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Antique Gasoline Sign Sells for $1.5 Million, Setting World Record

It’s considered the “Holy Grail” of vintage advertising signs.

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Courtesy of Richmond Auctions

A Musgo Gasoline sign was auctioned in late August for $1.5 million, setting a new world record for the most expensive antique advertising sign sold at auction.

The 48-in., double-sided porcelain sign was sold by Richmond Auctions. It’s considered the “Holy Grail” of antique advertising signs, the auction house said in a press release. The $1.5 million haul, which includes the buyer’s premium, shattered the previous record of $400,000.

The sign was discovered in an attic in Michigan and had never been seen by the public. It was made by Chicago-based Veribrite Signs, which operated from 1915 until 1965 and is best known for manufacturing porcelain enamel signs for companies including Coca Cola, Ford Motor Company, Phillips 66, John Deere and more.

Musgo, originally located in Muskegon, MI, was believed to be open for less than six months during the mid-1920s. Following its closure, most of its signs were used as septic tank lids causing one side to decay from septic fumes. “This record-breaking sign was new old stock, never used as a septic tank lid, and is the best-known example of this legendary sign,” the release states.

Jordan Richmond, founder and CEO of Richmond Auctions, said the sign “was discovered without touchups, restoration, or enhancements something unheard of for a collectible of this nature.”

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Here’s the auction house’s full description of the sign:

Incredible 48″ Musgo Gasoline Michigan’s Mile Maker Double Sided Porcelain Sign TAC 9.5 & 9.25. NOS! This is the best example ever seen and/or graded by The Authentication Company. This is a fresh to market, never before seen or offered up for sale example. We believe this to be the best known example of this Holy Grail sign, and do not believe there will ever be chance to own a better example. Both sides of this DSP (double sided porcelain) sign have superb color and gloss. The 9.5 side is free of blemishes throughout. The reverse has is a tiny bruise above the indian’s head dress and a couple factory imperfections including a small pencil eraser sized rust area to the top left of “A” in Gasoline. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to own the best known example of the best Gas/Oil sign in the market. Marked Veribrite Signs Chicago. The best that we have seen. Measures 47 7/8″. Rated 9.5 & 9.25 by The Authentication Company (TAC #041669).

Signs of the Times has been the world leader in sign information since 1906. Contact Signs of the Times' editors at [email protected].

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