Mecum Auctions, renowned for its record-breaking auctions, broke new ground in June with the world’s largest Road Art Auction, amassing an impressive $10.9 million in sales. A whopping 92% of nearly 4,000 lots found new homes at this inaugural event, which further cemented Mecum’s standing as a premier auction house. The Road Art Auction, held at Mecum’s headquarters in Walworth, Wisconsin from June 20-25, added a new dimension to the company’s repertoire of annual events, joining the ranks of the World’s Largest Collector Car Auction and the world’s largest vintage and antique motorcycle auction.
Collectors converged upon the beautiful Wisconsin lake country to witness the auction of neon, tin, and wooden signs, gas pumps and globes, pedal cars, posters, and more. The event’s success promises a thrilling return in June 2024, offering collectors an engaging opportunity to network and revel in the camaraderie of their beloved hobby. Among the top sales at this year’s event were a Kelly Tires porcelain sign (Lot S101) — a rare and coveted cornerstone of Road Art collections — which commanded $265,500, and a Star Lanes single-sided animated neon sign (Lot S144) that secured the second-highest bid at $247,800. Both items serve as a testament to the ongoing popularity of vintage porcelain signs among the road art community.
Neon signs dominated the auction, with eight of the top 12 sales spots occupied by these vibrant and valuable pieces of history. Their popularity reflects a growing trend of appreciation for such vivid relics of the past. Gas pump globes, too, experienced a surge in demand, with Mecum offering one of the most impressive selections worldwide. The auction’s collection, highlighted by the 200+ authentic and high-quality globes from The Jeff Spanier Gas and Oil Collection, thrilled attendees. A unique 1930s-era Texaco Fire-Chief Hat-shaped globe (Lot F189) sold for $82,600, solidifying the category’s rising popularity.
The inaugural Road Art Auction demonstrated the high demand and deep appreciation for these symbols of bygone eras. Mecum’s ability to deliver a successful, world-record-sized auction is a testament to its reputation and the growing interest in this fascinating category of collectibles. The anticipation for the next installment in June 2024 is already mounting, with collectors from around the world eager to partake in the camaraderie and excitement of this unique auction event.
Sources: Mecum Auctions