However, such is the pull of this particular 3ft 6in x 2ft 4in (1.05m x 70cm) design for collectors that despite the central image being more or less obliterated with a big hole to the side it still managed to make a mid-estimate £1450 – a highly respectable level for many other pristine signs at auction.
The Winner BP the British Petrol 1920s enamel metal advertisement board is considered something of a ‘holy grail’ object for collectors of early motoring signs.
The sign was produced for British Petroleum in three sizes, of which this is the largest. Another example in the same size in poor condition – it had significant losses to the lower half – sold for £10,400 (plus 24% buyer’s premium) at a Peter Francis auction in Carmarthen in December 2019.
Only a handful of others have been seen at auction including a superbly preserved example which sold for £28,000 (plus 15% buyer’s premium) at Canterbury Auction Galleries in 2005 – still considered an auction record for a British enamel advertising sign.
Another example in decent condition made £8000 at Stride & Son of Chichester in 2016.