As part of my ongoing quest for old automobilia in Shanghai, I visit the local flea markets where some of the salvaged architectural and cultural 'treasures' turn up. These treasures typically come from the old neighborhoods which are being razed to make way for new developments.
The old neighborhoods mostly date from the 1900's to 1930's, for original construction. Subsequent years saw war and poverty and communism take their toll.
The old houses and buildings have become mostly forlorn and decrepit (but not abandoned) structures which have had layer upon layer of revisions, 'updating', and cobbling added over the last 60 years.
As these complete neighborhoods are demolished (by hand BTW), the various layers come off like peeling an onion. There is no telling what will be uncovered next.
The Chinese salvage just about everything, and thus anything with any potential redeeming value ultimately finds it way to the appropriate thieves market.
This 40 x 30 inch 1930's era Lincoln dealer sign was today's find, and the price was right! Yeah, it is pretty ratty, but that is typical for anything old in China, and I guess it gives it some character.
I have only found a few oil, gas, and automotive signs here. Most of the old porcelain that turns up is smaller signs for Chinese shoe polish, cigarettes, beer, and other consumer goods of the 1920's and 30's.