Morphy Auctions

2000 North Reading Road, Denver, Pennsylvania 17517

About Auction House

Morphy Auctions in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, and Las Vegas, NV has become one of the great success stories of the antiques auctions trade. Founded by Dan Morphy in 1997. Morphy’s has realized meteoric growth and set numerous world antique auction records in many categories, while attracting a global following of buyers that grows exponentially with each successive sale.

Auction Previews & News

16 Results
  • Auction Industry, Press Release
    Last call for Bobby Knudsen Jr Automobilia & Petroliana Collection, headlining at Morphy Auctions Sept. 29-Oct. 1

    Knudsen’s world-famous assemblage of gas & oil advertising signs will be auctioned on Day 1, with select pieces from other high-end collections offered on Days 2-3 DENVER, Pa. – It has been an exciting year-long journey for automobilia and petroliana collectors since Morphy Auctions first announced a series of sales dedicated to the Bobby Knudsen Jr Collection. Known far and wide for its ultra-rare and super-fine gas, oil and soda pop signs, the Knudsen collection rocked the hobby at no-reserve sales held in fall 2022 and spring 2023, both of which attracted aggressive bidding and set dozens of world records. But all good things must come to an end, and that will happen when the third and final installment of the Knudsen collection is offered exclusively and with no reserve on the opening day of Morphy’s Sept. 29-Oct. 1 Automobilia & Petroliana Auction.  “Many great signs were intentionally set aside for Part III of the Knudsen series,” said John Mihovetz, Morphy Auctions’ Automobilia & Petroliana department head. “Bobby wanted it that way, and so did we. It will be a worthy farewell to a legendary collection.” Days 2 and 3 include select consignments of rare and fresh-to-the-market signs, globes, cans, and gas pumps from other high-end collections, with pre-sale estimates ranging from $100-$100,000.  A valuable bonus applies to all pieces from the Knudsen Collection Part III. Each and every item has been graded, certified and stickered by AGS, the recently launched expert grading service that specializes in antique advertising. Also, two hardbound catalogs have been produced for the upcoming auction: one specifically for the Knudsen Collection Part III, and a second edition that covers the Day 2-3 sessions. The two books are sold as one bundle which also includes a custom slipcase designed to hold the Knudsen catalogs from Parts I, II and III. “The Knudsen catalogs are already regarded as essential reference books. A slipcase is the right way to store them, and we felt it was important to honor Bobby’s collection in that way,” Mihovetz said. Rare and outstanding 1930s Beacon Ethyl Gasoline (Caminol Co., Los Angeles) single-sided…

  • Auction Result, Press Release
    There was summertime fun for all at Morphy’s $1.3M Toys & General Collectibles auction

    Highlights: 1976 Topps football rack box with 24 packs of trading cards, $24,600; boxed Japanese Space Refuel Station, $11,070; boxed first-issue brunette Barbie #1, $10,455 DENVER, Pa. – Classic toys and pop culture favorites joined forces to deliver a $1.3 million result at Morphy’s August 2-3 auction, which offered “something to please everyone.” The all-encompassing Toys & General Collectibles sale ran the gamut from antique mechanical banks and dolls to fast-rising categories that are making waves in the marketplace, like vintage sports cards. Morphy’s has been on everyone’s radar in the sports card hobby ever since the Pennsylvania company sold a Topps baseball wax-pack brick for $873,300 last February. Their summer auction lineup, which strived for bidder inclusion at all price points, included 55 lots of cards, rack packs, cello and wax packs plus boxes representing some of the all-time greatest professional baseball, football, basketball and hockey players and teams.  Extremely rare BBCE-authenticated 1976 Topps football rack box containing 24 packs of trading cards with images of star athletes, including Fran Tarkenton, Terry Bradshaw, Franco Harris and many more. Sold within estimate for $24,600 The top seller ended up being an extremely rare, unopened 1976 Topps football rack box containing 24 pristine packs of trading cards. The packs featured images of star athletes of the period, including Fran Tarkenton, Terry Bradshaw, Franco Harris, Bubba Smith, Mel Blount and many others. The 1976 Topps set is also known to include rookie cards of the Chicago Bears’ legendary Hall of Famer Walter “Sweetness” Payton. BBCE-authenticated, the coveted box sold within its estimate range for $24,600.  Dozens of high-quality cast-iron mechanical banks crossed the auction block, including many made by J & E Stevens of Cromwell, Connecticut. Leading the group was an appealing Stevens Elephant and Three Clowns bank with rich original paint. The circa-1882 production in near-mint condition sold for $13,530 against a $3,000-$5,000 estimate. Sci-fi fans had their eyes on a battery-operated tin-litho Space Refuel Station marked “Waco Made in Japan.” An elusive toy, especially when complete with its original satellite, jet plane and rocket accessories, it even retained its original…

