Auction Finds

Auction Finds is a running catalog of the coolest stuff I’ve found from online auctions. I’ll never be able to afford this stuff, but I can at least look at it.

Outstanding Poster Art: Modern Jazz for ’56

Outstanding Poster Art: Modern Jazz for ’56

Auction Finds, Ephemera
Sometimes I see a piece of pop art and just know it's from the 1950s without knowing anything else about it. Such is the case with this phenomenal piece from 1956, advertising a concert called Modern Jazz for '56, which seems to have been a package tour. It featured artists such as Chris Connor, the Modern Jazz Quartet, the Don Shirley Duo, and Herbie Mann and was sold as "an enjoyable evening with your favorite modern jazz artists." This particular concert was held on January 27, 1956 at the Victoria Theatre in what I believe is Kansas City. Dig this beauty, man: I would frame this gem in a heartbeat if I had it. So totally mid-century and just oozing with that hep cat charm you also find on a lot of jazz album covers from the period. A concert review published on January 29th b...
Dig This Beatles Help! Motorized Promotional Display (Capitol, 1965)

Dig This Beatles Help! Motorized Promotional Display (Capitol, 1965)

Auction Finds
From the heady days of Beatlemania comes this outstanding piece of music retail history. It's a motorized display produced by Capitol Records to promote the Beatles' new Help! album and movie. It's basically nothing more than a two-foot by two-foot box with a set of cardboard hands that pops out, but because it's the Beatles it automatically becomes cool. Let's check it out: If you want to see this neat little promo item in action, check out this video:
Vintage 1983 Radio Shack Burger King AM Radio

Vintage 1983 Radio Shack Burger King AM Radio

Auction Finds
With the recent news of venerable electronics retailer Radio Shack's Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing -- and likely demise -- I was inspired to hit the usual auction sites to see what kind of Radio Shack branded stuff I could find. I was not disappointed with the results, which include this great AM radio with headphones that was made by Radio Shack and distributed at Burger King outlets in 1983. As you can see this radio was really a promotional item for the Whopper, and features Burger King's "Aren't You Hungry?" slogan from the early-to-mid 1980s. The back of the packaging features a detailed breakdown of the Whopper, as well as a nice black and white illustration of the standard BK franchise design that lasted through the decade at least. What isn't immediately visible fro...
Pennant Fever #4: 1952 Brooklyn Dodgers World Series Champions

Pennant Fever #4: 1952 Brooklyn Dodgers World Series Champions

Auction Finds, Sports
Here's a great World Series pennant from the days of the Brooklyn Dodgers. It celebrates Brooklyn's win in the 1952 World Series and lists a number of the players and the classic "The Bums" mascot. Click for a larger version. There's only one problem, though -- the Dodgers didn't win the '52 Series. They actually lost in seven games to the New York Yankees, so someone jumped the gun on this pennant a little bit. --- Don’t forget to check out the rest of my Pennant Fever entries.
Dig These Great Star Trek Original Series Behind-the-Scenes Photos

Dig These Great Star Trek Original Series Behind-the-Scenes Photos

Auction Finds, TV & Radio
Science fiction props, artifacts, and ephemera are very easy to find on auction sites although they can often be expensive to obtain. And one of the great sources of cool stuff is Star Trek. So today I have a set of behind-the-scenes photographs taken on the set of Star Trek in 1966. Most of these pictures feature Leonard Nimoy as Mr. Spock, although we also get appearances from Capt. Kirk and Mr. Sulu. Based on some of the props seen in these shots, I'm guessing at least some of them were taken during the filming of "The Galileo Seven," which aired in January 1967.  Look for the pictures of Spock with the giant spear and Yeoman Mears (Phyllis Douglas) fending off one of the ape-like creatures of Taurus II.
Here’s A Classic Disney Hudson TV Ad Featuring Donald Duck

Here’s A Classic Disney Hudson TV Ad Featuring Donald Duck

Advertising, Auction Finds
Long before the Walt Disney Company became known not just as a purveyor of magic but as a corporate behemoth, they tried their hand at television advertising. In the early-to-mid 1950s, Disney produced a series of fantastic TV ads featuring classic characters like Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, and Tinker Bell, as well as original product-specific characters. This great ad and animation cel come from a spot for what I believe to be the 1955 American Motors Hudson Hornet, and feature Donald Duck and his nephews Huey, Dewey, and Louie. The designer was Tom Oreb, who worked with Disney during what was arguably their golden age for feature productions. First, let's look at the Hudson Hornet ad. I'm not 100% certain what model year this is for, as the sources I've seen for this animation vary...
Pennant Fever #3: 1966 Atlanta Falcons

Pennant Fever #3: 1966 Atlanta Falcons

Auction Finds, Football Friday, Sports
Since their founding in 1966, the Atlanta Falcons have maintained a fairly consistent brand identity. Sure, colors change and logos are modified, but the basic look has remained intact. So that's why I was surprised to see this pennant on eBay, purportedly from the team's inaugural season. Almost nothing from this pennant seems to have found its way into the team's branding, apart from the shade of red. That makes me wonder if this wasn't produced before the logo and wordmark for the team was ever made public. I don't know what the lead time was for pennant manufacturing but I'm guessing this is the case. Another possible explanation is that this was a prototype logo that lost out to the now-familiar one. Either way, it's another fascinating piece of 1960s NFL memorabilia. ...
A Gallery of Vintage Gas Pump Globes

A Gallery of Vintage Gas Pump Globes

Advertising, Auction Finds
Gas station patrons born around my time or later have probably never encountered a legitimate gas pump globe in action. But for years, these beauties adorned the top of vintage gas station pumps across the country. Each one was designed to advertise something, usually a brand of gas or an oil company, but sometimes automakers as well. They were everywhere from the early days of 20th century motoring, but began to disappear by the 1960s, as high-quality lighting and large signage was easier to obtain. What I have here is a gallery of some of the most attractive gas pump globe designs I've come across. I can't vouch for which ones of these are authentic or just reproductions, but the point here is to appreciate just how much style and thought went into something most motorists took for...
Pennant Fever #2: 1973 Philadelphia Eagles

Pennant Fever #2: 1973 Philadelphia Eagles

Auction Finds, Football Friday, Sports
Now here's a curious one. At a glance this just looks like an ordinary vintage Philadelphia Eagles pennant, right? Attentive Eagles fans, however, might notice something different with this pennant. It features the short-lived white helmet with green wings design, which the team only used from 1969 through 1973. But it also has the Eagles wordmark that Philly didn't start using until the 1973 season (at least according to Chris Creamer's site). That makes this pennant not only a rather unique specimen, but easy to date as well. Unless some printer really goofed, this could only have been produced in 1973, possibly early '74 depending on when the white helmets were ditched. Personally I like the white helmets, but that's a topic for another post. Don’t forget to check ou