April's New Specialist Advertising Section

Posted On: 28 Mar 2021 by Rita Kearsey

Smiths Auctions in Newent have launched a new specialist section for Advertising Items and Enamel Signs in their April 23rd Antiques sale. It is an extremely popular collecting area at present and of course it is important to keep up to date with current trends. Some traditional collecting areas have become less attractive in recent years such as scientific instruments, clocks and dolls, whilst many others have seen substantial growth. So it is ‘In with the New’ and ‘Out with the Old’ as Smiths make adjustments to their sale calendar to reflect this. Other forthcoming collectables sections to look out for include Stamps, Coins, Postcards and 20th Century Design - all of which are selling extremely well in the current market.


A local collector has already brought in a fantastic selection of enamel signs for the April sale which he had decided to sell due to a house move. Many of the signs are advertising cigarettes, but there is also one for Beethams of Cheltenham ‘Lait Larola’ a product they boast will ‘Beautify the Complexion’ and ‘Make Skin as Soft as Velvet’. Beetham’s were a manufacturing chemist who made a number of beauty products in the late 19th century with ‘Lait Lorala’ being one of their most popular.

Enamel signs tend to be seen as the pinnacle of the advertising collectables, but there are many other small forgotten items which come under this banner such as postcards, packaging, pens, ashtrays, barware, calendars and so forth. In fact, there are a surprising range of promotional items from the late 19th and early 20th century which are now very collectable today. Many of these items would have been thrown away, making the few that have been tucked away somewhere safe for the last fifty plus years, all the more valuable. For example, Smiths are also selling a small American hat measuring rule produced by a New York hat shop in the 1950’s and Carlton Ware car form ashtray adverting Morris Motor Cars.

Also of huge interest are old shop display stands, shop furniture and retail accessories such as dispensing machines, cut out figures, chemists window jars etc. Many of these quirky and interesting antiques are used to by interior designers to decorate pubs, trendy café’s, restaurants and even people’s homes.

Smiths’ April sale also contains all the usual antiques such as ceramics, glass, furniture, jewellery, gold and silver. Entries so far have been of a remarkably high standard as people are keen to make the most of the current online auction boom. Clients have been dropping off boxes of silver, gold and other high value pieces such as a beautiful antique diamond and pearl set pendant necklace estimated at £800/£1200 and a fine Australian opal and diamond ring estimated at £500/£700.

Further entries are now invited, however the sale is already full for furniture as a result of a large local farm clearance and a part contents from a Herefordshire Georgian manor house. Coin, Postcard and Stamp entries are also invited now for specialist sales across the late spring and summer For a Covid Safe valuation appointment or ‘drop off’ at the door please telephone 01531 821776