  • Auction Result, Press Release
    Morphy’s July 19-20 Automobilia & Petroliana auction crosses the finish line at an impressive $2.3M

    Fresh-to-market Sinclair Aircraft porcelain service station sign with unbeatable airplane graphic was airborne at $62,400 DENVER, Pa. – Led by an enviable array of rare advertising signs, gas pumps, globes and early service station and motoring accessories, Morphy Auctions July 19-20 Automobilia & Petroliana auction attracted bidders from coast to coast and cruised to a grand total of $2.3 million, inclusive of buyer’s premium. The 1,000-lot sale featured superior-quality consignments from a number of advanced collections, offering bidders a chance to buy elusive pieces at condition levels that would be nearly impossible to improve upon. Outstanding Sinclair Aircraft double-sided porcelain service station sign with airplane graphic. Clean, fresh-to-market example. Condition of each side: 9.0 and 8.9+. Sold within estimate range for $62,400 To no one’s surprise, a clean, fresh-to-the-market Sinclair Aircraft double-sided porcelain service station sign with an early airplane graphic landed in the auction’s #1 slot. Measuring 48 inches in diameter and graded a strong 9.0 and 8.0 on each of its sides, the coveted sign was pursued by not only petroliana collectors but also aviation enthusiasts. Propelled by multiple bidders, it rose to a lofty altitude, settling comfortably within its estimate range at $62,400. Collectors will pay a premium to acquire gasoline signs that are known to be rare, but even more so if they include attractive images of vehicles. A circa-1940s Paragon Gasolene double-sided porcelain sign with a tanker trunk graphic, its sides graded 8.0 and 7.9, respectively, sold for $27,600 against an estimate of $8,000-$16,000. A very scarce Sunset Gasoline & Rainbow Motor Oil double-sided porcelain service station sign depicting a brilliant sunset flanked by images of a speeding car and airplane sold near the top of its estimate range for $24,000.  Neon car dealership signs, especially those in nice original condition, are always in demand as well. The July auction featured an outstanding dual-brand Cadillac and Oldsmobile die-cut porcelain neon sign with its correct bullnose attachment. A major statement piece measuring 82 by 108 inches and graded 8.75+ condition, it sold above high estimate for $25,200. A gleaming lineup of more than 160 gas pump…

  • Auction Industry, Press Release
    Morphy’s Aug. 2-3 Toys & General Collectibles Auction merges antique and vintage classics with in-demand pop-culture categories

    Featured: Vintage sports cards and unopened Topps wax packs, early video games and consoles, comics, 1950s gumball-vending robot, 8ft tall Gort figure, vehicular toys, dolls, banks, trains DENVER, Pa. – Morphy’s spring toy auction, which took in $3.1 million, made headlines worldwide with its phenomenal single-owner collection of factory-boxed Star Wars figures and a sports card selection that included an $873,300 Topps baseball wax-pack brick. No other event in Morphy’s 20-year history could top that one for the amount of social media buzz or the number of pre-sale inquiries from prospective bidders. The fun will resume on August 2-3, when Morphy’s presents its summer offering of Toys & General Collectibles featuring both classic toys and pop-culture favorites: vintage sports cards, comic books and early video games. “We wanted to offer variety in this sale – something to please everyone – and to include collectibles categories that are in high demand and still growing,” said Tommy Sage, Head of Morphy’s Toys & Trains department.  Extremely scarce 1950s gumball-vending robot, Italian, stands 55½in tall. Working coin mechanism. Estimate $10,000-$15,000 Several coveted video games from the mid-1990s through early 2000s will be on deck and waiting to level up. Pokemon highlights include a Nintendo Game Boy Red Version from 1998, WATA-graded 8.0 A+ Sealed, and estimated at $10,000-$15,000; and a Nintendo Game Boy Advance Leafgreen Version from 2004, which is WATA-graded 9.4 and estimated at $5,000-$10,000. A rare and extremely important title, a 1966 Nintendo Super Mario 64, WATA-graded 9.4 A+ Sealed, is entered with a $6,000-$9,000 estimate. A nice lineup of consoles and game systems will be auctioned, including a Sony PlayStation 2, $700-$900; and Mattel Intellivision II, $500-$800 – both sealed in their original boxes – and other boxed examples from Sony, Sega (Genesis) and ColecoVision (with a bonus Donkey Kong cartridge). Fifty-five lots of vintage sports cards, rack packs, wax packs and boxes; and cello packs and boxes represent some of the all-time greatest professional baseball, football, basketball and hockey players and teams. An unopened BBCE-authenticated Topps NHL Hockey wax box from 1971 contains 24 packs of 10 cards each.…

