NEW HAMBURG, Ontario, Canada – Wheels in motion appealed to bidders on Day 2 of Miller & Miller Auctions, Ltd.’s back-to-back online auctions held Sept. 11th-12th, as a 7 ¼ inch gauge model steam locomotive of the Great Western Railway 4-6-0 locomotive and tender No. 1011 rolled away for $15,340, while an 1869 French style Boneshaker bicycle sped off for $10,620.
All prices quoted here are in Canadian dollars and include an 18 percent buyer’s premium.
The Saturday, September 11th event was a Toys & Nostalgia sale, featuring the Bryan Beatty collection of toys and communication-related memorabilia, including a well-rounded offering of cast iron and tin litho toys from the Victorian to the Atomic era. Mr. Beatty’s collection also included many radios, microphones and typewriters, with examples spanning the 20th century.
The Sunday, September 12th sale was an Advertising & Historic Objects auction, featuring the Scott Vanner breweriana collection. The finely engineered 7 ¼ inch gauge steam locomotive was the expected Day 2 headliner and was the auction’s top lot. It was rebuilt and reboilered by F. West and Lee Green and came with a brazed superheated copper boiler with fittings and gauges.
The 1869 French style Boneshaker bicycle featured a painted iron frame, wood rims and restored wheels, and had a rear brake that was activated by twisting the handlebars forward. It nearly tripled its $3,500 high estimate. Also, a Canadian 1897 Brantford Bicycle Company (Brantford, Ontario), fully restored mechanically and cosmetically, with original wood rims, handle bars and seat, a custom-made solid wood display stand and added stamped leather pouch, rang up $3,835.
“Who says specialized collector auctions are the only way to drive top results?” inquired Ben Lennox of Miller & Miller Auctions, Ltd. “Our auctions have showed that great results can be achieved in a highly diverse sale anchored around two solid collections and many different collecting categories. We pride ourselves in bringing objects of merit to the collecting world.”
Lennox said, “When I analyzed the results of the two-day September sale, I’d never seen such a diversity in the genres collecting – bicycles, radios, microphones, tin toys, graded comic books, cast iron mechanical banks, toy trains, clocks, breweriana, signs and advertising, jukeboxes, coin-operated novelties, steam engines, gas pumps and even a Mickey Mantle autographed bat.”
Lennox concluded, “We’re thrilled that people are taking notice, and that so many collecting categories are hot. While advertising signs continue to achieve record results month after month, it’s exciting to see strong results across the board. We’re still unable to host in-person sales, but our Miller & Miller bidding platform, plus LiveAuctioneers.com, attracts bidders far and wide.”
Following are additional highlights from the auction, which grossed $133,045 on Day 1 and $323,792 on Day 2, for a total of $456,837, including the buyer’s premium. On Day 1, 311 bidders placed 5,437 bids, while on Day 2, 426 bidders placed 8,466 bids, online via the Miller & Miller website and on LiveAuctioneers.com. Of the 895 total lots, 96 percent were sold.
A Miller High Life Beer two-sided porcelain hanging sign, made in America in the 1930s and originally designed to accommodate bands of neon surrounding the perimeter, 35 ½ inches by 46 inches, found a new owner for $7,670. Also, a Worth and Martin (Toronto) one-cent bull’s head perfume dispenser (“Take the bull by the horns!”), made in 1902, solid brass with a glass mirror and able to accept large Canadian cents, 12 inches tall, with the original cashbox, made $5,900.
A Wurlitzer Model 1015 jukebox, made in America in 1946, among the most identifiable and iconic jukeboxes ever produced, this one is a fine functioning example that actually came loaded with 24 period rock ‘n’ roll records, changed hands for $7,670; while a Wurlitzer “2500” model jukebox, made in America in 1961, an exceptional, functioning survivor example, hit $3,540.
Steam engines proved extremely popular with bidders. A few of the top performers included:
A Cretors & Co. No. 1 Popcorn Machine steam engine (American, 1906), designed to accompany Cretors popcorn vending machines, decorated to attract customers at fairs and other social events, made of cast iron, brass and copper, professionally painted ($5,605).
A highly detailed scale model of the steam engine that ran machinery for the Dominion Organ & Piano Co. (Bowmanville, Ont., Canada), built by R. Fishleigh in 1890 ($5,015).
A model horizontal twin steam mill engine (American, 1890s), made of solid brass and painted, mounted to a fitted walnut base, an exceptionally high-quality live steam model featuring twin cylinders and a reverse-action switch, with a refinished base ($4,425).
A Wayne Model 60 American-made Chevrolet gas pump from the 1940s, 92 inches tall and professionally restored to Chevrolet, including paint and reproduction globe lenses, went to a dedicated man cave enthusiast for $5,605. Also, an ECO Islander model 242 air and water station made in the USA in the 1950s, a complete original example of mid-20th century petroliana, with a cast body and porcelain globe, a candidate for restoration, 53 ½ inches tall, brought $4,425.
A Molson’s Beer clock, made for the French-Canadian market in the 1930s, porcelain with a screened metal clock dial marked “Made in Germany”, one of very few porcelain advertising signs appointed with high quality mechanical clocks, finished at $5,605. Also, a Molson Ale & Porter porcelain corner sign, made in Canada in the 1930s, designed for mounting to the exterior corner of a building (or post), 48 inches in height by 10 inches wide, knocked down for $4,425.
An English 1913 J. Smith & Sons tower clock having a cast iron frame with steel components, rescued and restored after the post office building it served in Bowmanville, Ontario from 1912-1965 was torn down, having a cast iron 48-inch diameter dial set with milk glass panels, intended to be backlit, mechanically functioning, and with a 60-inch-long pendulum, realized $3,540.
Miller & Miller Auctions, Ltd. has three more online-only auctions lined up for the balance of this year: a Firearms, Sporting & Canadiana auction on October 9th; a Watches & Jewels auction on November 20th; and a Petroliana, Breweriana & Advertising auction on December 4th.
Miller & Miller Auctions, Ltd. is Canada’s trusted seller of high-value collections and is always accepting quality consignments. The firm specializes in watches and jewelry, art, antiques and high-value collectibles. Its mission is to provide collectors with a trusted place to buy and sell.
To consign a single piece, an estate or a collection, you may call them at (519) 573-3710; or, you can e-mail them at [email protected]. To learn more about Miller & Miller Auctions, Ltd. and firm’s calendar of upcoming events, visit www.millerandmillerauctions.com