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Vintage advertising sign with Stourbridge links to some under hammer in Wolverhampton

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Following the £500 sale of a vintage enamel advertising sign for historic Wolverhampton firm Wearwell Cycles back in April, West Midlands auction house Cuttlestones has seen two very interesting lots consigned in its 22nd June Specialist Collectors’ Sale, one of which has links to Stourbridge.

Bearing a colourful illustration of Delphiniums and bearing the words “Webbs’ Seeds, Wordsley, Stourbridge” the sign is likely to have broad decorative appeal. It represents the seed giant Webbs which, established in 1850, was Stourbridge based until a 1960s merger saw the firm relocate to Chester. Webbs’ advertising signs are popular with collectors with those in good condition regularly achieving around the £1,000 mark. Despite this example carrying some damage in the form of rusting to the edges, it is still expected to fetch £200- £400.

Another lot expected to grab the attention of collectors is a Fry’s Chocolate ‘Five Boys’ enamel advertising sign. One of the most sought-after advertising signs among collectors, it features Fry’s iconic campaign – first launched in 1902 – that depicts a child in various emotional states in the build-up to enjoying a Fry’s chocolate bar. Early examples in exceptional condition have achieved as much as £2,900 and this one – in decent condition for its age but carrying some imperfections – has an estimate of £300 – £500. Cuttlestones’ valuer, Rosie Blackburn, says:

“Vintage advertising signs are hugely collectable, but it’s not just the hardcore collectors they can attract. Interior designers also regularly pick these up for creating vintage and shabby-chic inspired schemes, whilst very decorative signs like the Webbs’ one with its pretty floral design could catch the eye of keen gardeners or anyone who loves floral décor. With an international audience of bidders thanks to our online selling platform, these could well shatter their estimates.”

The signs will come under the hammer at Cuttlestones’ Specialist Collectors’ Sale at its Wolverhampton Sale Room on Friday 22nd June. The fully illustrated catalogue will be available from Friday 15th June via and viewing will take place from 10am – 7pm on Thursday 21st June 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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