Early mobiloils gargoyle enamel flange sign


United Kingdom

Hoarde Vintage Member since 2016
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An iconic piece of early automobilia, this double-sided enamel sign for the Vacuum Oil Company's Mobiloil, with the Gargoyle logo dates to some time between 1911-1931.

At the start of the 20th century, the Standard Oil Co. of New Jersey was the largest oil refiner in the world. The size / power of the Standard Oil Co. made the United States Government very un-easy and in 1911, under the Sherman Anti-trust Act, Standard Oil was split into 34 companies. The Vacuum Oil company had been incorporated into Standard Oil in 1879, but after the 1911 split became an independent company again and used the Gargoyle logo we see here in combination with the Mobiloil brand... The Gargoyle remained in use until 1931 when it was replaced with the Pegasus logo we widely associate with Mobiloil / Mobil.

This double-sided flange sign was designed to be mounted to a workshop / garage wall and be visible from customers coming from either direction. It's not had the easiest of lives, but has survived the decades to tell it's tale. The sign's flange, which is generally a weak spot, remains intact and functional. The outer face is in good order, with a little enamel loss around the outer edges and some discolouring leaching through the white enamel layer, but generally it remains bright, with a vivid red and a reasonable gloss (see the close up photo - it's dulled in some areas, but isn't too bad). The inner face however hasn't fared so well - there's a large patch of enamel loss running through the middle of the sign and a further patch to the middle of the right hand edge, there's also some staining around this. With the staining underneath the enamel layers I wouldn't be surprised to learn that this sign has spent sometime buried or attached to a building that had fallen into a bad state of repair... Condition with pieces like this is subjective - it's a long way from a collector's example, but if I didn't want to spend collector's prices I'd definitely rather an example like this with one good, clean face as opposed to an example that's a bit rough all round. This sign can be displayed with the good face pointing in the direction that will be seen the most, whilst the other-side carry's the history, character and charm of the piece.

The sign measures 51cm wide x 41cm high and the flange is 4cm deep.


  • H: 41cm (16.14in)
  • W: 51cm (20.08in)
  • D: 4cm (1.57in)



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LJW @ Atlam
111 Portobello Road
W11 2QB
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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."

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