  • Auction Result, Press Release
    Morphy Auctions new collaboration with Brian Lebel’s Old West Events was off to a roaring start at the June 23-25 Cody Old West Show & Auction in Santa Fe

    Stunning circa-1930s Edward H. Bohlin sterling silver parade saddle led an impressive lineup of Western and Native American antiques at $50,820 Fine circa-1930s Edward H. Bohlin sterling silver parade saddle with outstanding leather and silver carving, and silver conchos. Provenance: H.C. Lewis Collection; Butterfield & Butterfield 1989 auction; Guess Jeans collection; Tucson, Arizona, private collection. Sold above high estimate for $50,820 SANTA FE, N.M. – An affinity for the lore and history of the American West was the common denominator that connected premier dealers with enthusiastic collectors at Brian Lebel’s 33rd annual Cody Old West Show & Auction held June 23-25 at the Community Convention Center in Santa Fe, New Mexico. A much-anticipated highlight of the long weekend was the June 24 onsite auction of Western and Native American relics, produced in association with Morphy Auctions.  The lively specialty auction corralled many of the top collector categories, including cowboy antiques and collectibles, Native American artifacts, silver saddles, horse tack, antique and historic firearms; Hollywood cowboy memorabilia, Western fine art, Old West gambling and saloon items; Western decorative arts and furniture. In total, the auction took in $922,500 inclusive of buyer’s premium. The average selling price per lot was a buoyant $3,000. To no one’s surprise, the magical Edward H. Bohlin name commanded top-lot honors in the form of a circa-1930s sterling silver parade saddle. An extravagant creation by the legendary saddlemaker to the stars, it featured both elaborately tooled leather and finely engraved silver components, and bore a strong resemblance to a style identified in Bohlin catalogs as the “Marietta.” Decorated with bucking broncos, Texas Longhorns and covered wagons, and lavishly mounted with silver conchos, it charmed bidders who pushed its price all the way to an estimate-topping $50,820. As dazzling as the saddle was, it had to fight for the spotlight when a pair of Tony Lama “El Rey II” handmade cowboy boots crossed the auction block. Ordered through Luskey’s 1966 catalog and subsequently used as a roadside attraction on Route 66, the gold-leaf-inlaid boots were adorned with an incredible 54 carats of diamonds, rubies and sapphires. The fancy…

  • Auction Industry, Press Release
    High-octane Automobilia & Petroliana on track for success at Morphy’s, July 19-20

