NEW HAMBURG, Canada – Once again the legendary Canadian folk artist Maud Lewis (1903-1970) stole the show at Miller & Miller’s two-day, two-session online auctions held March 25 and 26. Seven original paintings by Lewis combined for more than $300,000. The Canadiana & Decorative Arts auction on March 25 grossed $588,613; the Historic Lamps & Lighting on March 26 reached $299,838. All prices quoted are in Canadian dollars.
The top lot of the auction overall was Lewis’s circa-1956 oil on beaverboard painting titled Traffic Jam, an early humorous work depicting a cow standing on a road and blocking a car. It’s a bit out of sync with Lewis’s repertoire, but it demonstrates the breadth of her work. Bidders reacted accordingly, as it blew past its estimate to hit $91,450.
The other six paintings were Chicks and Hens ($70,800); The Three Black Cats ($38,350); Covered Bridge in Valley ($29,500); Covered Bridge in Winter ($25,960); Docking at the Harbour ($24,190); and Two Oxen in Winter ($20,650). When added to the 17 paintings sold by Miller & Miller in two previous auctions totaling $758,340, the new grand total tops $1 million.
An oil on board by Franz Johnston (Canadian, 1926-1941), titled Pines Near Penetang, realized $15,340. Johnston was a founding member of the Group of Seven and a member of the Ontario Society of Artists. Also, a pre-1890 oil on canvas river scene by Homer Ransford Watson (Canadian, 1855-1936), an artist who was influenced by the painters of the Hudson River School and was dubbed the “Canadian Constable” by Oscar Wilde, earned $11,800.
A circa-1820s Canadian breakfast table in mahogany and figured mahogany attributed to Thomas Nisbet (St. John, New Brunswick), displaying all the typical features used by Nesbit, brought $16,250; while a circa-1820s Montreal key hole mahogany wall clock by Martin Cheney (1778-1855), who produced what were described as “elegant house clocks” in both Windsor, Vermont and Montreal, attained $20,060, besting its $9,000-$12,000 estimate.
“The March 26 sale featured a gathering of 19th-century lamps and lighting – an assortment so significant we decided they deserved a sale of their own,” said Ethan Miller of Miller & Miller Auctions, Ltd. “The offering includes exceptional overlays and rare patents from the Valerie Lister, David Broughton and Keith Dill collections, ones that took these folks years to acquire.”
Many of the March 26 auction’s expected top lots were overlay kerosene stand lamps, made in America between 1860 and 1880 by the Boston & Sandwich Glass Company in Sandwich, Massachusetts, as well as other manufacturers. The makers of many lamps in the sale were unknown, but that didn’t make them any less desirable.
Miller & Miller was assisted by lamps and lighting specialists Gwen and Mike Chvaleich, who remarked, “What an incredible sale. It was so interesting to see the three different collections of these long-time members of the Historical Lighting Society of Canada. Keith Dill’s collection featured many rare examples of overlay lamps, as well as Marbrie Loops, Nailsea and peg lamps. And how often does one find three banquet lamps more than three feet tall in the same auction?”
The Chvaleichs added, “Val Lister’s collection featured a wide variety of lighting, an amassment which told the story of lighting in America and Europe from the 18th century to the 20th century. David Broughton put together a remarkable collection of American lighting specimens, which featured unusual chimneys, shades and patented burners. It’s rare that one finds such a diverse and important assemblage of lighting in one sale. The Miller and Miller team did a fantastic job.”
Top lots included a cobalt cut overlay kerosene banquet stand lamp that achieved $50,150; a ruby cut overlay kerosene stand lamp that went for $38,350; a ruby cut overlay kerosene stand lamp that brought $8,260; a Tiffany favrile glass candlestick lamp that earned $6,490; a green cut overlay kerosene stand lamp that realized $5,900; a cobalt cut overlay kerosene banquet stand lamp that attained $5,015; a cut double overlay Latticino kerosene stand lamp that made $4,425; and a three-armed gilded brass fluid peg lamp girandole that sold for $3,540.
To consign a single piece, an estate or a collection to Miller & Miller Auctions, Ltd., call 519-573-3710 or email email@example.com. To learn more about Miller & Miller Auctions, Ltd., please visit www.millerandmillerauctions.com.
The current rate of exchange is dollar CA 1 = 73 cents.
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