Category Archives: Re-Found Objects

Tether car graphics

Tether cars have been around for a long time. The actual vintage cars run up into the thousands of dollars for the well made versions from the 40’s and 50’s. I love the graphics on the old boxes…

The Postman Brings Goodies

It was a good week for me in regards to poster collecting. I received a couple of packages from my international dealers.



Vintage Motorcycle Sweaters

Some nice examples of vintage motorcycle racing sweaters from a recent auction.

Motorcycle Pennants

A recent auction featured a collection of vintage motorcycle pennants. I still cannot afford to collect them but I am obsessed.

Sweet Motorcycle Racing Pennant

Another one bites the dust…

Moto Pennant

Cleveland Aztec Neon Clock

Cleveland Neon Clock

I purchased an old Cleveland Aztec Neon clock several years ago. When I purchased the clock it had a working clock mechanism, but the neon was not functioning. One ring of neon was there and the other was long broken. I purchased it from a junk store for $45.00, as the proprietor told me the clock mech had recently stopped working and the clock was only good for parts. The case was faded and chipped and the hands were long faded, but the clock face was good and it seemed all the parts were there. I opened it up and got the clock running again, and then restored the case with fresh paint. The intention was always to get the neon replaced and get it back in form. I hung it on the garage wall and let it run. There was no time adjustment bar connected to the clock mech, so every daylight savings I had to unplug the clock and let it sit until the time caught up with the clock. Four years passed and I never did anything with the clock.

I recently celebrated my 50th birthday and went on a trip. When I came home I walked into my house to see a funny glow coming from the kitchen. When I entered the kitchen I found the Aztec clock sitting on the counter with brand new neon glowing like it originally was meant to. My neighbor, who works in the sign industry, had snatched the clock while I was gone and replaced the old neon with new as a birthday gift! It was the best gift I could have ever imagined.

During the neon replacement process the old original clock mech had stopped working. I removed it and did my best to get it un-seized, but to no avail. Over the years I had done research on Cleveland Clocks and found that there was a company called Petrorelics that was reproducing replacement parts and had replacement motors. I ordered a motor and a time adjustment stick and anxiously waited for them to arrive. Once the arrived I found that the old hands did not fit the new hub, so back to it was. I ordered new hands that fit the new clock movement and ordered a hanging bracket as well. I had to fabricate a bracket to install the new clock mech, and once this was all done it went together without difficulty. It looks great, and now should last another 100 years.


Bibendum Heaven

On October 5th Morphys Auctions had a petroliana auction that had some of the sweetest Michelin advertising figures. As expected, they commanded top dollar.

This guy was plaster or composite and stood 31″ tall. He sold for $8000

Mich 8 32 in tall plaster

Mich 9

This guy was also plaster or composite and stood 31″ tall. He also sold for $8000

Mich 3 31 in tall plaster

Mich 4

The next had some condition issues, such as repaint and replacement accessories. He was the standard 31″ tall and made from the same materials. He went for a measly $2500

Mich 6

Mich 7

Mich 5 31 in tall plaster

The last figure was the compressor topper that you see often around the auction world. Even so, bidders got excited and ponied up $1200 for him, even without the compressor.

Mich 1

Mich 2

Vintage Motorcycle Pennant

I am always looking to buy old felt motorcycle pennants. Unfortunately I missed this one…

Moto Pennant


Antiquing in Ecuador

The first several times I visited Ecuador I had no success in finding any kind of primitive antiques. The only true antique stores were high-end antiques that had made it over from Europe at some point, and they were priced accordingly. The past two times I have been in country I have come across a few treasure troves, as the tourist market has started to expand. Utilitarian objects that used to get used up and worn out have started to become available for sale. The current government has even begun to regulate true antiquities to avoid valuable cultural artifacts from leaving the country, but the true objects of everyday use have not made the radar yet.

We came across this small roadside dealer on one of our last forays and we bought quite a few objects, including some great old wooden santos that had lost their ceramic faces long ago. I would have bought more things but the missus and I were short on cash and this was the middle of nowhere.

Antique Store 1

These hand-forged iron kitchen hooks wouldn’t fit in the luggage, but I will check next time to see if they are still there. They are awesome.

Antique Store 2

Great stone grinding rocks.

Antique Store 8

These wooden grinding vessels are a must purchase on our next visit.

Antique Store 7

I love the wooden “mashers”.

Antique Store 6

You can never be sure if the clay items are really old, or they were made for the tourist market. Since the government has put a clamp-down on exporting cultural artifacts the sellers will never tell you they are real or not. They will all tell you that they are not real and let you decide. We have purchased them over the years and still are not sure, but in this case I would imagine most are real. They are too small to have much value to anyone making them for the tourist market, and this place is so far out of the way that not many tourists frequent it. I guess we will let you decide if they are real or not…

Antique Store 5

I love these old santos. They are found in many of the old ranches and have been around for many years. They used to have ceramic faces, or carved wooden faces with glass eyes, but after many years in the humidity the faces have fallen off. It adds to the character for me. I picked up quite a few of these.

Antique Store 4

Odds and ends.

Antique Store 3

This Coca Cola sign was the one that sent my OCD spinning out of control. The old guy told us that it came off of the Coke distributor in the nearest city and had been there since the 1960’s on the outside of the building. We were in our family’s  small SUV and it was packed to the hilt with people so we were not able to transport it. I was obsessed with it, but the missus kept insisting that it would be impossible to get back to the U.S. and impossible to get back to Guayaquil with the current car set up. She wouldn’t let me buy it! I have been obsessing for weeks trying to get my brother in law to go and pick it up and store it for me at his house until the next time I go back. This week he broke my heart by telling me that he went back and it was gone! He couldn’t understand why anyone would have bought it, except me, as he knows I am a crazy collector. I will add this to my infamous list of “things that got away” and will continue to obsess over it for years, or at least until I find something else to fixate on.

Harley Davidson Billboard

Harley Davidson Billboard

Recently sold at auction for $6500