Press Release: October 30, 2020
The online-only auction, held October 24th, featured the lifetime collections of Dick Withington (rare clocks) and Brian Stead (Canadian furniture and pottery). Nearly 700 lots came up for bid.
New Hamburg, Ontario, Canada, October 30, 2020 -- A French Atmos perpetual time clock from the 1940s chimed on time for $6,490, a Wettlaufer decorated child’s wagon made in Canada circa 1890 rolled away for $5,900 and a cased set of English dueling pistols from William Chance & Son (London, circa 1830-1860), hit the mark for $4,720 in an online-only Canadiana & Historic Objects auction held October 24th by Miller & Miller Auctions, Ltd., based in New Hamburg.
The auction, packed with 699 lots, was highlighted by the outstanding lifetime collections of Dick Withington (rare clocks) and Brian Stead (Canadian furniture and pottery). The major categories included Canadiana, clocks, art, pottery and stoneware, furniture, folk art, decoys, historical objects, lamps, lighting, rugs and textiles. All prices quoted are in Canadian dollars.
“Brian Stead’s collection was received with great enthusiasm,” said Ethan Miller of Miller & Miller Auctions, Ltd. “You can’t build a collection like that unless you have time, money and knowledge. Collectors stepped up. Mr. Miller added, Dick Withington’s clocks received mixed results. While lower value clocks underperformed, his top clocks soared past high estimates.”
Mr. Miller said the auction had an excellent energy to it. “We recorded one of our highest pre-registration rates to date. People let their guards down and spent money. It’s refreshing to see.”
The 9 ½ inch tall Atmos French perpetual time clock was the auction’s top lot. Bidders were attracted to the clock’s metal chrome plated and glass case with a reflective mirror in the bottom, the painted metal dial with Arabic numerals and perpetual oscillating torsion pendulum powered by changes in the temperature. The clock was unusual in that it had no center dial cutout.
The decorated child’s wagon was one of five masterpiece wagons made for Adam Wettlaufer’s grandchildren. The example sold was crafted around 1890 for Clara, who allegedly never used it because she lived with her brother Oscar until her death. Regardless, the wagon, although it was made as a toy, is a miniature scale model of the horse-driven wagons Wettlaufer was famous for.
The cased dueling pistol set made in England between 1830 and 1860 by William Chase & Son was housed in mahogany, velvet-lined case with brass inlay. The set was complete with two dueling pistols, six tools, a percussion caps tin and powder flask. Each gun was marked, “W. Chance & Son, London” to the barrel and side. Each exhibited minor professional restoration.
Following are additional highlights from the auction. The 517 people who registered to bid online placed a combined 8,521 bids through LiveAuctioneers.com and Miller & Miller Live (www.MillerandMillerAuctions.com). Telephone and absentee bids were also accepted.
An oil on panel of a horse attributed to Canadian artist John J. Kenyon (1862-1937) titled Craigie from the 1890s, crossed the finish line at $4,720. The 13 inch by 10 inch work was in a gilt plaster frame. Kenyon was a photographer and painter. He attended fairs to capture images of prize-winning animals, which he later painted. Paintings by him are rarely offered for sale.
A Seth Thomas double-door ‘peanut’ style clock in rosewood veneer, made in America in the 1870s, changed hands for $2,655; an early tall case clock made in the U.S. in the 1820s, with an inlaid cherry case, woodworks movement by an early maker and a painted wood dial, topped out at $944; and a 19th century Canadian clockmaker’s inlaid portable toolbox with dovetailed construction and doubling as a trade sign with “Clocks Repaired” inlaid on the front, hit $3,835.
Beautiful Canadian-made furniture pieces proved to be a big hit with bidders. Top performers included an 1850s Quebec painted pine armoire with raised panel ends ($3,540); an 1860s painted pine bucket bench dry sink boasting thick pine construction, with an old dark red painted finish, two shelves above a shallow well with carved trough ($3,245); and an 1840s painted pine blind cupboard on raised panels, one-piece construction, 65 ½ inches by 84 ½ inches ($2,655).
A 1900s Trippensee Mfg. Co. planetarium, manually operated with a wooden pulley driven by a cord, 30 inches long by 19 inches tall, made $4,425.
There were four oil on board paintings in the auction by the noted Canadian artist Homer Ransford Watson (1855-1936), all from the collection of the late Jack Wilfong, Watson’s paper boy and all done in the 1930s. Each was framed and signed. The paintings exhibited many of Watson’s key trademarks and drama, and sold for prices that ranged from $3,835 to $4,425.
Miller & Miller Auctions has introduced new updates to its online auction platform. “We’re committed to delivering a simple, dependable online bidding experience,” Mr. Miller said. “We’re continually investing in our digital platform to provide quality service and capability.”
Mr. Miller said the most recent update involves an exciting ‘refresh’ to the online platform. “There’s no learning curve or major changes to our operations,” he pointed out. “This update will simply present users with an improved experience as they navigate our online auctions.”
Miller & Miller Auctions has also launched a new mobile app for iOS and Android. Bidders can now choose to participate virtually in auctions using a phone or tablet for a convenient, portable experience. They can place bids and receive instant updates and notifications with a few taps.
Miller & Miller Auctions has a Watches, Jewelry and Decorative Arts auction scheduled for Saturday, November 21st, at 9am Eastern. It will be webcast from the New Hamburg gallery. After that, an Advertising, Toys & Historic Objects auction will be held on December 12th.
To learn more about Miller & Miller Auctions and the firm’s upcoming auctions, visit www.MillerandMillerAuctions.com. Updates are posted often.
About Miller & Miller Auctions, Ltd.:
Miller & Miller Auctions is Canada’s trusted seller of high-value collections and is always accepting quality consignments. The firm specializes in watches and jewelry, art, antiques and high-value collectibles. Its mission is to provide collectors with a trusted place to buy and sell. To consign a single piece, an estate or a collection, you may call them at (519) 573-3710; or, e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. To learn more, visit www.MillerandMillerAuctions.com.