Group of four painted slate brewery signs, £3000 at Bellmans.

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During a summer holiday in the late 50s he talked his way into an internship at Billboard’s offices on 47th Street and Broadway and the rest is history.

In his career as an ‘A&R man’ he launched many big acts in the 1980s including the Ramones, Talking Heads, Depeche Mode and (his biggest success) Madonna.

Stein used his fortune to eat well and collect art and antiques - particularly items relating to advertising history and Art Deco.


Admiralty Port tin sign, framed, 18in x 2ft 1in (46 x 64cm), sold online for £2400 (estimate £100-200) at Bellmans.

He sold part of his collection in the early 2000s and said at the time: “I thought many times of opening a gallery to sell off most of what I purchased, for in truth I had bought enough to fill several homes.

“I was always too busy chasing bands to do anything about it.”

First slice


Meritor deep sea diver sponge, composite advertising figure, (40 x 98cm), £2000 (estimate £200-400) at Bellmans.

Bellmans (25% buyer’s premium) in Billingshurst, West Sussex, is holding two sales devoted to the eclectic Stein collection this summer - one on June 26-27 and another on August 7-8.

The June 26-27 sale included many strong prices against very modest guides for late 19th and early 20th century advertising memorabilia.

Among them was the £3000 bid against an estimate of £100-150 for a group of four painted slate brewery signs. Two versions of the classic Tetleys ‘huntsman’ sign were offered together with another with the elephant logo for Fremlins and one for Courage’s Alton Ales & Stout.

The largest measured just shy of 2ft (60cm) high.


Player’s Navy Cut enamel sign, framed, 2ft 1in x 2ft 9in (63 x 84cm), £2200 (estimate £150-250) at Bellmans.

A selection of highlights is pictured here – many of the top prices were for lots with a maritime theme.


Bovril enamel sign, (16.5 x 46cm), £1900 (estimate £200-400) at Bellmans.