    Featured: Sinclair double-sided ‘airplane’ service station sign, new/old stock Musgo Gasoline ‘Michigan’s Mile Maker’ one-piece baked gas pump globe with Native American graphic DENVER, Pa. – The demand for rare, high-quality automobilia and petroliana has never been greater, and Morphy Auctions’ experts have never been more active in their quest to secure superior-quality consignments from long-held collections. The Pennsylvania company’s July 19-20 auction is packed with obscure advertising signs, gas pumps and globes; plus a specialty selection of more than 230 graphic motor oil cans touting such brands as Bisonoil, The Bomber, Skunk Oil, Iroquois and many more. In addition, the 1,000-lot sale features other types of signage, including neon, clocks, and soda pop advertising. All forms of bidding will be available, with Internet live bidding provided by Morphy Live.  Outstanding Sinclair Aircraft double-sided porcelain service station sign with airplane graphic. Clean, fresh-to-market example. Condition of each side: 9.0 and 8.9+. Estimate $50,000-$100,000 Flying high over the petroleum signs is a coveted Sinclair Aircraft double-sided porcelain service station sign with an early airplane graphic against a crimson ground. Measuring 48 inches in diameter, it is graded a strong 9.0 and 8.0, respectively, on each of its sides. A clean, fresh-to-market example, this eye-catching round sign with a textured “orange peel” finish is highly sought after by both petroliana and aviation memorabilia collectors. It leads the gas and oil section with a $50,000-$100,000 estimate. Another strong entry is a Hood Tire Dealer single-sided lithographed tin sign with a full-height depiction of their mascot, the smartly uniformed “Hood Man.” Standing 35½ inches tall and exhibiting outstanding color and high gloss, this condition 8.5++ advertisement would add eye appeal to any collection. It is expected to reach $5,000-$10,000 at auction. A framed poster advertisement emblazoned “Columbia Batteries For Every Use” shows the versatility of its products through images of various types of transportation: a car, boat and airplane. Printed on single-sided card stock and bearing a copyright date of 1913, this attractive sign is estimated at $4,000-$7,000. Bidding paddles will be airborne when the gleaming array of more than 160 gas pump globes…

  • Auction Industry, Press Release
    Brian Lebel’s 2023 Cody Old West Show & Auction slated for June 23-25 at Santa Fe, NM Community Convention Center

    Weekend dealer show and live Saturday night auction feature Western fine art and antiquities, Native American artifacts, apparel, cowboy trappings, horse gear, jewelry and much more SANTA FE, N.M. – Buyers, sellers, collectors, and enthusiasts of Western and Native American memorabilia, or anyone who is just discovering this red-hot collecting category, should mark their calendars for June 23-25. Those are the dates for Brian Lebel’s 33rd annual Cody Old West Show & Auction, to be held in the Santa Fe Community Convention Center at 201 West Marcy Street in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Will James (American, 1892-1942), Untitled graphite-on-board artwork depicting a cowboy roping a Longhorn steer. Size: 12½in x 19¼in (sight); 21½in x 28½in (framed). Artist signed, inscribed and dated ’34. Provenance: Abe Hays collection, Arizona West label attached. Estimate $35,000-$45,000. Morphy Auctions image Both the weekend dealer show and the Saturday night auction will be packed with authentic Western fine art and antiques, collectibles, apparel, Native American artifacts, home decor, jewelry, cowboy trappings, horse gear, books, Hollywood memorabilia, boots, hats, furniture and more. The extensive array of show and auction merchandise encompasses antique, vintage and modern items, and spans all price points. “Because of the wide variety of material available at the show – from cowboy to Native American, from old to new, and from inexpensive to lavish – it's often difficult to explain to people what, exactly, the event is like,” said Brian Lebel, who founded the show and auction 34 years ago in Cody, Wyoming. “But one thing is certain – after someone's first visit, they come back every year. It's a special event with a community like none other." The weekend dealer show is a “buy, sell and trade” event, with many vendors happy to offer impromptu appraisals or advice. "Our show vendors are among the best in the business, and are extremely generous with both their time and knowledge,” said Lebel. “Even if you don't buy anything, you're guaranteed to learn something." Show hours are 9am to 4pm Mountain time on Saturday, June 24; and 9am to 3pm on Sunday, June 25. General admission is $10 per…

  • Auction Industry, Press Release
    Morphy’s June 7-8 Fine & Decorative Arts Auction offers ultimate in luxury and quality, including supremely important Tiffany lamp estimated at $350K-$500K

