The country store and its contents have delighted collectors for years. Around 1950 the first serious collectors of advertising materials began searching for signs, containers, bottles, store bins, and other objects found in an old country store. It became the vogue to decorate restaurants, homes, and shops with nostalgic collectibles from old stores, and prices rose as supplies dwindled. By the 1990s, prices went as high as $93,500 for a tin sign showing a flag made of Campbell’s Soup cans. Large floor-standing displays sold for thousands of dollars. A rare but well-known tin sign picturing a girl and a St Bernard dog with the slogan “To school well fed on Grape Nuts, There’s a Reason” brought from $1,000 to $7,000 depending on condition. There were even tin copies made that fooled the amateur and were priced like the old ones. Great graphics brought great prices and well-known trademark figures were popular.

Featured Articles