New England Auctions
Live Auction

Antiques from Estates & Collections

Sun, Jan 12, 2020 11:00AM EST
Lot 314

Rare Old Sleepy Eye Figural Metal Trade Sign

Estimate: $25,000 - $35,000

Bid Increments

Price Bid Increment
$0 $25
$300 $50
$1,000 $100
$2,000 $200
$5,000 $500
$10,000 $1,000
$20,000 $2,000
$50,000 $5,000
$100,000 $10,000
$300,000 $25,000
$500,000 $50,000
Rare Old Sleepy Eye figural embossed metal trade sign. Circa 1883. Attributed to Silas West. One of 2 or three known from the Old Sleepy Eye Flour Mill in Sleepy Eye, Minnesota. H 47-1/2". Excellent condition with a combination of original and early crazed paint. See This Link for High-Res Images HISTORY A large statue of the chief is one of the two metal chief signs that stood atop the Sleepy Eye Flour Mill for many years, beginning in 1883. The first flour mill was built in 1883 and had a capacity of 700 barrels. Workers at the mill earned $3 a week. A well dug in 1892, produced 20,000 gallons of water in a 24 hour period. The water was used to power the large 200 horsepower steam engine in the mill. In 1894, the mill offered six kinds of flour; Cream, Apple Blossom, Gold, Snowflake, Chief and Cyclone brands. By this time the output of the mill had increased to 5,000 barrels per day. Although capacity was 5,000 barrels of flour daily, not all the flour was packed into barrels that held 196 pounds of flour. Much was sold in 49-pound cloth sacks. The mill had its own copper shop, which made the barrels for the mill. In 1901, the copper shop was enlarged, more railroad tracks and power machinery were installed and a 125 foot elevator was built. See last image for sign on factory