Frazer Axle Grease Self-framed Advertising Sign, ca. 1900
From the mid '30s, my father worked for the Billings Hardware Company until the late '70s, when he retired. And that's where he got it. My father was planning to come to Roadshow and bring this. He unfortunately died very suddenly, although peacefully, at the end of April. So I flew to Billings and spent the entire morning looking through the garage and the basement. And finally I found it under the bed. So, it was meant to be here.
Well, it is an important sign. It's an advertising sign for Frazer Axle Grease. The key things about this sign are, one, its rarity. But secondly, its rarity in this condition. This is what's called a self-framed sign. In other words, the image continues off of the central scene into a simulated frame. The frame then wraps around a wood stretcher on the back. And this one dates from around the turn of the century. It was made by the Meek Company in Coshocton, Ohio. The condition is off the charts. We found several similar signs selling at auction, but none came anywhere close to this condition. There's no pitting, there's no rust, there's very minor discoloration. There's very minor scratching. It is the way you really want to find a wonderful old advertising sign like this. And also the fact that it tells a funny story. You have the gentleman on one side who's saying, "If I had used Frazer axle grease, I wouldn't have had this trouble." And his friend's saying, "Don't worry about that, Frazer axle grease will solve all your problems." It tells a great story. All of those things combined to equal, I think, a retail value on this sign easily of $4,000 to $5,000. And I hope that that would have made your father happy had he known that.
I'm sure it would have made him happy. It would have made him very happy.
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Last Tango in Halifax
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