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Vintage Wearwell Cycles ad sign the pick of interesting local lots at forthcoming auction

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Vintage Wearwell Cycles ad sign the pick of interesting local lots at forthcoming auction

Local auction house Cuttlestones is expecting bidders with an interest in local history to be out in force at its 20th April Specialist Collectors’ Auction, with several lots of local interest going under the hammer.

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Among them is a vintage advertising sign for the Wolverhampton firm Wearwell Cycle Company which, established in 1889, was a major player in the production of pedal bikes and motorcycles – and also a big sponsor of cycle racing – in the early 20th Century. Although the company was sold off and production moved out of the city in 1972, the brand has recently been resurrected with a range of cycling wear and accessories launched by a Great-Great Grandson of the company’s founder and his business partner, operating out of St Albans.

The lot in question is a pictorial enamel advertising sign inscribed 'Agency For Wearwell Cycle Works, Wolverhampton', bearing the company’s winged cycle wheel logo to the centre. Measuring 30 x 58 cm and likely to be of interest to collectors of vintage advertising signs, those with an interest in sport cycling and also local history buffs, it carries an estimate of £200 – £300.   

Meanwhile, from an extensive collection of old coins, medals, badges and tokens, all of which will be in the sale, are several lots with specific links to Wolverhampton. First a ‘Wolverhampton Old Bank’ Pound banknote, dated 1812, which is expected to fetch £30 – £50; another dated 1815 expected to achieve a similar sum, and a third dated 1825 bearing a cancelled stamp and mounted on a card backing, estimated at £60 – £80.

Also hailing from the same private collection is a cased key in a fitted box carrying the inscription 'Wesleyan Reform Church Oldbury, Presented to Mr Walter Woodhall on the occasion of re-opening of the organ Sept. 25 – 13' which is in a lot along with an admission ticket for Wolverhampton Corn Exchange, an 1884 Wolverhampton Exhibition Token and a Wolverhampton Art Gallery Medal; together expected to achieve in the region of £40 – £60.

Also relating to Wolverhampton past is an early 20th Century black painted & gilt desk lever stamp bearing the stamp “Wolverhampton New Water Works Company”, which should fetch £50 – £100; while an unusual Sterling Silver desk vesta engraved “This is a Model of The Boundary Post fixed by The Mayor of Stafford, Councillor Richard John Young, on The 2nd of April 1917” has been valued at £80 – £120.

Cuttlestones’ Wolverhampton Sale Room Manager, Richard Forrester, says:

“Local interest lots always perform well at our Specialist Collectors’ Sales – Wolverhampton’s fascinating industrial history means that there are a lot of local collectors and historians keen to own a slice of the city’s heritage. The Wearwell Cycle Company advertising plaque has an added dimension as, with the huge popularity of sport cycling, it could well attract interest from cyclists as well as those with a keen interest in the sport’s history – so there’s a real chance it could shatter its estimate.”

The lots will all come under the hammer in Cuttlestones’ Specialist Collectors’ Sale at its Wolverhampton Auction Room on Friday 20th April. The full catalogue will be available at from Friday, 13th April and viewing will be on Thursday 19th April and on the morning of the sale. For those unable to attend the sale in person live online bidding, telephone and commission bidding options mean they needn’t miss out on the action – to find out more visit or call 01902 421985.


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