NEW HAMBURG, Ontario – A Black Cat Cigarettes porcelain sign from the 1940s, a Depression-era Pace’s Races 5-cent horse race slot machine, and an early 20th century C. Cretors & Co. floor model popcorn and nut machine are a few expected top lots in Miller & Miller Auctions Ltd.’s online-only Advertising, Toys & Historic Objects auction slated for Saturday, Dec. 12, starting at 9 a.m. Eastern. Bid absentee or live online through LiveAuctioneers.
The auction is packed with 677 lots of advertising signs, toys, breweriana, coin-ops, historic objects, general store, agricultural collectibles (including patent models and salesmen’s samples), telephones and more. “Lovers of the rare, lovers of the unusual, lovers of those inspiring historic objects that pop up once-in-a-decade will delight and what we’re offering here,” said Ethan Miller of Miller & Miller Auctions Ltd. “It’s a rare opportunity to invest, collect and enjoy.”
The Black Cat Cigarettes porcelain sign (above), measuring 50½ inches by 48 inches and boasting a pre-sale estimate of $9,000-$12,000, is seen as one of the most attractive porcelain signs in Canadian advertising history. A green-eyed black cat is shown with the statement, “They taste better.” It’s marked “St. Thomas Metal Signs” on the lower edge (all prices quoted are in Canadian dollars).
Also expected to cross the finish line at $9,000-$12,000 is the Paces Races 5-cent horse race slot machine (below). “When Paces Races debuted in 1934 it quickly became the fastest coin-operated money-maker of its day,” Miller said. “The game is a riot, and this example is as good as it gets.” The machine has been professionally restored, mechanically and cosmetically.
The C. Cretors & Co. floor model popcorn and roasted nuts machine, made in America in the 1910s, is expected to fetch $4,000-$6,000. It features a steel frame case with wood trim doors set with beveled glass. Its professional restoration includes refinished wood trim, repainted case and nickeled trim. The top has two electric lights and an animated clown that turns a glass cylinder.
Breweriana collectors will be amazed by rarities in the lifetime beer tray collection of Andy Cottrell. Toys from the Flynn collection are also worth noting. “The Cottrell breweriana collection has collectors reeling,” Miller remarked. “Never before in the Canadian market have so many rare beer trays surfaced at a single time.” A few lots include:
– An oval Huether’s Lion Brewery tray, Canadian, circa 1890s. The 13¼-by-16-inch tray is marked, “Standard Adv. Co. Coshocton. O” (est. $4,000-$6,000).
– A rare “Berlin” Lion Brewery tin litho sign, Canadian, 1901, the only example known, 14 inches by 19 inches (sight, less oak frame), the center depicting a lion’s head cartouche flanked with hop leaves. Scripted “C.N. Huether, Prop” at bottom (est. $4,000-$6,000).
– A Dawes Lachine Brewery single-sided porcelain sign, Canadian, circa 1890s. 30 inches by 19 inches, with excellent color and gloss. An early, pre-Dawes Black Horse Brewery sign, says “Dawes Lachine Ales & Porter” with black horse graphic (est. $4,000-$6,000).
– A Kuntz’s Brewery ‘Bologna Girl’ beer tray, Canadian, 1900s. Lithographed steel and marked, “Kaufmann & Strauss Co. NY 1277,” 13 inches diameter (est. $3,000-$5,000).
An 1878 agricultural patent model for the “Lady Dufferin” reaper – a painstakingly sophisticated working scale model of a reaping machine, with functioning sail blades, fans and height setting, made by C.A. Davidson (Mount Forest, Ontario), should reach $4,000-$6,000. A Sawyer-Massey 1-inch scale plowing engine working model, made in the 1950s out of steel and brass by W.E. Deering of Surrey, British Columbia, still in its original custom case, has an estimate of $3,500-$5,000.
Lifesize store display mannequins of the iconic American toy dolls Ken and Barbie, each one 75 inches in height and made around 1960, will be sold as one lot, with an estimate of $3,500-$5,000. Also, a model of the Bassett-Lowke Model S Class destroyer, English, 1930, featuring a solid wood hull and lead keel, moveable guns and torpedoes and a clockwork mechanism, 36 inches in length and displayed in a custom case, carries an estimate of $2,000-$3,000.
A Space Models UK scale cutaway model of an Air Canada Boeing 767 plane, made in England in the 1980s, 65 inches long, made from Fiberglass and repainted, with all glass perfect and interior components secure, should fly away for $4,000-$6,000; while a “one-off 7-foot scale model of the celebrated Wardair Canada Boeing 747, also by Space Models UK, made in England in the 1960s, 76 inches long, should hit $3,500-$5,000.
A National Cash Register Co. floor model 106-6-A, one of NCR’s most visually impressive and complex machines, built for “D.W. Henry, Springfield, Ont.”, 65 inches tall, fully functioning and professionally restored, is estimated to cash out at $3,500-$6,000. Also, a rare and early Bell Canada mahogany three-box magneto wall telephone containing the early “Blake Transmitter” invented in 1878 by Francis Blake, circa 1880s, is expected to bring $2,000-$3,000.
For details contact Miller & Miller Auctions at 519-573-3710 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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