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Sign of the times – Our high ad hopes for sale of vintage enamel signs

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We have seen some great prices achieved for vintag e enamel ad signs in recent sales.Back in July, a colourful sign for Webbs seeds bearing an illustration of Delphiniums and bearing the words “Webbs’ Seeds, Wordsley, Stourbridge” saw the hammer fall at an impressive £900; with an example of Fry’s Chocolate’s ever-popular ‘Five Boys’ campaign fetching £800 in the same auction. These followed the £500 sale of a similar sign for historic Wolverhampton firm Wearwell Cycles in April.

It seems that word is getting around regarding the popularity of vintage advertising signs, with another interesting selection now consigned for sale in the auction house’s 21st September Specialist Collectors’ Sale at its Wolverhampton sale room. The latest lots cover examples from some of the best-known brands of the early to mid-20th Century, including an enamel sign advertising Nosegay tobacco for pipe and cigarettes, estimated at £100-200; another example advertising Woodbine cigarettes with an illustration of a cigarette on a yellow background alongside the slogan “The great little cigarette”, carrying an estimate of £80-£120. Another lot advertises “Wills” Capstan Cigarettes in a striking sky and dark clue colourway and is expected to fetch £40-60; while the fourth and final lot of particular interest promotes Lyons Tea with the slogan “A packet for every pocket, Lyons Tea, Always the Best” with an estimate of £100-200.

Sale room manager, Rosie Blackburn, says:

“We have had some very happy vendors recently as sales of vintage enamel advertising signs seem to be booming. They are highly collectable and appeal not only to hardcore collectors but to those seeking to add a vintage twist to their interiors and also to fans of classic graphic design – the early 20th Century signs in particular were masterpieces of branding and resonate strongly with those involved in the discipline today. We regularly find signs sell via the internet to bidders based both in the UK and further afield.”

The signs will come under the hammer at Cuttlestones’ Specialist Collectors’ Sale at its Wolverhampton Sale Room on Friday 21st September. The fully illustrated catalogue will be available from Friday 14th September via and viewing will take place from 10am – 7pm on Thursday 20th September and on the morning of the sale. For those not able to bid in person, live online, telephone and commission bidding options are available.

For more information call 01902 421985 or email [email protected]

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