sept. 24 by Matthews Auctions, LLC, based in Nokomis, Ill. The sale was conducted at the former home of the late Bradley Jackson of Jaffrey, who collected items in many categories prior to his untimely death.

It was a new record auction price for the AC Spark Plugs sign, which measured 15 by 11 inches and featured the words “Cleaning Station Blue Top Dealer” on one side. Both sides were rated 9+ out of 10 for condition, which added to its desirability to collectors. In all, nearly 600 lots crossed the block in a sale that attracted around 350 people. It was held inside a large tent.

“Bradley Jackson was a dedicated collector of petroliana, automobilia, snowmobile collectibles, vintage Volkswagen Beetles and other vehicles and trailers,” said Dan Matthews of Matthews Auctions, LLC. “It doesn’t surprise me we had a strong crowd, and those folks came to spend money. Online bidding, through Proxibid, only accounted for 15 percent of the gross.”

Mr. Matthews said air meters, especially, were hugely popular with bidders and some fetched “almost ridiculous money.” One that hadn’t even been cataloged (it was found in the attic of the home right before auction day) brought $1,000. “That’s what’s so great about a discovery auction like this,” he said. “Great items like that turn up literally right before the sale.”

Mr. Matthews added, however, that crawlers and tractors sold for substantially less than what he had expected. “Some folks walked away with some tremendous bargains,” he remarked, adding, “Overall, it was just a great sale. And thank goodness I had the help of Ron Pelletier of Brookline Auction (in Brookline, N.H.). Thanks to Ron, things went smoothly from start to end.”

Following are additional highlights from the auction. All prices quoted include a 10 percent buyer’s premium.

The top lot of the sale was a Gilbarco model #914 double-computing gas pump, with sight glass. It soared to $5,225. The pump was professionally restored in Sunoco colors, with decals and Blue Sunoco globe, a new hose and the original aluminum handle. Also, a Wayne model #60 computing gas pump with two Atlantic pump plates, in good condition, hit $1,595.

Four Eco air meters did extremely well. They were an unknown model number in primer, with hose reel base, in very good condition ($1,650); a model #93 with large hose reel base, with rust to the sheet metal head ($1,430); a model #37, head only, with heavy old paint ($1,221); and a Tireflator (unknown model) on a stand with light tower with cover, restored ($2,200). Also, a nicely restored Erie air meter with wall mount bracket went to a determined bidder for $1,760.

A Polaris Sno-Traveler single-sided tin “Authorized Sales” snowmobile sign with great snowmobile graphics, self-framed, 57 inches by 45 inches, rated 7, went for $1,320; a Sno-Sport by Rupp “See How Much Better a Snowmobile Can Be” plastic lighted sign with sled graphic, rated 9, rose to $770; and a Moto-Ski “Proven Best By Test” plastic panel insert, with great snowmobile graphics, rated 9, commanded $660, a remarkably high price for a plastic insert.

A 1974 Airstream travel trailer in need of a good cleaning and in fair to good condition rolled off for $3,850; a Massy Harris pony tractor that had been professionally restored, with head lamps, belt pulley, rear wheel weights and average tires coasted to $1,650; and a Cletrac model R tractor, made by the Cleveland Tractor Company, with an electric starter, made $3,025.

A Sinclair Gasoline double-sided porcelain sign, 48 inches in diameter, rated 9+ with great gloss and color, finished at $1,870; an International Motor Trucks “Sales and Service” double-sided porcelain sign with triple diamond logo, rated 8, with great gloss and color and a clean field, knocked down at $1,320; and an “Ask Here for Gargoyle Mobiloil Authorized Service” single-sided porcelain sign, 24 inches by 20 inches, rated 9.75, finished at $715.

Rounding out the day’s top lots, a Cities Service “Service Provided Products” round thermometer, 12 inches in diameter and rated 9, was a bargain buy at $248. Matthews Auctions, LLC’s next big sale is coming up quick – Friday, Oct. 14, in Peotone, Ill. Featured will be two major collections, with Atlantic items, pump plates, license plate attachments, paper and more.

Then, on Saturday, Nov. 26, Matthews Auctions, LLC will hold an auction in Raymond, Ill., at the gallery of Gavin Pope Auction, with whom Matthews Auctions often partners. Offered will be hundreds of lots of petroliana, automobilia, country store collectibles and antiques. The sale will begin promptly at 10 a.m. (CST) and will be held at 823 North Bannon in Raymond, Ill.

Matthews Auctions, LLC is always accepting quality consignments for future sales. To consign a single item, an estate or a collection, you may call them toll-free at (877) 968-8880, or you can send an e-mail directly to Dan Matthews, at

Mr. Matthews recently completed writing a book about petroliana, titled The Fine Art of Collecting and Displaying Petroliana. For information on how to order a copy, please log on to the Matthews Auctions, LLC website, at For more information about Matthews Auctions, LLC and their upcoming sales, log on to

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Contact Information
Dan Matthews
Matthews Auctions, LLC
111 South Oak Street
Nokomis IL, 62075

(217) 563-8880