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Antique Advertising Grading and Authentication Service Announced

By 13th September 2023No Comments4 min read

#Antique #Advertising #Grading #Authentication #Service #Announced


EPHRATA, Pa. – Information is king. That certainly is true in the antiques, art and collectibles world, where authenticity and knowing accurate market values are essential to any transaction. The need for accurate authentication and grading has led a group of prominent experts in the field of antique advertising to launch a new company known as Authentication & Grading Services, or AGS.

AGS’s principals include Dan Morris, founder of the Cedartown Museum of Coca-Cola Memorabilia in Georgia; and John Mihovetz, known throughout the automobilia and petroliana hobby as Head of Automobilia & Petroliana at Morphy Auctions. Morris assumes the post of president and will manage day-to-day operations and the Coca-Cola/soda pop division at AGS, while Mihovetz, who serves as founding CEO, will oversee all activities pertaining to gas and oil collectibles. 

AGS’s president Dan Morris and founding CEO John Mihovetz holding two high-scoring porcelain signs that have both received an AGS certification decal and custom-printed certification card

Courtesy AGS

AGS  board of advisers includes Coca-Cola, soda pop and general antique advertising dealer Gary Metz; and Carter and Irene Davis, pioneers in the field of country store advertising. The five principals represent a combined 100 years of experience in the antique advertising hobby and trade.

AGS offers three tiers of service: authentication, authentication plus grading, and a top tier that includes authentication, grading and current-market valuation. “The highest level would be of particular interest to anyone who wants to make sure their collection is adequately insured,” said Morris. 

Two high-scoring porcelain signs, each with an AGS-certified decal on verso and accompanied by its AGS custom certification card. Each piece certified by AGS receives a decal and certification card, both of which are unique and associated only with that particular item.

Courtesy AGS

As part of the service, each item is inspected and assigned a custom-printed sticker showing its assigned grade and a unique QR code. In addition, each customer receives a full-color certificate bearing a photo of their item and its grading information.

The company implements a grading scale of 1 to 100 in which every aspect of an item is assigned a number and those numbers then combine to produce the final overall grade. “It’s a scientific, mathematical approach,” Morris said. “If an item is graded 92 out of 100, the owner of the item will know exactly how that grade was achieved. Our goal is total transparency, and this will be a clear, accurate system of grading.” 

Primarily but not exclusively, the categories of advertising assessed by AGS include soda pop, automobilia and petroliana; country store, tobacciana and breweriana. AGS will have a booth at the Indy Ad Show on September 22-23, as well as at Morphy Auctions’ September 29-October 1, 2023 Automobilia & Petroliana sale

The first major collection to be graded and AGS-stickered will be the Bobby Knudsen Jr Automobilia, Petroliana & Soda Pop Advertising Collection (Part III), which will be auctioned at Morphy’s on September 29-October 1, 2023. 

An exceptional example of a 1930s porcelain Super Shell pump plate, which received an AGS-certified score of 95. Every item authenticated by AGS experts receives a custom-printed AGS decal and certification card.

Courtesy AGS

“We’ve started at the highest caliber of the hobby with the Knudsen collection,” Mihovetz said. “The first two installments of Bobby’s collection sold at Morphy’s for a combined $6.1 million, and five lots sold for an aggregate total of more than $2 million. Prices like that are what convinced the founders of AGS that there was a need for our services in the antique advertising marketplace.”

Morris encourages collectors to reach out to him directly with any questions or comments. “Our goal is total transparency and we’re open to constructive criticism and any ideas they may have,” Morris said. “We want for AGS to be an asset to the hobby and look forward to hearing from collectors.”

To contact AGS, call 770-546-1748 or email [email protected]. AGS is located at 501 Alexander Dr., Ephrata, Pa., 17522. Online:

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