Vintage Advertising Signs

Do you want to bring home the perfect conversation starter? Join our auction for vintage advertising signs, or contact us at Rockabilly Auction Company today at (770) 652-8075 to learn more. 

Vintage advertising signs from popular brands allow you to step back in time for a glimpse of what simple life was like. Preserve history with everything from metal signs at a barber shop to vintage porcelain signs displaying cartoon gas station characters.

At Rockabilly Auction Company in Hartwell, Georgia, we’re passionate about memorable, unique, rare, recognizable, and antique advertising signs that can act as time capsules. We purchase vintage signs through our consignment service and offer them to the general public with our auctions.

Vintage Advertising Signs: History

The original advertising signs began in the 17th and 18th centuries. Since much of the population could not read, businesses used signs with pictures to depict products. This age brought on the iconic symbols for many industries we still recognize today, like poles painted in red and white corkscrew patterns for barber shops.

Throughout the 18th century, many merchants relied on wooden square, round, or rectangular signs with simple painted images depicting the business. By the 19th century, the idea of a logo blossomed as brands like Coca-Cola took pride in their hand-lettering and painting abilities, creating signature signs to distinguish their products from the competition. Manufacturers moved on from wooden signs and began experimenting with other materials, like metal.

By the end of the 19th century, companies scaled the hand-painting process with stamping technology for tin signs or cans. Tin signs created with offset lithography by Tuscarora Advertising Company or Standard Advertising Company in 1895 are some of today’s most valuable signs.

By the 1920s, art-deco-inspired porcelain signs took over because of their durability, indoor and outdoor applications, and scalable printing processes. Many brands used dual-purpose enamel signs to advertise the product, read the temperature, and serve other functions. By the 1950s, porcelain signs lost popularity as World War II war efforts melted many of them down, allowing neon signs to reign for decades.

Collectible Antique Signs

Some of the most valuable and collectible antique signs include the following (including the highest sale prices):

  • Smith-o-Lene Aviation metal signs ($134,200)
  • The 1896 Coca-Cola “Cures Headaches, Relieves Exhaustion” sign ($105,000)
  • Goodyear Tires tin signs with milk-glass lettering ($100,000)
  • The 1940 Beacon Lighthouse gasoline sign ($84,500)
  • Chevrolet ‘Chevy Boy’ neon signs ($69,000)
  • 1930s Harley-Davidson neon-porcelain signs ($86,250)
  • Cadillac neon gas signs ($28,750)
  • Sinclair Oil “Dino” porcelain signs ($3,000)
  • The Dairy Queen 3-D plastic cone ($2,300)

Do You Have a Sign You Think We May Be Interested In?

If you have vintage advertising signs you’re ready to part with, we’d love to help them find a new home. You can visit our gallery during open hours or schedule a consignment appointment by calling (770) 652-8075.

Bring Home a Vintage Conversation Piece!

Antique signs allow you to own a piece of history. If you’re interested in buying vintage advertising signs, view our upcoming auctions or call Rockabilly Auction Company in Hartwell, Georgia, today at (770) 652-8075 to learn more.