Double-sided national benzole enamel sign

S/N:0914

United Kingdom

DC Member since 2016
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Double-sided national benzole enamel sign

LJW ANTIQUES
National Benzole was founded in London in 1919 and the company is an interesting player in early automotive history. Benzole is a coal-tar product consisting mainly of benzene and toluene and was initially used as a 'motor spirit' - an alternative to petroleum spirits. Use in ammunitions as well as fuelling engines meant there was mass production of Benzole during WW1 and an excess of it remained after the war - a group of entrepeneurs saw this opportunity and the National Benzole Company was formed. There were concerns that neat Benzole was too potent for the average engine and these concerns coupled with coal strikes causing supply issues lead to the company supplying a 50/50 Benzole + Petroleum mix. It was this product that the company would supply for the coming decades.

This double-sided enamel sign dates back to the era when a petrol station would supply a choice of brands and each would produce advertising to help promote their product. This piece would have originally sat in an iron hoop - hence being double-sided and with mounting holes top, bottom and on each side. Mr Mercury - the company's logo was introduced in 1928 and this sign is likely to date to the 1930s/early '40s.

It's a fantastic example of it's type - in fact, virtually flawless... Both sides remain wonderfully vibrant with a fantastic, deep and even surface gloss. There's no enamel loss to the main area of either face and just the most minor of chipping around the two mounting holes and very slight nibbling around the outer edges. There are a few very light surface scratches, but these are only really noticable in a raking light. It's so good that when I first saw it at a distance I questioned it's authenticity, but on closer inspection the weight and feel are spot-on and there are small, tell-tale traces of weathering around the mounting holes - the type of aging that just cannot be replicated. It's almost too good to be true, but thankfully - not quite.

Please note - the photos aren't duplicates - they show each side in order - i.e. a whole image of side one, a whole image of side two, an image with scale of side one, and image with scale of side two, a close up of side one and so on. The differences between the two sides is virtually indistinguishable - very unusual to find a double sided example that's as good on each face!

The sign has a diameter of 76.5cm.

Dimensions: 

  • H: 76.5cm (30.12in)
  • W: 76.5cm (30.12in)
  • D: 0.2cm (0.08in)

Period: 

1930s

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LJW ANTIQUES

LJW @ Atlam
111 Portobello
London
W11 2QB
United Kingdom

WWW.LJWANTIQUES.COM

I'm Louis Walpole.  Over a decade of working for and alongside some of the best antique dealers in the country at London's renowned Portobello Road have helped me to form a detailed understanding of, and appreciation for, a diverse array of antiques.  In 2016, after dabbling in the trade since childhood I decided to follow my heart (and ignoring the myriad of people advising against it) leave my salaried job to trade full time.  Since then I have travelled around England and Western Europe collecting the pieces that particularly interest me.  These pieces loosely follow the themes of; automotive, advertising, scientific and industrial.  I have a select number of items on display at Atlam on Portobello Road, London.  The shop is open Monday to Friday from 10am to 4pm and Saturdays from 8am to 5pm.

If you would like to view any of my pieces in London, please get in touch to confirm that they are at the shop or to arrange for me to take them there for you.  It may also be possible for me to bring items to your home / bar / garage / pub etc, so they can be fully appreciated in-situ.  Again please just get in touch and we will see what can be organised.

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I’m Louis Walpole. Over a decade of working for and alongside some of the best antique dealers in the country at London’s renowned Portobello Road have helped me to form a detailed understanding of, and appreciation for, a diverse array of antiques. In 2016, after ‘dabbling’ in the trade since childhood I decided to follow my heart and (ignoring a myriad of people advising against it) leave my salaried job to trade full time. Since then I have travelled around England and Western Europe collecting the pieces that particularly interest me. These pieces loosely follow the themes of; automotive, advertising, scientific and industrial. I have a select number of items on display in Atlam on Portobello Road. The shop is open Monday to Friday from 10am to 4pm and on Saturdays from 8am to 5pm.

If you would like to view any of my pieces in London, please get in touch to confirm that they’re at the shop or to arrange for me to take them there for you. It may also be possible for me to bring items to your home/bar/garage/pub etc so that they can be fully appreciated in-situ, again please just get in touch and we’ll see what can be organised."

- See more at: http://www.thehoarde.com/dealers/ljw-antiques#sthash.MIVBs6eI.dpuf

I’m Louis Walpole. Over a decade of working for and alongside some of the best antique dealers in the country at London’s renowned Portobello Road have helped me to form a detailed understanding of, and appreciation for, a diverse array of antiques. In 2016, after ‘dabbling’ in the trade since childhood I decided to follow my heart and (ignoring a myriad of people advising against it) leave my salaried job to trade full time. Since then I have travelled around England and Western Europe collecting the pieces that particularly interest me. These pieces loosely follow the themes of; automotive, advertising, scientific and industrial. I have a select number of items on display in Atlam on Portobello Road. The shop is open Monday to Friday from 10am to 4pm and on Saturdays from 8am to 5pm.

If you would like to view any of my pieces in London, please get in touch to confirm that they’re at the shop or to arrange for me to take them there for you. It may also be possible for me to bring items to your home/bar/garage/pub etc so that they can be fully appreciated in-situ, again please just get in touch and we’ll see what can be organised."

- See more at: http://www.thehoarde.com/dealers/ljw-antiques#sthash.MIVBs6eI.dpuf

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