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Advertising and nostalgia items perform well at Miller & Miller's April 6th auction in Canada

  • NEW HAMBURG, Canada
  • /
  • April 22, 2019

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1945 Black Cat Cigarettes porcelain sign, one of Canada’s most attractive porcelain signs, 50 inches by 48 inches, with detailed graphics, marked “P&M Orilla 45” lower right (CA$5,310).
Miller & MIller Auctions, Ltd.

NEW HAMBURG, Ontario, Canada – A scarce, circa 1929 Johnson Sea-Horse outboard motor store display, made in America, with a tin litho frame and topper and lithographed paper insert, displaying excellent color and gloss, sold for $8,850 at an Advertising & Nostalgia Auction held April 6th by Miller & Miller Auctions, Ltd., online and in the firm’s gallery at 59 Webster Street.

 

Headlining the event was the lifetime collection of Ryan McNabb, a lifelong, dedicated collector out of Sudbury, Ontario. His collection – with fresh-to-the-market additions – featured country store advertising, petroliana, vintage toys and premium nostalgia. The auction was packed with general store signs, gas and oil signs, coin-ops, radios, cars and motorcycles and rare nostalgia.

 

“Advertising as a category remains strong, and gas-oil reigns king in that category,” said Ethan Miller of Miller & Miller Auctions. Ltd. “Records were set on early En-Ar-Co tins and oil cans, but condition set top performers apart. Choice condition commanded a tremendous premium. High-grade reproductions have, in our opinion, bolstered the market for rare bona fide originals.”

 

The Johnson Sea-Horse outboard motor store display was the top achiever in a sale where just under 600 lots came up for bid and grossed CA$254,982, including buyer’s premium. About 170 in-person attendees accounted for a standing room-only crowd, while over 600 people bid across three online platforms: LiveAuctioneers.com, Invaluable.com and the Miller & Miller website (338 people bid via millerandmillerauctions.com). Phone and absentee bids were also accepted.

1950s Armstrong Tires two-sided tin litho flange sign, made in America, featuring an image of the Rhino mascot promoting Armstrong’s “Rhino Flex” model tires (CA$2,950).
Miller & MIller Auctions, Ltd.

 

Following are additional highlights from the auction. All prices quoted include an 18 percent buyer’s premium and all prices shown are in Canadian dollars.

 

A 1967 English-made 650cc Triumph TR6R Trophy Sportmotorcycle with original seat, parts, accessories and literature, and excellent original chrome showing no pitting or corrosion, plus show-quality paint enhanced with pinstripe customization, roared off for $5,605. Also, a 1945 Black Cat Cigarettes porcelain sign, one of Canada’s most attractive porcelain signs, 50 inches by 48 inches, with highly detailed graphics and marked “P&M Orilla 45” lower right, hit $5,310.

 

A Canadian National Locomotive solid brass number plate, with photos and records indicating the locomotive was built in 1911 and scrapped in 1956, sold for its high estimate of $3,540. The lot included three photos of the locomotive while in service. Also, a 1950s Armstrong Tires two-sided tin litho flange sign, made in America, featuring an image of the Rhino mascot promoting Armstrong’s “Rhino Flex” model tires, measuring 17 ½ inches by 18 inches, finished at $2,950.

 

A 1930s Canadian White Rose painted wood thermometer, one of a few known and unusual in that it promoted multiple products, 21 inches by 8 ¾ inches and marked “Taylor Permacolor Thermometer, Made in USA”, changed hands for $2,124; and a two-sided porcelain sign for Studebaker cars, made in Canada in the 1940s by General Steel Wares, 24 inches in diameter with no restoration or-touch-ups and retaining its bold color and vibrance, breezed to $2,360.

Canadian En-Ar-Co Separator Oil quarter-gallon size tin can from the 1930s, a stand-out example marked “Macdonald Mfg. Co. Ltd. Toronto”, 5 ¼ inches tall (CA$1,770).
Miller & MIller Auctions, Ltd.

 

A Salada Tea porcelain push bar, made in Canada in the 1940s, the scarcer black and yellow version, 31 ½ inches wide by 2 ¾ inches tall, knocked down for $3,245 despite having a few condition issues that eager bidders were happy to overlook. Also, a 1950s-era Drewry’s Dry tin litho sign (“Canada’s Pride”), with a colorful graphic of a Royal Canadian Mountie pouring himself a glass, marked “St. Thomas Metal Signs Ltd.”, 27 ½ inches by 35 inches, hit $2,124.

 

Two soda signs posted identical selling prices of $1,888. One was a Kist Stratford bottle sign, a rare Canadian released sign, made from heavy embossed tin and die cut. It measured 47 ¾ inches by 13 ¾ inches and had no touch-ups or restoration. The other was a Canadian 1940s Coca-Cola vertical tin litho sign, marked “Made in Canada ST” lower edge. The 53 inch by 17 ¼ inch sign displayed excellent color and gloss with only minor blemishes, and no touch-ups or restoration.

 

A set of two 1940s British-American gas globe lenses from the rare “Ethyl” series, marked “Made in USA” and 13 ½ inches in diameter, new old stock that were never installed, having no cracks or chips, hammered for $2,360; while a Canadian En-Ar-Co Separator Oil quarter-gallon size tin can from the 1930s, a stand-out example marked “Macdonald Mfg. Co. Ltd. Toronto”, 5 ¼ inches tall with fine color and gloss and retaining its metal spot and cap, commanded $1,770.

 

The auction was a generous offering of collectible advertising and nostalgia, dating from around 1900 to the 1970s. The petroliana included investment-grade tins and signs from Canada’s most highly collected brands, including Imperial Oil, White Rose, Red Indian and others. Additional consignments included select treasures from a multi-generational post office in Rostock, Ontario.

 

Miller & Miller Auctions, Ltd. is currently accepting quality consignments for a Fine Decorative Arts Sale planned for Saturday, June 8th, also online and in the New Hamburg gallery. Featured will be the Curt Davidson Pequegnat Collection. A preview will be held Friday, June 7th at 6 pm.

 

Miller & Miller Auctions, Ltd. is a seller of high-value collections between CA$200,000 and CA$3 million. Individual items of merit are always considered. It is Canada’s #1 trusted place for collectors to buy and sell. The firm is always accepting quality merchandise for future sales.

 

To consign a single piece, an estate or a collection, you may call them at (519) 573-3710 or (519) 716-5606; or, you can send an e-mail to info@millerandmillerauctions.com. To learn more about Miller & Miller Auctions, Ltd. and the June 8 auction, visit www.MillerandMillerAuctions.com.

 

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Miller & Miller Auctions, Ltd.
59 Webster Street
New Hamburg, Canada
(519) 573-3710
http://www.millerandmillerauctions.com

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