(Topic ID: 164009)

Collecting Porcelain Signs

By radium

3 years ago

Topic Stats

  • 126 posts
  • 33 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 6 days ago by JayDee
  • Topic is favorited by 10 Pinsiders


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#2 3 years ago

I'm not an expert on collecting signs by any means but do like vintage advertising and antiques. There is a learning curve like anything. Once you do it long enough you can generally spot the reproductions a mile away. That is probably the easiest part. Reproductions are often too clean, made of thinner metal and show up a lot more often. Often sized differently than the originals also. I find it easier to just avoid even original examples if they have been reproduced. Mainly because the reproductions kind of cheapen the experience of owning an original as well. Even if it's a cool sign I don't want one if I see an example of it in every garage/gameroom.

Here is a pretty cool looking sign (see pic). It's a reproduction though. It's too clean for one thing but also you see a ton of them for sale in all different sizes from Knapik's Marine. I'm guessing there may even be some originals somewhere from Knapik's Marine but who'd want it when all the repros have the same text.

Fakes are generally reproductions that have false or accelerated patina. Printed patina can be easily spotted as it looks rusty but feels smooth. Some signs are made new to have an aged look. Other times guys will bury signs in the ground to get some rust going. Once again it helps if you have a pretty good knowledge of what signs have been reproduced. A lot of the reproduction signs have those brass eyelets in the corners for hanging. So that is something else to look for.

As far as junk goes. Like any hobby there are always starter pieces. Cheaper pieces that have less value because of condition or being common. If you buy smart it's hard to really get burned on these because there is always another guy starting out that will by your cheap signs once you move up to the better stuff.


#12 3 years ago
Quoted from Dayhuff:

Wow, really surprised that this thread hasn't gotten more action? Remember porcelain is not everything when it comes to collecting signs.

I agree. I have quite a few signs and very few are porcelain. Porcelain is very cool though. Not nearly as many as John but I need to go around the house and snap a few pics.

Here are a couple pics I had handy. The Holihan's and Nehi are cardboard. I'm a big fan of vintage lithograph signs for their vibrant color. The Gettelman Beer is porcelain.


#18 3 years ago
Quoted from TheLaw:

it is everything when it comes to the title of the thread, which is why it isn't getting more action

Most of the sign guys I know don't limit themselves to one type. They are sign guys. The one variation is some are ok with reproductions and some aren't.

Porcelain certainly is a cool thing to specialize in though. It makes it easier in some regards as there are a lot of signs out there.

#35 3 years ago

Good stuff! Don't stop now. It's too much fun. It's like one of those places you visit and notice something cool and interesting every time.

Here's a few of mine.














#38 3 years ago

A few more. Collecting signs is like collecting pinball machines if you have an ounce of space left, you will fill it.









#57 3 years ago
Quoted from mkgoetz:

Love this thread. I also collect beer signs porcelain, tins and neon. Here are a few of my off grade signs in the garage.


#70 3 years ago

I just bought this small Peerless beer collection tonight. Peerless is a Lacrosse Wi Beer that closed in 1956. Included are an edge lit sign, aluminum sign (used to hang on the building apparently) salt and pepper shakers and fish shaped bottle opener. Pretty cool stuff I think.


#72 3 years ago
Quoted from presqueisle:

Cool Alex!
This is my one fake sign. It's in the bathroom, and it was appropriate when the kids were smaller and talking baths
Also a hornet nest.

Don't forget about the Hamm's Scene-O-Rama. That is a killer sign. i'm guessing it's up North? Appropriately so.

2 weeks later
#75 3 years ago

Waxing periodically can help slow deterioration. It's not just rust you have to worry about. Sun fade is also a consideration. Indoors is ideal but if you want it outside, under an overhang without direct sunlight is your next best option.

2 months later
#81 3 years ago

I just bought this classic Hamm's Scene O Rama off a buddy of mine. It could use a new logo plate but is otherwise very clean.

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#83 3 years ago
Quoted from presqueisle:

Sweet Alex! Is that a scroller?

Yes sir. I didn't notice the easter egg in this one.

#85 3 years ago

Maybe? I will have to drink a couple beers and study it.

2 months later
#99 2 years ago

I finally got around to hanging this one up last weekend. Some day when I'm feeling rich I'll have the neon re-done.

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#101 2 years ago
Quoted from spfxted:

Alex...where did you get the Technicolor sign??

I got it from my uncle. The local Rialto theater burned down many years ago and apparently the sign hung on the building. I believe it's cast aluminum. I could never sell mine as I got it from my uncle and also a piece of local history.

I've seen different variations of the same sign for sale over the years. They pop up on Ebay from time to time.

Here are a couple that were sold.

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2 weeks later
#105 2 years ago

I had some money set aside for an EM pinball. Discovered this old Blatz sign today at an antique show and bought it instead.



#108 2 years ago

I didn't know you could still buy Blatz? I'd like to try it. I found a home for the sign yesterday. It makes a nice focal point in my homemade backbar.

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7 months later
#111 2 years ago

This isn't a new sign, I've posted it before. What is new is I found an old pic of it in it's original location. On top of the old Lake House Inn Hotel/Supper Club in the 1940s. Obscured slightly by the tree.

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#115 2 years ago
Quoted from Chosen_S:

I agree, that is awesome. I do not believe any of the signs we have come across have any possible documentation like a picture

Thanks, your collection is simply amazing. The cars and the signs...

1 week later
#117 2 years ago

Found this one today at the Flea Market. Nothing fancy, but always fun when you can find one that is coin-op related.

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3 weeks later
#121 2 years ago
Quoted from aahgo:

Not porcelain, but I have a Miller High Life bouncing ball sign that needs a new rotating screen. Basically a 4'' wide mylar strip with colored stripes, wrapped around two rotating rollers. Does anybody know if these have been reproduced at all?

Miller made a few different variations of the bouncing ball sign from the 50s-80s. It's a neat effect. Motion signs are an addicting and fun thing to collect.

They reproduce quite a few parts for Hamm's signs as they are the most popular among collectors.

Unfortunately I don't think anyone has reproduced the bouncing ball film? Could be wrong? Motion signs can be kind of like working on old pin though. I have had luck piecing them together from different parts signs. So keep an eye on Ebay. You might find one with a busted case and good film.

There is a pretty fun beer show coming up next weekend that may be a fun place to look for parts or other signs as well.
milwaukee.craigslist.org link

2 years later
#125 6 days ago

Picked up this Adler Brau Clock last year. And recently the framed Wrigley's sign (cardboard standee) to the right of Hi-Deal. Also this 1974 NAPA calendar, Elvgren is one of my favorite pin-up artists and I like anything with a vintage snowmobile on it. Nothing porcelain recently...
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