Archives for category: Auction

Antique Campbell’s Soup tin advertising sign could hit $40,000-$60,000 at Showtime auction, Oct. 4-6

The lifetime collection of Don and Diane Sayrizi – advanced collectors in many categories, but especially antique advertising – will be offered Oct. 4-6 by Showtime Auction Services, at the Washtenaw Farm Council Grounds in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

This Campbell's Soup tin sign, circa 1900, should realize $40,000-$60,000
This Campbell’s Soup tin sign, circa 1900, should realize $40,000-$60,000

PRLog (Press Release)Aug. 5, 2013ANN ARBOR, Mich.(ANN ARBOR, Mich.) – The lifetime collection of Don and Diane Sayrizi – advanced collectors in many categories, but especially antique advertising – plus consignments from over 100 other advanced collectors from all over the country will be offered Oct. 4-6  by Showtime Auction Services, at the Washtenaw Farm Council Grounds in Ann Arbor, located at 5055 Ann Arbor/Saline Road.

“By far this is the best collection of antique advertising we have ever had the privilege of selling,” said Mike Eckles of Showtime Auction Services, based in Woodhaven, Mich. “We’ve held big auctions in the past, many of which featured advertising items, but never like this. The antique signs, in particular, are highly desirable and would be fine additions to any collection.”

In all, around 1,800 lots will cross the auction block over the course of the three days – 600 lots on Friday, Oct. 4 (which will be for a live audience only; no phone, absentee or Internet bidding) and 1,200 lots on Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 5-6, (which will be open to the live crowd, phone, absentee and Internet bidders). Internet bidding is provided by and

The auction will feature many of the collection categories for which Showtime Auction Services has become renowned in the industry. These will include salesman’s samples, petroliana (gas station) and automobilia, general store, country store, match safes, advertising signs, trays, cast iron toys, pressed steel toys, tin toys, pedal cars, barber shop, tobacciana, cigar lighters and tip cutters, hardware, telephone, store tins, Coca-Cola, Western, Native American, guns, whiskey, primitives, lamps and bronzes.

Additional categories will include drug store, saloon, post office, coin-op, arcade, scales, gambling, cash registers, fishing, folk art, clocks, fine art and Santas. “About the only thing regulars to our auctions won’t find are firefighting antiques and memorabilia,” Eckles said.

Specific collections expected to generate keen bidder interest include a group of around 20 extremely rare cigar lighters and tip cutters, all circa 1890-1910; more than 15 slot machines, including an upright; several Muto-Scopes (vintage arcade peep shows, circa 1900-1920); and a large collection of cast-iron toys, many of them rare, by Arcade and other makers.

Other collections of note will feature over 20 hard-to-find pedal cars; firearms and gunpowder posters and calendars; hundreds of tobacco and cigar tins; a large collection of breweriana; and scarce showcases, country store displays and counters. Also offered will be a fabulous Nickelodeon and three extremely rare Regina music players with discs from the 1890s, all in playable condition.

Individual lots that deserve special attention include a salesman’s sample cigar store showcase with original carrying case by Whitcomb Cabinet Company (Kansas City, Mo., circa 1895). “I feel very strongly that this is one of the top ten salesman’s samples ever offered at auction,” Eckles remarked. “It wouldn’t surprise me to see it sell for $50,000, maybe more.”

Another expected star lot is a Campbell’s Soup embossed tin sign, showing an image of an American flag fashioned from soup cans (“6 Plates for 10 Cents – Just Add Hot Water and Serve”), one of eight known. A similar sign, with a slight variation, was the top lot at Showtime Auction Services’ April 12-14 sale, where it brought $60,000. The one being sold is even nicer.

Other lots to watch include a rare 1958 two-sided petroliana sign for Mobile (not Mobil) Gasoline, 6 feet in diameter, with a graphic of a Bonneville Salt Flats-type car, one of possibly two known and graded 9 out of 10 on both sides for condition; and a complete three-station barber shop back bar, with chairs, occupational shaving mugs, razors and barber poles.

The hours for Oct. 4th live bidding will be 12 noon to 6 p.m. (EST), with previews that day from 8 a.m. to 12 noon and on Thursday, Oct. 3, from 12 noon to 5 p.m. Auction hours for Saturday and Sunday (Oct. 5th and 6th) will be from 9-5 (with a preview from 8-9 a.m.). For more information, log on to

The host hotel for this auction is the Clarion Hotel and Conference Center, located at 2900 Jackson Avenue in Ann Arbor. Guests are encouraged to book early, because of the many homecoming events at the nearby University of Michigan that could make for a busy time. For reservations, please call (734) 715-4444. Room trading will go on each evening after the auction.

Flyers for the auction will go out around Aug. 8th and catalogs will be mailed out the week of Sept. 2nd. To request a 200-page, full color catalog, call Amy at (734) 558-1145.

Showtime Auction Services is always accepting quality items for future sales. To consign an item, an estate or a collection, you may call Michael Eckles at (951) 453-2415; or, you can e-mail him at or . Their next auction will be held April 4-6, 2014. To learn more about Showtime Auction Services and the upcoming auction, log on to


Greetings Collectors!

As we prepare for our upcoming spring auction, I want to take a few minutes to tell you about a rare piece that is up for bid in our upcoming auction.

This is a 12 drawer Corticelli Spool Cabinet just one of the many fabulous Country Store Display cases that will be offered for sale through Showtime Auction Services on April 12-14 in Ann Arbor, Michigan. This may be one of the best country store collections every offered for auction. It was such a joy to work with Bill & Kathie Gasperino of Spokane, WA. Some of these items have not been to market for over 40 years. From the advanced to the beginner there will be something for every level of collecting.