    Also featured: Exceptionally rare mint/boxed Ulysse Nardin platinum, diamond and sapphire Royal Blue Mystery Tourbillon watch, #1 of 99 produced, estimated at $150K-$250K Important Tiffany Studios Poppy Leaded Glass Table Lamp W/ Drapery Glass. DENVER, Pa. – Stunning jewelry and watches, early Amphora pottery, and a spectacular array of 18 Tiffany Studios lamps are among the highlights of a shining selection of fine and decorative art to be auctioned by Morphy’s on June 7-8, 2023. Those who wish to bid remotely either before or during the 837-lot gallery event may do so by phone, absentee or live online via Morphy Live. Each piece in this sale – from dazzling diamonds to fancifully-carved antique walking sticks – has been examined, evaluated and cataloged by the appropriate expert from Morphy’s respected team of professionals. An experienced eye is especially important when the subject matter is as exquisite as the auction’s top jewelry lot: an extremely rare mint/boxed Ulysse Nardin platinum, diamond and sapphire Royal Blue Mystery Tourbillon watch, Reference No. 799-93. This spectacular timepiece carries the unique distinction of being #1 of only 99 made. It has a solid 950 platinum case, a sapphire main plate, and a 16-jewel movement. Its luxe adornments include 192 round brilliant-cut diamonds and 12 round, faceted blue sapphire hour markers. A single-owner watch, it retains its original presentation case, certificate, hang tag and all other original packaging. This impeccable production from an esteemed Swiss firm founded in 1846 comes to auction with a $150,000-$250,000 estimate. An undeniable “statement piece” in the jewelry category is a ladies’ 18K custom-made white gold engagement ring featuring a natural 7.77-carat Asscher-cut diamond, graded G color, VS2 clarity and measuring approximately 11.44 by 11.34mm. The massive central gem is encircled and flanked by 1.75 carats of round brilliant-cut accent diamonds of F color and VVS clarity. The ring has a total weight of 9.52 carats and an approximate retail value is $255,000. It will convey to its new owner with a Universal Gemological Laboratory (UGL) report. Auction estimate: $40,000-$60,000. Tiffany Studios art-glass lamps are among America’s greatest treasures, and over the…

  • Auction Result, Press Release
    Morphy’s Spring Coin-Op & Antique Advertising Auction closes the books at nearly $3.7M

    Rare-variation Watling ‘Cupid’ slot machine made a love connection at $72,000; while Esmeralda fortune teller defied prognostications to earn a hefty $66,000 DENVER, Pa. – Morphy Auctions’ lively April 20-22 Coin-Op & Antique Advertising Auction delivered a fantastic selection of rare slot machines, amusements and early advertising to an eager audience of bidders, cashing out at just under $3.7 million. The multi-session sale featured dozens of sought-after categories, including country store memorabilia, which was represented by one of the largest collections of its type to reach the marketplace in decades.  Circa-1902 Watling Cupid cast-iron slot machine, only known example with dual coin entry to accommodate both US and Canadian nickels. Also equipped with side gum-vending machine marked ‘5¢.’ Sold above high estimate for $72,000 The top lot of the nearly 2,100-lot auction was a circa-1902 cast-iron Watling Cupid coin-op slot machine. According to Morphy’s CEO Tom Tolworthy, an expert on antique coin-ops, the Cupid is likely to have been located at one time in a US city that bordered Canada, such as Buffalo or Detroit. “We believe this to be the case because the machine has a dual coin entry to accept the player’s choice of either an American or Canadian nickel.” Its unusual design also includes a bonus gum-vending machine, marked “5¢,” on its side. The only known example of its type, it sold above high estimate for $72,000. A circa-1901 Caille Brothers New Century Puck musical upright 5¢ slot machine also surpassed expectations, reaching an above-estimate price of $38,400. Could the mysterious “Esmeralda” have foreseen her auction-day success? No one can be sure, but many were vying to own the extremely rare fortune-telling machine. Standing in an arcade-style booth, Esmeralda plies her trade by speaking each fortune rather than proffering a printed card. The ingenious mechanism is enabled by an internal Edison cylinder record player that provides sound from Edison cylinder records. Auctioned together with playable cylinders, the Esmeralda fortune teller machine settled above its high estimate at $66,000. Another beautiful lady who captured bidders’ attention was a circa-1880s carved wood cigar store Indian maiden. Standing 68 inches high…

  • People, Press Release
    Sarah Stoltzfus appointed director of sales at Morphy Auctions

