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Vintage Signs

Whether announcing the boundary of a protected property or advertising the latest products, vintage signs share in a rich history of advertising and branding. Vintage signs for sale today on the auction market allow the excitement for this field to continue.

Though shops have hung their shingles for centuries, it was the advent of porcelain enamel placards in the closing years of the 19th century that ushered in the age of multipurpose signage. Such design allowed for both durability and dynamism in colors and details, and thus they served as an integral promotional tool for both products and businesses.

The arrival of neon lighting in the early decades of the 20th century added to the array of signage, and neon signs developed into a field of their own. From a collector's perspective, the field of vintage signs is a promising one, as the amount of options allows for collectible signs at almost any price point.

Quick Facts

  • The origins of the classic Beware of Dog sign trace to the classical world. Ancient Romans frequently invoked the Latin "Cave Canem" in mosaic decorations in entryways
  • The first neon sign debuted in Paris in 1912. Designed by inventor Georges Claude, it was sold to a French barber
  • In addition to large scale and durable vintage signs, collectors also often clamor for smaller and more transient variations including logo-festooned door pushes and cardboard signage

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