Morphy’s secures right to auction peerless Bobby Knudsen Jr Collection of Petroliana & Soda Pop Signs
Fabled collection, 90% of which is graded 9.0 condition or better, will be offered in series of three unreserved auctions over 12-month period, with debut sale slated for fall 2022
DENVER, Pa. – Morphy Auctions is delighted to announce that they have been chosen to auction the world-class Bobby Knudsen Jr Collection of antique and vintage petroliana and soda pop signs. The collection will be offered in a series of three no-reserve auctions over a one-year period, with Part I to take place around the time of the October 4-7, 2022 AACA Hershey Fall Meet & Show. Part II will be auctioned in spring 2023, and the third and final sale will be held on a date within close proximity to the Fall 2023 AACA Hershey event. All three auctions will be conducted live at Morphy Auctions’ gallery in Denver (Lancaster County), Pennsylvania, with all forms of remote bidding also available, including live online through Morphy Live.
Bobby Knudsen’s phenomenal assemblage of 1,000+ porcelain, neon and tin signs is widely known throughout the collecting hobby for its abundance of extremely rare examples in superior condition. The Idaho native started his collecting journey in 1990 and soon became a staple at auctions and other events like the Iowa Gas Swap Meet, where he would pack as many signs into his carry-on bag as possible for the flight home, never entrusting his cherished purchases to the whims of baggage handlers.
“Bobby is like the godfather of the hobby. His signs are in the same venerable league as those of his good friend the late Kyle Moore, whose collection we auctioned to a standing-room-only crowd in 2016,” said Dan Morphy, president of Morphy Auctions. “We have every expectation that Bobby’s collection will reach the six- to eight-million-dollar mark. That’s how exceptional it is. There are five signs I can think of just off the top of my head that could easily total one million dollars.”
News of the Bobby Knudsen auction series is already buzzing in petroliana-collecting circles, Morphy said. “We did a single social media posting and had 180 enquiries within two hours. We know it will be another record-setting event that draws bids from across the United States and beyond. We will be limiting the number of bidders who can attend in person and will post further details about that on our website.” A slipcased trio of hardbound catalogs is being produced for the series, and an extended preview period will enable all who wish to inspect the collection to do so comfortably. The fall 2022 gallery preview is expected to open no later than September 1.
“Morphy Auctions is deeply honored to handle such a prestigious collection coming from a man as principled and well respected as Bobby Knudsen,” Morphy said. “I’ve had the pleasure of getting to know Bobby as a buyer at our sales, and he’s been just as nice to deal with as a consignor. Throughout the oversight process in Idaho, as we created inventory records, packed up his signs and loaded them onto our trucks, Bobby was fantastic to work with. He treated us all like family. I’m looking forward to working closely with our Automobilia and Petroliana department head John Mihovetz – who was instrumental to securing the Knudsen collection for us – along with the entire Morphy team to make sure the auctions are events that will be long remembered.”
John Mihovetz said it was a “great privilege” to act as the chief liaison between Morphy’s and Bobby Knudsen. “Bobby is a very smart businessman. He knew the importance of choosing an auction house with the right people and experience to represent his collection professionally from start to finish. He considered many options. When he gave me the nod, saying Morphy’s – and I, personally – were the right ones to handle and properly describe the collection, it was both a tremendous honor for me and a huge feather in the cap of Morphy’s and its entire staff.”
Bobby Knudsen commented: “My friends asked if I was scared to send my whole collection to an auction with no reserve, but I said ‘no,’ because I know Dan Morphy will do a great job. His company will treat you right and treat you fair. Collectors can come to the auctions and have the same chance as everyone else to bid on whichever signs they want – that’s the way I did it. The auctions are going to be fun, and I hope every bidder goes home with something from my collection that they really wanted.”
Additional information about Session I of Morphy Auctions’ sale of the Bobby Knudsen Jr Collection will be posted soon on Morphy’s website: www.morphyauctions.com. Contact Morphy’s by calling 877-968-8880 (tollfree), or 717-335-3435; or emailing [email protected]. Morphy Auctions’ gallery is located at 2000 N. Reading Rd., Denver, PA 17517.
A full preview press release about the fall 2022 auction will be issued this summer.
L to R: John Mihovetz, head of Morphy Auctions’ Automobilia and Petroliana department and Dan Morphy, president of Morphy Auctions, with two of Bobby Knudsen Jr’s favorite gasoline signs, advertising the brands Husky (auction low estimate $125,000) and Musgo (auction low estimate $275,000), respectively. Morphy Auctions image
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