NEW HAMBURG, Canada – An important Black Cat Shoe Polish clock (known to collectors simply as “The Black Cat Clock”); a circa-1938 porcelain sign for Orange Crush soda; and an early-20th-century Kuntz Brewery Bologna Girl lithographed tin beer tray are just a few of the expected highlights in Miller & Miller Auctions, Ltd.’s June 19 online-only Advertising & Breweriana sale. Absentee and Internet live bidding will be available through LiveAuctioneers. All estimates quoted are in Canadian dollars.
The 650-lot sale will be headlined by the Peter Rea collection. “Fans of breweriana will quickly recognize that condition is the common thread in what Peter Rea collected,” said Ethan Miller of Miller & Miller Auctions, Ltd. “Never have I met a collector so focused on perfection.”
Miller added, “We’re also featuring an outstanding cache of general store advertising that ranges from overalls to soda. It’s clean, fresh to the market and offered without reserve. Original, unrestored advertising is hard to find these days. In this sale, collectors will have their pick.”
With a robust pre-sale estimate of $9,000-$12,000, the Black Cat Shoe Polish clock may end up being the top lot of the auction. It’s considered one of the most significant examples of Canadian advertising ever produced. The piece depicts a black cat, its jaws and whiskers erect, engaging with the product in pursuit of something beyond. It boasts, “Leads all others / Challenge the world to produce its superior” and is marked lower left, “MacDonald Mfg. Co. Ltd., Toronto”.
The circa-1938 Orange Crush porcelain sign, although not marked, is certainly a product of St. Thomas Metal Signs, Ltd. (Canada). The store side sign is made from self-framed heavy-gauge pressed steel with heavy-shelved porcelain. The script reads, “For Refreshment Drink Orange Crush”. The sign, which is not a common Coca-Cola variation, should bring $4,500-$6,500.
The Kuntz Brewery beer tray is among Canada’s most sought-after beer trays. It earned the nickname “The Bologna Girl” because the subject, a young woman, is shown serving a bologna sandwich alongside a bottle of Kuntz Export Lager. The tray carries a pre-sale estimate of $4,000-$6,000.
A Peabody’s Overalls single-sided porcelain sign from the 1910s, bearing the legend “Wears like a pig’s nose” and considered one of Canada’s great general store porcelain signs, should finish at $3,500-$5,000. Also, an 1890s Ogilvie’s Flour Mills framed paper lithograph under glass, with detailed images of Ogilvie’s five operational flour mills in Canada, is expected to hammer for $3,000-$5,000.
An American 1920s-era Ward’s Lime Crush syrup dispenser, the rarest of the three Ward’s figural syrup dispensers, has a pre-sale estimate of $4,000-$5,000, while a 1940 Canadian double-sided, wall-mounted porcelain flange sign advertising Coca-Cola should find a new owner for $2,500-$3,000.
A Brading Brewery Company early Canadian paper-under-glass lithograph from the 1910s, featuring the Brading’s “Stag” trademark icon flanked by the product, should garner $3,500-$5,000. Also, an early 20th century Carling Brewing & Malting framed lithograph paper under glass, in an oak and plaster frame, has an estimate of $2,000-$2,500.
Two very different lots have identical estimates of $2,000-$3,000. The first is a Planters Mr. Peanut parade costume from the 1930s, made from painted fiberglass and standing 55½in tall. The suit has some splits, craze, and surface scratches, mainly in the hat’s top and brim. The second is an ornate Cutler solid brass and glass chute window. The chute once adorned the lobby of an apartment building and is tagged “The Cutler Mailing System” with patent dates to 1914.
The current rate of exchange dollar is CA$1 = US82 cents.
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