SOUTHAMPTON, Pennsylvania — On July 29, Stephenson’s Auctions will return to the days of socks, drive-ins and old-gold Chevrolets by hosting a colorful 252-lot auction titled Fab ’50s and More. The sale features an outstanding collection of single-owner advertising signs and in-store displays; board games, antique clocks and telephones; cash registers, vending machines, railroadiana, a double food stand, dynamic Fiestaware and a Dunhill stainless steel soda fountain and related accessories. The auction room will be filled with not only colorful sights, but also the nostalgic sounds of vintage radios, a Bally Mr. and Mrs. Pac-Man and other games; and a Seeburg Select-O-Matic jukebox, wall-mounted speaker, and Wall-o-Matic tabletop music selector.
“This is a one-owner collection from an estate in Montgomery County (Philadelphia). The collector had a wonderful eye and was drawn to things that were fancy, well crafted and in great condition,” said Cindy Stephenson, owner of Stephenson’s Auction.
Antique and vintage signage is abundant in the collection, one of the most distinctive examples being a hanging neon sign of a 1930s optometrist or optician. large eyes painted on a red carved wooden frontispiece. Manufactured by Neon Products Inc., it measures 23½ inches wide by 9¾ inches high by 7 inches deep and is in working order. The presale estimate for this “eye-catching” sign is $2,000-$4,000.
Neon fans will also want to check the time on a round 1950s pink and green neon clock made by Electric Neon Clock Co., Cleveland. It measures 26 inches in diameter, has a soft and attractive glow and will be offered with an estimate of $800 to $1,000.
The soft drink offerings are led by two dozen sets of Coca-Cola merchandise, including a wide variety of Coke-branded signs, trays and serving items, crates and other collectibles, like a Stromberg-Carlson table radio, $200-$300; a pretty mid-century wall clock, between $100 and $200; a picnic cooler, $100 to $150; and a Coke bottle thermometer, $100 to $150. A 1950s Coca-Cola 10 Cent Vendorlator Bottle Vending Machine comes with its original key and is ready to dispense ice cold soft drinks. It is estimated between $500 and $700.
Always coveted by Coke collectors, a standing policeman/sergeant in a blue uniform holds a sign that reads ‘SLOW School Zone’ and stands on a metallic ‘Drink Coca-Cola’ disc base. Crafted from steel and standing 69 inches tall, this impressive 1950s advertising collectible is expected to fetch between $1,500 and $2,500 at auction.
Things are always better with coke, but sometimes on a hot summer day, a cup of dad’s old-fashioned root beer really hits the mark. That’s when it pays to have your own barrel-shaped soda fountain dispenser like the one on Stephenson’s sale. The 1930s production retains its original tap and is adorned with two pewter plaques reading, “Have a daddy’s old-fashioned root beer…It’s delicious.” Measuring 28 inches tall by 14 inches wide, it could pull a winning bid in the $400-$600 range.
The ultimate serving station, a Dunhill stainless steel soda fountain features built-in drink dispensers, deep, flip-top storage bins, and a row of lidded storage containers the type that can hold sundae toppings, such as nuts or cherries. This beautiful mid-20th century unit is aiming for a winning bid in the $500-$1,000 range.
Bidders can prepare to rock out to tunes from a stunning 1950s Seeburg Select-O-Matic 100 High Fidelity Model HF 100R jukebox. Through its wide, clear glass front, spectators can observe the mechanism automatic playing 45 rpm records, or “singles”. He plays one tune for a penny and three tunes for a quarter. In working order, complete with its original instructions and keys, it will be offered with an estimate of $1,000 to $2,000. Two other lots from Seeburg are worth mentioning: a teardrop-shaped wall speaker from around 1949-1954, $100-$200; and a Wall-O-Matic 100 wall-mounted jukebox selector of a type seen in restaurants in the 1950s. a nickel or two for a penny. Estimate: $200 to $300
More than two dozen vintage radios display a rainbow of exotic colors and patterns. Brands represented include Fada, Crosley, Stromberg-Carlson, Emerson, Silvertone, Bendix and many more. The majority have estimates of $100 to $200, but a few are more expensive, such as a General Television and Radio Corp. from circa 1946, model 5A5, which is black bakelite adorned with a neon green and red Art Deco style horizontal grille. tuner dial. Estimate: $300 to $500
No game room or man cave is complete without a vintage pinball machine, like the circa 1982 Mr. and Mrs. Pac-Man model entered with a pre-sale estimate of $600 to $1,000. This fine example of a classic arcade game was refurbished by TNT Amusements in 2009. It comes complete with its original keys and a 1982 schematics manual.
If that won’t rev your engine, maybe a fantastic Gilbarco Inc. gas pump in Harley-Davidson livery will. The pump itself is an American original with a reproduction globe and Harley-Davidson themed porcelain signs added. Made around the first decade of this century, it stands 75 inches tall and is estimated at $600 to $900.
A wide selection of railroadiana includes station signs, level crossing signs and signals, conductor caps, bronze plaques, dining car porcelain and more. Special highlights include a $1,000-$2,000 two-seat antique shoe shine stand; and a former train station ticket office. Made of wood with glass doors and windows, it is typical of those seen in train stations in the early 1900s. Its pre-sale estimate is $500 to $1,000.
Other categories of interest include a Machine Age red Naugahyde and tubular chrome sofa, $150-$250, and chairs, $100-$150; a Vitro Seating Products contemporary retro-style banquette with a Formica/chrome table and two benches covered in Naugahyde red, $500 to $1,000; Yellow Cab collectibles, jars and presentation cases for snack foods, glasses and sunglasses; scales, antique kitchen utensils, chewing gum dispensers, games of skill, shopping stimulators, thermometers, barber shop items and more than a dozen antique telephones.
Stephenson’s Fab ’50s and More auction on Friday, July 29, 2022 will take place live at the company’s gallery, beginning at 2 p.m. ET. Remote bidders can participate by phone, live online through LiveAuctioneers or by leaving a mail-order bid. Goods can be inspected at the gallery on the day of the auction from noon to 2 p.m.
For more information on any lot from the sale, call Cindy Stephenson at 215-322-6182 or email [email protected] Visit Stephenson’s Auctioneers online at www.stephensonsauction.com. View the online auction catalog at www.LiveAuctioneers.com.