NEW HAMBURG, Ontario – An advertising and historic objects auction featuring the collection of John McKenty, the Canadian historian and author whose collection tells the story of the rise and fall of the Canada Cycle & Motor Company of Canada, will be held on Saturday, Dec. 7, by Miller & Miller Auctions Ltd. Absentee and Internet live bidding is available through LiveAuctioneers.
“Canada Cycle & Motor Company was one of the most recognizable Canadian companies of the 20th century,” said Ethan Miller of Miller & Miller Auctions. “When John McKenty stumbled across an old CCM catalog while researching the history of a local hardware store, he was hooked. John has worked tirelessly to preserve a story that was in danger of being lost forever.”
Miller called McKenty “Canada’s foremost authority to the community that collects anything CCM related,” adding, “Before the release of his 2011 book Canada Cycle & Motor: the CCM Story, the CCM story was a story untold. The book was praised in Maclean’s, Canada’s national news magazine. But he couldn’t have told the story without his meticulously curated collection.”
The John McKenty collection is a complete and extensive material history of the company. The bicycles, the exquisite advertising, historical sports objects, and his private cache of catalogs, brochures, photographs and paper ephemera all offer a glimpse into the history and early design of bicycles and other items. The collection – in its entirety – will be sold to the highest bidder.
The auction will also hold other treasures, including advertising and signs, automobilia, sports memorabilia and historical ephemera. It will be an eclectic sale, with items ranging from a 1976 Kawasaki KH400 3-cylinder motorcycle, purple, with 10,401 actual miles (est. $3,000-$5,000); to a museum-quality Kenora Thistles Stanley Cup hockey team photograph (est. $1,500-$2,000).
Expected top lots will include an Ontario leather motorcycle license plate from 1907, one of only a few examples known, with original brass grommets and remnants of original white paint on the numbers (est. $5,000-$7,000); and an 1898 French advertising poster for Cleveland Cycles, with outstanding artwork by Jean Pal de Paleologue (est. $4,000-$6,000). The poster was executed just prior to the crash of the worldwide bicycle boom. All prices quoted are in Canadian dollars.
A 1937 Canada Cycle & Motor Co. “Flyte” bicycle – the rarest of all the CCM bicycles, an expensive-for-its-time model that didn’t sell particularly well and ceased production in 1940 –carries an estimate of $1,500-$2,000. The limited production has only enhanced its desirability among today’s CCM collectors. The bike being sold has an unusual fork and frame design and still has the original “Lucien Bicycle Service” dealer decals and the correct Dunlop chrome rims.
Signs include an all original Coca-Cola school zone sign with a policeman graphic, made in the U.S. and in excellent condition, with original hardware and virgin color and gloss (est. $3,000-$5,000; and a circa 1910 CCM Automobile Skates sign, marked “Macey Sign Co.” on the lower edge, in an original wood frame (est. $2,000-$2,500). CCM branched out into skate blades after about 1900, using scrap metal from automobile production (hence the name Automobile Skates).
Other CCM signs will feature a CCM Service porcelain flange sign, 16 inches by 12 inches; and a CCM Bicycle Service porcelain flange sign, 18 inches by 10 inches. Both are rare signs from the 1920s, with identical estimates of $2,000-$2,500. Each sign exhibits some scattered porcelain loss along the outer edge and on the flange; otherwise both are attractive and would display well.
A tin litho Goodyear Service Station sign, made in America in the 1920s and impressive at 71½ inches by 24 inches, marked “American Art Works, Coschocton, O” on the lower right edge, in the original painted wood frame, is estimated to fetch $2,500-$3,000. Also, a Mobiloil two-sided porcelain curb sign, made in America circa the 1940s and featuring the famous Pegasus logo, 32 inches by 36 inches in a fitted steel frame, with great color and gloss, should hit $2,000-$2,500.
A Butler Dawes Brewery black horse statue, 18 inches tall, plaster cast in the 1930s by famed Woodstock, Ontario sculptor Ross Butler (1907-1995), known for his butter sculptures at the Royal Winter Fair, is expected to rise to $2,000-$3,000. Also, a 1940s Fiske Tires die-cut single-sided embossed tin sign, made in the U.S., 39 inches by 32 inches, should earn $2,000-$2,500.
A pair of rare, early figural biscuit tins will hold strong appeal for serious Canadian collectors. One is a Perrin’s Biscuits tin, branded “Perrin’s Biscuits – Halifax to Vancouver” (est. $1,500-$2,000). The other is a Hunts Candies tin, marked “BW& M Ltd., Mansfield, Made in England” (est. $1,200-$1,500). Both tins were produced in England and branded for the Canadian market.The 561-lot live auction has a start time of 9 a.m. Eastern time.
For details contact Miller & Miller Auctions at 519-662-4800.