    Newly created position brings enhanced management oversight to all external sales-team efforts, with a special emphasis on consignor outreach DENVER, Pa. – Dan Morphy, president of Morphy Auctions, takes pleasure in announcing the appointment of Sarah Stoltzfus as the rapidly growing Pennsylvania company’s director of sales. Stoltzfus, who previously served as director of marketing at Morphy’s, will now oversee all aspects of external sales and consignor-outreach efforts, as well as manage consignment proposals, assist with lead generation, and offer support and guidance to the firm’s sales and marketing teams.  The newly created position is a hybrid that combines the traditional duties of an auction house sales director with additional executive-level responsibilities that are ideally suited to Stoltzfus, a Lancaster County (Pa.) native who earned her BS degree in business from Millersville University. “I’ve always worked in a marketing or sales capacity. During my previous tenure with Morphy’s, I became very familiar with the sales team’s approach and had the privilege of getting to know and assist many of the firm’s loyal customers,” Stoltzfus said. “I’m very excited to be rejoining Morphy Auctions, where I will have the opportunity to lead sales initiatives and contribute to the company’s dynamic growth and ongoing success.” Dan Morphy commented: “Sarah has a proven track record with Morphy’s. I have no doubt that she will be a great asset to our sales and marketing teams’ efforts as we continue to elevate our presence in the marketplace. Our first quarter was one of the strongest in the company’s history. Now we’ve put the right person in the right position to help secure important collections and keep that forward momentum going.” To contact Sarah Stoltzfus, call tollfree 877-968-8880, or 717-335-3435; email [email protected]. Visit Morphy Auctions online at  #   #   # CONTACTS FOR MEDIA: Sarah Stoltzfus Tollfree 877-968-8880, 717-335-3435; [email protected] PR Office:610-373-5959, [email protected]

  • Auction Industry, Press Release
    Morphy’s April 20-22 Coin-Op & Antique Advertising Auction lineup reveals rarely seen early amusements, top-notch signs and country store classics

    Featured: 1902-1904 Caille Bros Triple Eclipse upright slot machine ($200K-$300K), fabulous Mills owl strength tester ($50K-$150K), Watling Cupid with US/Canadian nickel slot ($50K-$70K) DENVER, Pa. – Morphy’s will bring on the fun and games April 20-22 with a stellar array of antique coin-operated machines and early advertising. Nearly 2,100 premium lots will be offered in three daily sessions, each packed with rare and desirable items. A special highlight is a substantial collection of country store memorabilia which Morphy Auctions’ CEO Tom Tolworthy describes as “one of the largest of its kind to come fresh to the market in decades.” In addition to gallery bidding, Morphy’s welcomes absentee, phone, and Internet participation via Morphy Live. Exceedingly rare circa 1902-1904 Caille Bros Triple Eclipse upright musical slot machine incorporating three separate machines to accept 5 cents, 50 cents, and 5 cents, respectively. Displaying Serial No. 121, it is the earliest of few known legitimate Caille ‘triples.’ Magnificent example with all original castings. Estimate $200,000-$300,000 The undisputed star of the three-day event is a circa 1902-1904 Caille Bros Triple Eclipse upright musical slot machine. Its serial number, 121, designates it as the earliest of very few known legitimate examples of its type. The machine’s design is quite something to behold. Its handsome tiger oak cabinet incorporates three separate machines – two that accept nickels and a center unit that takes 50-cent coins. Its provenance can be traced to a 1960s Nevada warehouse find that contained various models of antique upright slots. The hoard was later identified as the Dobby Doc collection, which was assembled in the 1930s and ’40s. The stunning machine to be sold at Morphy’s presents beautifully and has all of its original castings. It’s ready for play and will cross the auction block with a $200,000-$300,000 estimate. Another slot machine that could produce a big payday is a circa-1902 cast-iron Watling Cupid. It is believed that at one time the machine might have been located in a US city bordering Canada, such as Buffalo or Detroit, because it has a dual coin entry to accept the player’s choice of either…

  • Auction Result, Press Release
    Marathon of record-setting prices for rare petroliana at Morphy’s $8.1M auction of Bobby Knudsen Jr collection, Part II

