NEW HAMBURG – A pair of Handel Birds of Paradise table lamps combined for $20,650, two rare clocks by the Canadian clockmaker Pequegnat together made $12,165, and an oil on canvas forest scene by Canadian artist Homer Watson rose to $8,625 at a sale of art, antiques and clocks held June 8 by Miller & Miller Auctions Ltd. Absentee and Internet live bidding was available through LiveAuctioneers. All prices quoted are in Canadian dollars.
It was actually a two-day, two-session affair, held June 7-8, featuring over 700 lots of collector-grade art, clocks, fountain pens, lamps, art glass and objects of historical interest from world-class makers. June 7 was devoted solely to rare, collectible fountain pens.
The June 8 session was led by a representative collection of clocks from the Arthur Pequegnat Clock Co., plus many other fine offerings. The top-selling Pequegnat was a rare Nelson tall case clock (below), one of only a few known, which sold for $8,625. The clock, 81 inches high, boasted a mahogany case, a beveled glass door and correct “twin dolphins” door key.
Another Pequegnat clock, a rare and vibrant Black Grecian shelf clock, featured fancy scroll work in the case surrounding the dial and on the base, and had the early “pine cone” bezel. The clock, which brought $3,540, had been partially restored, with the case painted black with faux marble painted columns and plinths. The feet and bases retained their original finishes.
The Handel “Birds of Paradise” table lamps were two star lots of the auction, fetching $10,620 and $10,030. Both featured domical shades in “chipped” and “sand finished” glass, and were decorated with two pairs each of exotic “birds of paradise,” one with blossoming peonies, the other blossoming branches. Both had striking colorful signed shades 17¾ inches in diameter.
The oil on canvas painting by Homer Ransford Watson (Canadian, 1855-1936), depicted a forest scene featuring a group of subjects gathered in a clearing. The 24-by-18½-inch work (sight) was housed in the original frame and was signed “Homer Watson” lower left edge. The painting exhibited some craquelure, typical of Watson’s “heavy” oil paintings.
“The auction overall went incredibly well,” said Ben Lennox of Miller & Miller Auctions Ltd. “It was a diverse offering covering a number of categories that can sometimes warrant their own dedicated sale. We were fortunate to attract outstanding consignments. Bidding was spirited on all fronts, with items being sold to the floor, on the phone and via the three online platforms.”
Lennox added, “The majority of Pequegnat clocks fell within estimate, while a few blew past their high estimates. Prices realized for fountain pens on Friday were quite strong. Strength in the market continues on the high and middle market.”
Following are additional highlights from the auction, which grossed just under CA$400,000. A total of 763 lots came up for bid, including 151 lots from the Friday evening fountain pen sale.
A bird’s-eye maple library cupboard made in the Eastern Townships of Ontario in the 1880s or 1890s, made of solid bird’s-eye maple with paneled sides and pull-out ironing board, gaveled for $4,025, while a Victorian wooden fretwork arch consisting of two 72½-inch-tall supports and a 120½-inch-wide arch in original finish brought $4,500.
A 19-inch plaster statue of a workhorse, an advertising piece for Dawes Black Horse Brewery, pulled $4,888. It was modeled by Woodstock, Ontario, sculptor Ross Butler (1907-1995).
A National Model 3 cash register, the wooden inlaid model coveted by collectors, in untouched original condition, as featured in the book The Incorruptible Cashier, realized $5,310. Also, a Baccarat close-packed millefiori paperweight, made in France and incorporating canes featuring various figures, to include a monkey, squirrel and birds, signed and dated (“B 1847”), hit $3,000.
An elaborate matching pair of Victorian silver-plated candelabra, 22¼ inches high, earned $4,425, while a 39-inch-tall satsuma figure of a Chinese deity, circa 1900, marked “not for sale” in fine print, sold for $2,655.
For details contact Miller & Miller Auctions Ltd. at 519-573-3710 or 519-716-5606 or firstname.lastname@example.org.