A 'DRAGONFLY - MOTOR OILS AND GREASES' ENAMEL SIGN
A real rarity and an absolute beauty; this 'Dragonfly - Motor Oils and Greases' enamel sign is a particularly special piece of enamel automobilia.
R. D. Nicol & Co. Ltd were a Sheffield based oils, lubricants and greases manufacturer who sold a number of products under their 'Dragonfly' brand. The few examples of this sign that can be found online are generally dated to the 1910s/'20s, though R. D. Nicol and their various Dragonfly products are mentioned in a 1939 list of UK Aircraft Industry Suppliers so it's more likely that the sign is from the 1920s/'30s. It was produced by Hancock Corfield and Waller Ltd. - the firm was originally established in Bermondsey in 1891 and are a fairly uncommon manufacturer.
The beauty of this sign lies in the wonderful typography and most of all the splendid Dragonfly graphic that sits behind the lettering in the upper right corner of the sign which has a level of detail only found in earlier signage from more obscure manufacturers.
Obviously the condition leaves a little to be desired, though as so few examples come on to the market collectors can't always be too fussy - unfortunately this piece has a fold line down the left side which, although now flattened out, has enamel loss along the length of it and a mid sized hole toward the top of it. There's also some metal and enamel loss along the upper and lower edges. Mercifully, the Dragonfly graphic is largely unaffected and the sign retains good bright colours and a reasonable level of gloss (though it's a little 'mottled' in some areas.
The sign measures 153cm (5ft) wide x 91.5cm (3ft) high. It has been mounted to a simple wooden frame for added rigidity and ease of hanging which gives the piece around 2cm depth. It can be hung from the attached mirror plates or removed from the frame and hung directly using the original mounting holes.