Morphy’s announces Sept. 21-22 auction of Adolph Grenke breweriana collection

May 8th, 2012 by


Premier 40-year collection of beer cans, signs, taps could bring well over $1 million


From the Adolph Grenke collection, an early 1940s Gibbons Bock Beer can, considered the nicer of two known examples. Morphy Auctions image.

DENVER, Pa. – Dan Morphy, CEO of Morphy Auctions, has confirmed that the renowned Adolph Grenke breweriana collection will be auctioned in its entirety at Morphy’s gallery on Sept. 21-22, 2012.


“No other consignments will be added. The entire two-day sale will be devoted exclusively to this outstanding single-owner collection, which we anticipate will bring well over a million dollars,” said Morphy.


Amassed over a period of more than 40 years, the Grenke collection includes as many as 500 highly collectible vintage beer cans. The can collection is regarded as one of the finest collections of its kind ever assembled, with some of the cans expected to sell for $20,000 to $60,000 each.”


The collection also includes over 400 beer taps – with many expected to realize more than $1,000 each – and a bevy of colorful advertising signs. Highlights include over 50 Gillco glass light-up signs, and two examples of late-19th-century Anheuser-Busch signs of such rarity that they are not even represented in the famed St. Louis brewery’s archive.


“What makes the Grenke collection so exciting as a whole is its condition. Mr. Grenke always adhered to very strict buying guidelines. He bought only items that were in near-mint-plus condition or better. Even when something extremely rare was offered to him, he would pass if it did not satisfy his standards for condition,” said Morphy.


Because of the importance of the Grenke collection, Morphy has enlisted the services of two noted specialists to handle the grading and description of its contents. Dan Morean of will catalog the beer cans, while dealer/collector Les Jones will be in charge of the breweriana and advertising section of the sale.


Morphy Auctions will display highlights of the Adolph Grenke breweriana collection Aug. 1-4 at the 41st Annual National Assn. of Breweriana Advertising Convention, at the Springfield Hilton, Springfield, Ill.; and the Brewery Collectibles Club of America’s 42nd “CANvention,” Aug. 30-Sept. 1 at the Sheraton Springfield in Springfield, Mass.


Further details about the auction, as well as catalog-ordering information, will be available soon on Morphy Auctions’ website,