NEW HAMBURG, Ontario, Canada – An exceedingly rare Dominion Cartridge Company ammunition board, produced in Canada in the 1930s, sold for $4,500, and antique and vintage sewing machines from the world-class collection of Carl Koenig brought nice high prices in an online Signs, Toys & Historic Objects auction held May 9th by Miller & Miller Auctions, Ltd.
The auction included a generous offering of advertising, toys and historic objects, in addition to Mr. Koenig’s nearly 100 significant sewing machines of international origin. Also sold was a collection of rare American automobilia that including dealer-issued literature and new old stock parts from manufacturers like Cadillac, Buick, Packard, and Chevrolet, plus the fabulous automobile hood ornament collection of Stewart Ferguson.
“A month ago, we actually considered deferring this sale because of the unknown impact of the COVID pandemic,” said Ethan Miller of Miller & Miller Auctions, Ltd., adding, “That would have been a grave mistake. Despite the challenges facing the world, bidding was spirited and prices were stronger than predicted. We recorded our highest pre-sale registration rate to date.
Mr. Miller continued, “Selling without an audience to three carefully-spaced family members felt strange. Yet, as bids rolled in, it was quickly apparent that the sale was going to work out really, really well. As far as prices estimated versus prices realized, this could easily be considered our most successful sale to date. What do collectors want in the midst of a global pandemic? The factors of rarity, condition, and fresh-to-the market are more important now than ever before.”
The Dominion Cartridge ammo board was the auction’s top earner. Awarded first prize for a “Vintage Canadian Outdoor Collectible” at the 2007 Canadian Decoy & Outdoor Collectibles Association Meet in 2007, the litho pasted to Masonite board was housed in a 37 inch by 26 inch contemporary marked oak frame and featured a polar bear graphic.
The sewing machines from the Koenig collection were plentiful and included the following:
- Victoria “Family” Sewing Machine, Canadian, 1880s, condition 6 (out of 10). This early Canadian sewing machine sold for $15 when it was first introduced in the late 1860s. It utilized a single thread to make a twisted loop stitch ($3,245).
- Grover & Baker Sewing Machine, American, 1860s, one of fewer than 200 known and an early example of the first portable sewing machine. The two-stitch machine was manufactured by Grover, Baker & Co. of Boston, Mass. ($2,950).
- Two Singer Featherweight Model 221s, American, 1960s, both with cases and both manufactured by Singer Sewing Machine Mfg. Co. Condition: 7. One of the machines is marked ‘Made in Great Britain,’ the other ‘Made in Canada’ ($2,360).
- Singer Featherweight Model 222K, American, circa 1954-1955, a Free Arm Featherweight machine, condition 9, with manual, attachments and oil can. It has the gold “Prism Design” decals and the serial number was #EK326662 ($2,280).
All of the above sewing machines sold for far above their estimates. In all, 577 lots came up for bid in an auction that grossed $262,933 (all prices quoted are in Canadian dollars). There was no live gallery bidding, but 431 people registered online (267 were new users) and placed 6,882 bids on LiveAuctioneers.com, Invaluable.com and Miller & Miller Live.
Following are additional highlights from the auction.
A group of sales brochures and an owner’s manual for the American-made Duesenberg automobile – four items total, all from the 1930s, including photographs, a Model J instruction manual and two brochures – changed hands for $2,655; while a Chevrolet dealer album from 1957, with color and fabric selection booklets, finished at $2,360.
A rare, single-sided porcelain sign for Keen’s Mustard (Canadian, 1930s), 30 inches by 15 inches, with excellent color and gloss, marked “The W.F. Vilas Co. Ltd., Cowansville, P.Q.”, realized $2,655. Also, a Kuntz “Bologna Girl” beer tray (Canadian, 1900s), 13 inches in diameter, marked “Kaufmann & Strauss Co., NY”, changed hands for $1,652.
A Penn-Drake Motor Oil porcelain sign (American, 1930s), 27 inches by 21 inches, with great color and gloss, marked “Made in U.S.A.” lower left edge, knocked down for $2,950. Also, an Auburn automobile hood ornament (American, circa 1931-1932), marked “Auburn Automobile Co.”, with the surface free of pitting, went for $1,680.
A National Cash Register from the early 1900s known as “The Illinois” cash register, made in America, fully functional and professionally restored and polished, achieved $1,770; and a Minnitoy White Rose tanker truck toy (Canadian, 1940s), with the wheels signed by the maker, professionally restored with new paint and decals, made $1,652.
Miller & Miller has three major auctions planned for the balance of 2020. The first is another online Signs, Toys & Historic Objects auction that will happen on Saturday, June 20th. A Music Machines, Coin-Op & Advertising auction is planned for Saturday, September 19th. A Watches & Jewelry auction is scheduled for Saturday, November 21st. Whether these will be live gallery auctions with an online bidding component, or online-only, will depend entirely on the status of the COVID-19 virus. Watch the website for more details: www.MillerandMillerAuctions.com.
Miller & Miller Auctions 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 (519) 716-5606; or, e-mail to email@example.com. To learn more about Miller & Miller Auctions and the firm’s calendar of upcoming auctions visit www.MillerandMillerAuctions.com.
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59 Webster Street
New Hamburg, Canada