Fisk Tire Boy "Time To Re-Tire" Sign, ca. 1920
Appraised Value: $8,000 - $12,000 (2012)
IMAGE: 1 of 3
Appraisal Video: (2:36)
GUEST: We got him approximately 25 years ago. I bought it from the grandson of the original owner. It was out here on the old Highway Nine. It was a service station, and they also sold Fisk Tires.
APPRAISER: Just sitting on top of the building for most of its life?
GUEST: Yeah, until they decided to take it down because the hurricane was threatening the Gulf Coast. And his grandfather thought it would be better to take him down.
APPRAISER: I mean, do you have other things like this display like this?
GUEST: Yeah, gas pumps, and vintage signs and all sorts. He's in our den, and then we did a little research on him. It's the character was inspired by Norman Rockwell. And I guess the Fisk Tire Corporation liked him so much they decided to make him their mascot.
APPRAISER: Well, the Fisk Tire Company had an employee named Burr Giffen, and he actually did a little pencil sketch of the Fisk Tire boy. And this was in 1907, 1908. And they based this advertising campaign, which was called "Time to Re-Tire." Which is why you've got the boy yawning and getting ready to go to sleep. And later on, Normal Rockwell, who was working for the Saturday Evening Post, did a series of promotional advertisements for Fisk Tire Company. And also lots of other famous artists of the day did their own versions of it. Now in the 1930s, they changed him to a smile. So this dates pre-1930. More than likely, 1920 to 1924. Now, it's hard to tell how many were really made. I've heard estimates of around 300. For one of them to survive in this good a shape between the hurricanes, vandalism and just being abandoned. I mean, the fact you have one in this great a shape is astonishing. He's made from fiberglass, the tire is a replacement. It looks fantastic with it, but the original, you've seen them where they're full circles, they've got the full red crown coming up over it. These look like they were just made with a hole saw, but they did a good job of aging it to kind of match the whole look of it. The brass candlestick's original. It looks absolutely fantastic. How much did you pay for it?
GUEST: It's been 25 years. It was $250 or $300.
APPRAISER: Well, advertising art like this, especially from the early 20th century, is very rare. You don't see very large pieces in really good condition. Talked to a few of my colleagues, and we've decided that if we were to put this up for auction, we'd put an auction estimate on it between $8,000 and $12,000.
GUEST: I'm not going to say what my wife told me not to say. Oh my gosh. you so much.
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