Auctions | A chocolate-covered Hershey's sale

As collectibles go, Hershey memorabilia have yet to achieve the fame of the venerable Pennsylvania chocolate company behind them. Only a couple of dozen items were to be found on eBay this week, and those were fetching only modest two-figure prices.

That may all change tomorrow, when Classic Edge Auctions & Appraisal Services will offer more than 500 lots of Hershey memorabilia at a sale beginning at 9 a.m. at the Brownstone Masonic Lodge in Hershey. Included in the sale are more than 100 pieces of artwork done for advertising and promotions.

"It's hard to put a price on them," auctioneer Erica S. Wineske said this week. "Nothing like this has come to the market before."

The items, spanning the company's history from 1876 to the 1960s (with a concentration on the 1930s), come from a private family collection that was preserved out of state and returned here to be sold at its birthplace, so to speak.

Among the offerings are 30 candy molds, including a unique "Hershey Lancaster PA No. 1" baking chocolate mold dating to about 1900; dozens of antique candy boxes; cocoa tins, including military issues; and a doorknob set with the Cocoa Bean Baby logo. Illustrations include artists' renderings of packaging, such as a chocolate-and-white cow outside a Hershey's barn, and a pair of smoochers promoting Hershey's Kisses.

Wineske, who has been running Classic Edge for six years and has been operating in Hershey for four, is also running the sale online at www.eBayLiveAuctions.com. Previews are from 6 to 8:30 tonight (with a reception) and from 7:30 a.m. to sale time tomorrow at the Masonic lodge, 251 W. Governor Rd. (Route 322), one mile east of Hershey Medical Center.

For information, call 717-534-9000 or go to www. ClassicEdgeAuction.com.

Wistar document. Another piece of historical ephemera will be offered tomorrow in South Jersey, where Von Rhine & Associate Auction Service will offer a 1749 indenture dealing with Caspar Wistar, the Philadelphian whose ventures ranged from button-making to the establishment in Salem County of the first successful glassmaking industry in the country.

The indenture is one of several thousand items to be offered at the auction - which specializes in antiques, furniture, porcelains and collectibles - beginning at 10 a.m. at the Elks Lodge of Millville. The document was found among the possessions of a deceased antiques dealer in Bridgeton, the Cumberland County seat.

The indenture likely will be of primary interest to Philadelphia collectors because it deals with a real estate transaction between Wistar and Philadelphia shopkeeper David Deshler for "a certain Piece or Lot of Ground situated in the said City of Philadelphia on the North Side of a Lane leading from Third Street towards the Church, sometime called the Church Alley. . . . " The location is near Christ Church.

Auctioneer Carl von Rhine said the price the indenture will bring is "a tough call," perhaps between $500 and $2,000, considerably less than what Wistar glass goes for. Authenticated Wistar glass is rare and highly collectible, typically selling for $2,000 to $5,000 a piece, von Rhine said this week. (One reason is that in 18th-century colonial America, American-made glass was subject to British taxation and often was sold under the table and, to avoid incrimination, unmarked.)

Tomorrow's sale also will include another indenture involving the Wistar family and dating to 1809 in Lower Alloways Creek. Among other offerings are three Hoosier cabinets, an old Esso gas pump, and half a dozen South Jersey glass canes.

Previews are from 6 to 8 p.m. today and 8 a.m. to sale time tomorrow at the sale site, 1815 E. Broad St., Millville; information: 856- 785-1026. To see the complete text of the indenture, go to the online listing at www.auctionzip.com.


Contact David Iams at daiams@comcast.net.