    Four lots, alone, sold for a combined $1.1M; top-lot Wasatch Gasoline sign commanded $324K DENVER, Pa. – The energy was palpable at Morphy’s March 21-23 Automobilia, Petroliana & Railroadiana Auction featuring Part II of the incomparable Bobby Knudsen Jr. gas and oil advertising collection. Aggressive bidding sent prices to the Moon, with the four top sellers knocking down nearly $1.1 million. The three-day event containing 1,600 lots from the Knudsen collection plus other select consignments, chalked up a grand total of more than $8.1 million, inclusive of buyer’s premium. The top lot of the three-day sale was this stunning and rare Wasatch Gasoline 48-inch-diameter porcelain service station sign, which sold for $324,000 against an estimate of $75,000-$150,000. New world-record auction price “The sale was incredibly well received by both new collectors and veterans,” said John Mihovetz, Morphy Auctions’ Automobilia & Petroliana Department Head, who was instrumental in guiding the Knudsen collection to auction and cataloged its contents. “Prices ran hot throughout the opening session, which was devoted exclusively to Bobby’s collection, and dozens of new world auction records were set. But what impressed me the most was the vibe in the room. Everyone was happy, and there was definitely a feeling among bidders that they were part of a strong, connected community. There’s so much momentum in the petroliana hobby, now. Who knows what prices we’ll see in the fall when we auction the third and final installment of Bobby’s legendary collection?” Native American iconography dominated the top 10 at Morphy’s March sale, with an extremely rare and visually compelling Wasatch Gasoline (Salt Lake City, Utah) double-sided porcelain service station sign outdistancing all others. Believed to be one of only two surviving signs of its type in the 48-inch-diameter size, it was the only one ever to appear at auction. Estimated at $75,000-$150,000, it rose meteorically through the ranks, finally settling at a mind-numbing $324,000 – a new world auction record for this sign. Following closely behind the blue-ribbon Wasatch sign was a Mohawk Gasoline “down feather” double-sided porcelain service station sign. Its central image depicts a Native American with…

  • Auction Industry, Press Release
    Morphy’s announces return to Las Vegas as permanent site for annual fall auction of coin-ops, gambling machines & antique advertising

    After 4-year hiatus, Morphy’s will re-establish its Vegas presence to accommodate the many coin-op collectors and consignors living in western states DENVER, Pa. – Morphy’s will be heading west this fall to re-establish its presence in Las Vegas as the premier auction house for antique coin-op machines and antique advertising. An October 27-28, 2023 auction will launch a new chapter in Morphy’s ever-growing Vegas endeavors, with the popular Westgate Resort and Casino serving as the fall sale’s permanent venue. The annual spring edition of Morphy’s Coin-Op, Gambling & Antique Advertising Auction will not be affected and will continue to be held at Morphy’s flagship gallery in Lancaster County, Pa.  Superior Confection golf ball Automat, a highlight of Morphy’s Oct. 27-28, 2023 Las Vegas auction Morphy’s history in Las Vegas began in 2014 with the acquisition of Peter Sidlow’s respected Victorian Casino Auctions (VCA). From then on, VCA’s auctions were jointly branded as Morphy/VCA events.  “The Victorian Casino Auctions name was, and still is, highly respected. Peter Sidlow, and his vice president Don Grimmer – who now heads Morphy’s Coin-Op & Advertising department – knew what the collectors wanted, and it was convenient and fun for those collectors to attend their auctions, since the majority of them lived in the western states,” said Dan Morphy, president of Morphy Auctions. However, what so many West Coast bidders valued – namely, “destination” auctions in easily accessible Vegas – turned out to be a logistical problem for Morphy’s. With so many fragile East Coast consignments having to be trucked across the country from the company’s Pennsylvania warehouse to VCA’s Nevada premises, it eventually became clear that the bicoastal business model was not going to be sustainable. In June 2019, Morphy’s wound down its Las Vegas operation and moved all coin-op sales to its main gallery. While that solved the problem for East Coast consignors, it spurred a reluctance from some West Coast consignors who were concerned about having their valuable goods shipped cross-country to Pennsylvania. But a lot has changed over the last few years. Las Vegas is booming, investment money is pouring in,…

