Miller & Miller presents fine collections of stoneware, bottles & tins, June 5
NEW HAMBURG, Canada – The lifetime collections of Don and Joyce Blyth – an astounding assemblage of stoneware, sporting advertising, decoys, powder tins, bottles in several categories, Canadiana, and more – will come up for bid in an online-only Canadiana & Sporting auction planned for June 5 by Miller & Miller Auctions, Ltd., to begin at 9 am Eastern time. Absentee and Internet live bidding will be available through LiveAuctioneers.
Included in the auction is a nearly comprehensive collection of Guelph merchant stoneware and bottles, among other pieces of Guelph, Ontario memorabilia. Also on offer is Don’s collection of Canadian gun powder tins, decoys, and sporting and firearms advertising.
“To the Blyths, the thrill was in the hunt,” said Ethan Miller, of Miller & Miller Auctions, Ltd. “The spoils of their eight-decades-long hunt are now available to a new generation of collectors, and the interest has been staggering. In Joyce’s book, The Guelph Merchants, she tells of the town’s earliest merchants through stoneware. All of the stoneware in her book is in this sale.”
Don’s collection of sporting advertising includes numerous posters advertising products from Remington, Union Metallic Cartridge Company, Dominion Cartridge Company, and Winchester. The cartridge boards for Dominion Cartridge, Union Metallic Cartridge, and Winchester are expected to dominate the list of top lots. All carry lofty estimates.
Three 19th-century cartridge display boards – two from Winchester (1887 and 1884) and one from Union Metallic Cartridge (1880s) have estimates of $20,000-$25,000 (all prices quoted are in Canadian dollars). All boards are lithographed cardboard with an applied representation of Winchester’s line of ammunition, and all are handsomely framed in oak.
Among the most highly sought and iconic American sporting advertising, Winchester’s cartridge boards are monumental historic displays. Few survived intact due to their size and the fact they were often displayed in store windows and areas exposed to light. Collectors pursue them because they’re large, graphically appealing, and they display nicely.
Also offered will be a Winchester Double “W” cartridge display board from 1902, estimated at $5,000-$7,000; an early 20th century Dominion Cartridge Co. exhibition board, Canadian, estimated at $5,000-$7,000; a Dominion Ammunition store counter display from the 1910s, estimated at $4,000-$6,000; and a Dominion Ammunition calendar from 1919, estimated at $2,000-$3,000.
Stoneware will be led by a rare three-gallon jug produced in the 1870s by F. P. Goold and featuring a racehorse decoration in cobalt slip, made during Goold’s tenure at the Brantford pottery in Canada. It carries an estimate of $8,000-$12,000. Other notable examples include a two-gallon jug de-embossed “Robt. Rutherford Guelph” and boasting an outstanding bird decoration, estimated at $4,000-$5,000. The jug appears on the cover of Joyce Blyth’s book, Jugs & Crocks of the Guelph Merchants.
Another F. P. Goold jug, this one a two-gallon example, has an estimate of $3,000-$4,000. Also, a two-gallon jug, debossed, “John Smith Grocer General Dealer and Produce Buyer Guelph CW,” which was pictured on page 65 of Joyce Blyth’s book, should command $2,000-$3,000.
Tops in the decoys category is a first quarter 20th century Burlington Bay canvasback by Ivar Gustav Fernlund, with a structurally excellent bottom board, beautiful wet combed paint, and a bold, elegant high head. It carries an estimate of $4,500-$5,500. Also included is a diminutive circa-1900 bluebill drake by Donny Reid, an important Burlington Bay decoy in outstanding original condition, estimated at $3,500-$4,500.
A hollow bluebill decoy from the first quarter 20th century by Henry “Hen” Freeborn, in excellent gunning condition and with strong paint, has an estimate of $2,500-$3,500. Circling back to sporting collectibles, a large Gurd’s Rifle trade sign from the 1880s, originally from Gurd’s Sporting Emporium in London, Ontario, should finish at $14,000-$18,000.
The current rate of exchange is CA$1 = US80 cents.
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