Just in time for July 4th celebrations, Morphy Auctions' latest sale of fireworks was certainly a colorful one, if not necessarily a noisy one. Antique and vintage fire works were offered from the renowned collecton of George Moyer. The two day sale, of 1,300 lots was sold for $438,000.
Moyer co-author of the 2008 book Firecrackers!: An Eye-Popping Collection of Chinese Firework Art has been collecting since he was ten years old! He would pick up wrappers discarded after the firework packages were open. Over the years, Moyer would find his stuff though ads or at collector and toy shows, there were no organized groups. Eventually groups did form, even with collector club conventions.
One of the best tips for garage sale shopping is asking if the seller "has any _____ (whatever you collect)", this was another way Moyer would find his pieces.
After forty years his collection was widely known among collectors and mentioned numerous times in national publications.
According to Dan Morphy, “This level of media attention might not have seemed so unusual had it been a collection of Picassos, but we’re talking about firecrackers – ephemeral objects that cost as little as one cent when they were first marketed.”
The cheap (original price) packages with their brilliant and colorful graphics have always interested advertising collectors and with the wide range of subjects on the packages, the fireworks images also get attention for those who are into other collecting areas.
The top lot of the sale was a rare salesman’s display board containing 20 sample sparklers, caps, and firecracker packs. .
- Salesman's Sample Board
- Rarity: Many extremely rare and desirable packs.
- Condition: Excellent
- Size: Display Board: 24 - 3/4" x 14 - 1/2". Estimate: $5,000. - 10,000.
- Auction Price: $7,200.*