Don’t miss this item or any of our other lots up for bid! You can bid via internet, phone or live in person!

Happy Collecting,

Mike & Lori Eckles


for more information,  visit out website at

Greetings  Auction  Friends and Fellow Collectors,

We finished our best Fall Auction ever this past October. It was a huge success and everyone who participated had a great time.  Headlining the auction was the lifetime collection of Robert and Harriett Potter – a vast accumulation of firefighting memorabilia and other items, spanning 50-plus years; Part II of the outstanding lifetime pedal car and toy collection of Ed and Christy Ramsey; Session 5 of a great tobacco and cigar tin collection; and other items culled from estates and collections nationwide In addition to these collections we had the privilege of selling the Mechanical Music Machine collection of  Frank and Betty Rayle.


One of the headliners was a rare and desirable 1905 Wurlitzer Style 17 Piano Orchestra in excellent working condition soared to $120,000, and an equally rare early 1800s Ephraim Thayer hand-drawn, hand-operated fire pump with tied to Paul Revere realized $110,000. The  three-day sale was held on Oct. 5-7 at the Washtenaw Farm Council Grounds in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

The Wurlitzer PianOrchestra (serial #10306) featured viola-cello, pipes, piano, mandolin, cymbal bass drum, snare drum, display, glockenspiel and 37 pipes, all housed in a monumental and handsome display cabinet measuring 94 inches tall by 69 inches wide by 34 inches deep. The PianOrchestra plays Style #17 rolls and came with about 40 rolls. It was the sale’s top lot.

Close behind, however, was the Ephtaim Thayer hand tub, named for its maker, who was an apprentice to Revolutionary War hero Paul Revere (whose own legacy at the Boston Fire Department was a result of his profession as a craftsman and coppersmith). Thayer went on to become a prominent fire apparatus builder in his own right. The hand tub sold was in fine shape.

IMG_1108In all, nearly 2,000 items came up for bid, with only 15 not selling because they failed to meet the reserve. “It was the best fall auction we’ve ever had,”    We had crowds of over 200 people each day. Over 1,500 people registered to bid online (through and More than 400 phone bids and over 1,000 fax’d left bids were also recorded. By the time the final gavel came down, the auction had grossed right around $2 million.

It was a very strong sale, when you take into account the fact that this is an election year and people are still very much concerned about the economy. But it didn’t seem to affect us at all. Serious collectors will turn out regardless of the economy.

Following are additional highlights from the auction…A circa-1880s Samuel Robb cigar store Indian figure, 78 inches tall (including the base) and boasting excellent color and patina, gaveled for $77,000. The figure had early professional repaint. Also, a tobacco and cigar store back bar and counter having a marble base with curved glass corner and beveled mirror, 120 inches long, in very good original condition, made $55,000.

Two lots posted identical prices of $15,400. One was a rare Campbell’s Soup porcelain thermometer, possibly the only one in existence, 7 ¼ inches by 12 ½ inches, in good condition except for some minor paint loss. The other was a dolphin cigar lighter with sterling silver trim and horn body. The piece was purchased from a museum and was in excellent all-original shape.

A 1925 American National Packard coupe kids’ pedal car, 57 inches long, one of only three made and in excellent condition, sped off for $11,865; a Pairpoint Rose Puffy boudoir lamp with 13 inch by 22 inch shade, in excellent condition, lit up the room for $11,300; a Beard Mfg. Co. salesman’s sample windmill (Model “M,” Angola, Ind.), 19 ½ inches tall, brought $10,200; and a Polar Bear tobacco tin store bin (the rare version with the word “SCRAP” on it) hit $4,200.

Our big Spring, 2013 auction will be held April 12-14, 2013, at the same place in Ann Arbor. Featured will be the lifetime, 40-year collection of Bill and Kathie Gasperino, Part II of the Robert and Harriet Potter Firefighting Collection and Part III of the Ed and Christy Ramsey Pedal Car and Toy Collection Also offered will be quality merchandise from over 100 consignors. It promises to be a diverse sale.

We are having a great time building our business and look forward to traveling for the next 3 months picking up items for the Spring Auction.

Our Spring Auction will be held on  April 12, 13 & 14, 201. Check out website for updates and  a sneak preview of our auction items.We will be gradually adding items so check back frequently!

See you in the Spring,

Mike and Lori Eckles

We here at Showtime Auction Services have had a very busy summer. We spent the months of June and July wrapping up the consignments for our Fall Auction and getting our Flyer out. Now it’s time to work on the Catalog. In designing the pages for this one, it is apparent to us that this is going to be the best selection of rare investment grade antiques we have ever offered. We will be featuring the Robert and Harriett Potter “Life Time” collection of Fire Apparatus and Equipment as well as Part 2 of the Ed and Christy Ramsey Pedal Car and Toy Collection. In addition, we will offer Part 5 of the best cigar and tobacco tin collection ever offered at auction.

Our flyers went out around July 20th. If you did not get one, call us at 734-676-9703 and we will get one off to you right away. The catalogs will be ready to mail out the first week of September. If you want one you can order it by calling Brodie at 817-312-4125. It will be 200+ pages of full color and you can get the prices realized 3 days after the auction online from our website at

We look forward to keeping in touch with you on a regular basis and hope to see you in Ann Arbor at the Washtenaw Farm Council Grounds on October 4, 5, 6 & 7, 2012.

Best Regards,

Mike Eckles