  • Auction Industry, Press Release
    Morphy’s March 21-23 auction rolls out Part II of Bobby Knudsen Jr’s stellar automobilia, petroliana & soda pop advertising collection

    Unprecedented offering of gas and oil signs includes many entries that are the best of all known examples and among very few of their type known to exist DENVER, Pa. – On March 21-23, Morphy’s will continue the exciting year-long adventure of auctioning the Bobby Knudsen Jr Collection of World-Class Automotive, Gas & Oil and Soda Pop Advertising. The series debuted to rave reviews on September 30 of last year and continues this month with Part II of Bobby’s collection anchoring the sale on day one and additional select consignments following on days two and three. It’s going to be a high-octane event of more than 1,600 lots, enough to ensure that every bidder has a great chance of landing something special from a highly pedigreed source.  Finest known Smith-O-Lene Aviation Brand Gasoline porcelain service station sign, circa 1940s, 48in diameter, double-sided with airplane graphic. Highest-graded example of the few known (9.75+ each side). One of the ‘Holy Grails’ of gas and oil advertising history. Provenance: Bobby Knudsen Jr. collection, Kyle Moore collection. Estimate $100,000-$200,000 The Knudsen collection, which was amassed over a 33-year period, is distinguished by its rare, authentic examples in spectacular condition. John Mihovetz, Head of Morphy’s Automobilia & Petroliana Department, was instrumental in guiding the legendary collection to auction and cataloging its contents. “A good 90% of Bobby’s collection is in 9.0 condition or better, which is an astonishing feat to achieve in antique and vintage gas and oil advertising. Even his rarest signs are in beautiful shape,” Mihovetz said. “Collectors who came to the preview before last September’s sale were left speechless by what they saw. It’s going to be the same for Part II.” Per Bobby Knudsen’s instructions, all items from his collection will be offered without reserve. A top prize in the sale is a circa-1940s Smith-O-Lene Aviation Brand Gasoline porcelain service station sign. The double-sided 48-inch-diameter round sign with a gorgeous airplane graphic at its center was issued by WD Smith & Son of Texarkana, Texas, to regional outlets in Texas and Arkansas. It is the highest-graded example of the few known…

  • Auction Industry, Press Release
    Morphy Auctions announces collaboration with Brian Lebel’s Old West Events, merging Las Vegas Antique Arms Show and Annual Mesa Old West Show & Auction

    Premier dealers of antique firearms and authentic Western art and artifacts will now display and sell their wares jointly at a single 60,000-sq ft Las Vegas venue, starting in January 2024 DENVER, Pa. – Dan Morphy, founder and president of Morphy Auctions, announced today that Brian Lebel’s Old West Events and Cody Old West Show & Auction have integrated with Morphy’s in an initiative that will benefit dealers and collectors of Western antiques and firearms in several significant ways.  Melissa McCracken and Brian Lebel at their 2011 Cody Old West Auction in Denver, Colorado, where the famous Upham Billy the Kid tintype sold for $2.3 million. Image courtesy of Lebel and McCracken Under the terms of the new arrangement, Brian Lebel and his wife and business partner, Melissa McCracken, will continue to operate their Annual Old West Show & Auction, which traditionally has been held every January in Mesa, Arizona, and in June in Santa Fe, New Mexico. However, effective January 2024, the Lebels’ January show and auction will move to Las Vegas to partner with Morphy’s Las Vegas Antique Arms show. The Santa Fe show will not be affected. “The union of our January shows will resolve an issue that had arisen in the past in which Lebel’s January show dates in Mesa and our show dates in Las Vegas sometimes overlapped or conflicted,” said Morphy. “There’s a lot of crossover in the type of merchandise sold by Brian’s dealers and our Vegas firearms dealers. Bringing them together under one roof – in a 60,000-square-foot ballroom space at the Westgate Resort and Casino – is a perfect fit. Now dealers won’t ever have to choose between Mesa and Las Vegas, and they’ll have the potential benefit of attracting customers they might not have known before. Likewise, collectors are going to enjoy being able to shop one big, top-quality show that brings together the very best dealers from two closely aligned categories, antique firearms and genuine Old West art and relics.” Morphy added that while Brian and Melissa will continue to manage Old West Events as they always have, their…