Miller & Miller Auctions sees bull market for ‘mantiques’


Rare early 1900s Canadian National Telegraphs stock ticker manufactured by the Stock Quotation Telegraph Co., price realized: CA$11,800/US$8,890. Miller & Miller Auctions image

NEW HAMBURG, Ontario – A rare antique printing telegraph invented by John Burry, made by the Stock Quotation Telegraph Co. of New York and used in the early 1900s by Canadian National Telegraphs sold for $11,800 at a “Mantiques” auction held Sept. 14 by Miller & Miller Auctions Ltd. Absentee and Internet live bidding was available through LiveAuctioneers.

The American-made stock ticker, complete with correct base and glass dome (above), was patented in the 1890s and was the top lot of the auction, barely nosing out a National Cash Register Co. Model 3 cash register, also from the 1890s, which brought $11,500. The register had a rare, cobalt cut-to-clear glass-top sign, burled walnut sides and rear panels and the correct key. A label on the underside indicated it was shipped to a J.A. Banfield in Toronto.


National Model 3 cash register, made in Dayton, Ohio, in the 1890s, with rare cobalt cut-to-clear glass top sign, price realized: CA$11,500. Miller & Miller Auctions image

It was Miller & Miller’s second Mantiques auction, and it was just as successful as the first, as 175 people attended in person and hundreds more bid online in a sale that grossed $373,516 (all figures quoted are in Canadian dollars – $1 Canadian = $.75 US).

Nearly 600 lots of manly memorabilia came up for bid. Categories included advertising, signs, automobilia, petroliana (including gas pumps, air meters, ephemera), coin-ops, militaria, railroadiana, aviation and sports memorabilia.

“Rarity and historical significance are the main factors that drive value,” said Justin Miller of Miller & Miller Auctions Ltd. “We often bring select lots to shows to promote our upcoming auctions. The items that generate the most discussion at these events are often likely to generate bidding action on the block as well. People want conversation pieces – things others don’t have. They’re usually willing to pay dearly for these pieces. We’re more than happy to offer them up.”

Following are additional highlights from the auction. All prices quoted include the buyer’s premium.

A 1930s-era Red Indian porcelain dealer sign, 5 feet by 5 feet and among the most sought-after dealer signs in Canadian gas and oil, gaveled for $8,850. The sign, retaining a virgin luster, was signed, “The F. Vilas Co., Ltd., Cowansville, P.Q.” Also, an Oldsmobile two-sided porcelain car dealer sign, made in America in the 1950s and also measuring 5 feet square, brought $4,720. The sign, exhibiting excellent color and gloss, was free of restoration and had only a few minor chips.


Canadian, late 1930s-era Red Indian Gasoline dealer sign, 5 feet in diameter, in excellent condition, price realized: CA$8,850. Miller & Miller Auctions image

What man cave is complete without a vintage car, truck or motorcycle parked outside? A 1971 International pickup truck, D-Series 1010, repainted and with a reupholstered interior, 304ci V-8 engine, manual steering and brakes, roared off for $9,200; while a 1972 Triumph Tiger 650 motorcycle, an all-original survivor with 3,266 miles, knocked down for $7,080.


This 1972 Triumph Tiger 650 motorcycle, an all-original survivor with 3,266 miles, sped off for CA$7,080. Miller & Miller Auctions image

A 1942 Wurlitzer “Victory” jukebox – an Art Deco form masterpiece and one of Wurlitzer’s most recognizable models with stunning carved pedestals, burled veneers and carved feathers forming a “V” on the grille, changed hands for $6,900. A 1958 Gibson J-50 natural acoustic guitar, made in America with a spruce top, mahogany backs and sides, in the original fitted case, with the original adjustable bridge saddle as an option, commanded $4,130.


Wurlitzer ‘Victory’ jukebox from 1942, professionally restored and serviced, 65½in tall, price realized CA$6,900. Miller & Miller Auctions image

A Canadian, circa 1890s Tuckett T&B “Two Boys” framed lithograph – one of only two known and a spectacular example of early chromolithography featuring “two boys” with expressions of “pain” versus “luxury” in smoking other brands as opposed to T&B, made $5,750. Also, a 1930s oil on board painting by Homer Ransford Watson (Canadian, 1855-1936), in one family since its original purchase in December 1935, signed lower left and in the original frame, rose to $5,310.

A rare McCormick’s figural truck biscuit tin, made in England for the Canadian market and meant to be used as a toy after the contents were consumed, earned $4,800. The panels on either side promoted McCormick’s “Oven-Kist” biscuits and “Jersey Cream” sodas. Also, a 1940s-era Canadian Goodyear Tires single-sided porcelain sign, showing exceptional deep color and high gloss, 72 inches by 24 inches and unrestored, with just light surface scratches, brought $4,600.


Canadian circa 1890s Tuckett & Billing (Hamilton, Ontario) framed lithograph for T&B Tobacco, one of only two examples known, price realized: CA$5,750. Miller & Miller Auctions image

Finally, a large-scale Trans-Canada Viscount cutaway model airplane, 1:24 scale, featuring a transparent acrylic body that allowed someone to view the cabin and cockpit, landed safely for $9,000. The model plane, 47 inches in length, would have been on display in an airport lobby or corporate office, with features that included upholstered seats, luggage and even a restroom.


Trans-Canada Viscount cutaway model airplane, 1:24 scale, featuring a transparent acrylic body,47 inches long, price realized: CA$9,000. Miller & Miller Auctions image

For more information contact Miller & Miller Auctions, 519-573-3710 or 519-716-5606 or