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Fresh off the highly successful sale of the Jean-Marc and Danielle Belzile collection held in Quebec on May 13th, Miller & Miller Auctions, Ltd. will jump right back into the fray with a pair of online auctions on back to back days, the first on June 9th dedicated entirely to toys and next on June 10th featuring petroliana, advertising and coin-ops.
Headlining the two-day event will be a pair of important collections, both being offered on Day 2. One is the Linden Johnson collection, featuring a treasure trove of petroliana and general store advertising, including Bowser and Wayne gas pumps and porcelain dealer signs, Coca-Cola and Orange-Crush tin signs, and a wonderful assortment of Canadian general store advertising.
The other is the Dr. Don Gutoski collection, which features the finest assortment of Kuntz Brewery advertising to hit the market in some time. Also included is a mind-blowing lineup of Wurlitzer jukeboxes and speakers, ranging from the rare Models 71 and 61 (with stands), his 1015, and three auxiliary speakers, including models 4007 and 4008.
Also included in the Dr. Gutoski collection is an assortment of coin-op weigh scales, mutoscopes, and seldom seen strength testers like the Caille Brothers' grip and lung strength tester. Other highlights include a fresh to the market collection of clean Canadian push bars, two Frontenac brewery corner signs, and rare vending machines.
Leading the selection of Wurlitzer jukeboxes and wall speakers is the Model 71 tabletop jukebox on a stand, made in America circa 1940-1941. It’s mechanically functioning and is a restored example with original toned catalin inserts and a refinished case and trim. It sits on top of a rare, restored original Wurlitzer model 810 stand (est. $14,000-$16,000).
All estimates quoted in this report are in Canadian dollars:
There are more than 50 pieces of Kuntz Brewery advertising on Day 2. Three of the lots are in the top 15 for pre-sale estimates, at $12,000-$15,000 apiece. They are as follows:
- A Kuntz Park Brewery Waterloo factory scene beer tray (Canadian. 1900), lithographed tin, with vibrant colors and a rare factory scene (L. Kuntz Park Brewery, Waterloo, Ontario). 11 inches by 15 inches, in very clean condition.
- A Kuntz Park Brewery, Waterloo factory scene sign (Canadian. 1890s), lithographed tin, a rare Kuntz Lager sign with factory scene, embossed lettering and design. From Waterloo, Ontario. Housed in a 28 ½ inch by 22 inch frame.
- A Kuntz Park Brewery, Waterloo factory scene sign (Canadian, 1890s), lithographed tin. Rare Kuntz Lager sign with embossed lettering and design. From Waterloo, Ontario. In good, as found condition. In a 28 ½ inch by 22 inch frame.
The Johnson collection boasts the best in Coca-Cola, including a Vendo 44 machine, rare verticals and a large single-sided porcelain building sign (“Drink Coca-Cola, Delicious and Refreshing”), made in Canada in 1935. The monumental, 4 foot by 8 foot sign is the scarcer, earlier version of Canada’s iconic sign of the same size (est. $12,000-$15,000).
A Frontenac Brewery “Buccaneer” porcelain corner sign (Quebec, 1900s), made to be mounted to a corner of a building, 48 inches tall by 10 ½ inches long, with good gloss, has an estimate of $9,000-$12,000. Also, a White Rose 10-gallon visible gasoline pump (American, 1920s), with a reproduction globe, a painted steel body with original glass cylinder and repainted and decaled to White Rose colors, should hit est. $4,000-$6,000.
Antique strength testers are surefire conversation starters. Up for bid is a Caille Brothers 1-cent Mascot combination grip and lung strength tester in a wood case with cast iron feet and panels (American, circa 1904-1905), 84 inches tall (est. $8,000-$12,000); and a Globe Amusement Lighthouse grip strength tester (American, 1924), featuring lights and a horn that sound when the player reaches the top level of the game (est. $7,000-$9,000).
The Toys auction, on Friday, June 9th, at 4 pm Eastern time, features unlocked treasures from old collections, to include toys manufactured from the 1920s to the 1950s; early tin windups from Germany and France; tin windup character toys from America; hard-to-find Canadian tin, pressed steel and cast-iron toys; and Japanese friction and battery-op toys.
Toy makers in the sale include Lehmann, Hess, Bing, Doll, Fernand Martin, Carette, Meccano, Bandai, Yonezawa, Schuco, Lincoln, Marx and others. The session’s expected top lot is a 1920 American pre-WWI style Samuel Orkin USS New Mexico toy battleship, the largest one made, a survivor, 25 ¼ inches long, in a glass display case (est. $6,600-$11,000). The battleship, made from pressed steel and wood, has been tested and works.
Also offered will be a German Bing Decatur torpedo boat from 1910, with a pressed tinplate, marked “GBN Bavaria” and rated 8/10 for condition, tested and working, 22 inches long (est. $1,200-$1,800); and a rare and ingenious Fernand Martin mystery ball (French, 1890s), with lithographed tinplate, graded 9/10. Pull the string, the ball travels up on a spiral track to the top, then opens to reveal a figure inside (est. $1,500-$1,700).
Toy vehicles are hugely popular with collectors. Just a few toy cars in the sale are these:
- A 1910 German Carette chauffeur-driven limousine with pressed tinplate, has been worked on but is rare in any condition, has been tested and is working, moves forward and back with two separate levers, 12 ½ inches long (est. $1,800-$2,500).
- A 1950s Japanese Yonezawa Diamond Racer, lithographed tin plate, an F1 open wheeled race car with friction motor in the original box, battery-operated lights, in untouched condition with the original driver and windshield (est. $2,000-$2,500).
- A German 1950 Marklin Clockwork limousine construction car, pressed tinplate, a post-war version of the pre-war Horch or Wanderer limousine, very rare, with two original boxes and instructions, with impeccable provenance (est. $1,500-$2,000).
One more noteworthy lot on Day 1 is the Traders Bank of Canada architectural still bank, made in Canada in the 1890s from nickel-plated cast iron, with inner compartments and ephemera included. Trader banks were given on loan to families to encourage saving. Once coins were inserted, only the Trader's Bank representative could unlock the bank to then deposit the coins. The still bank, 8 ¾ inches tall, has an estimate of $2,000-$2,500.
While these are Internet-only auctions, with no live gallery bidding, bidders can tune in to the live webcast June 9-10 to watch lots close in real time. Here’s a link to the June 9th auction: https://live.millerandmillerauctions.com/auctions/4-9I40WL/toys. Here’s a link to June 10th: https://live.millerandmillerauctions.com/auctions/4-9I60N6/petroliana-advertising-coin-op. Online bidding is also available via LiveAuctioneers.com. Phone and absentee bids accepted.
To learn more about Miller & Miller Auctions, Ltd. and the June 9th and June 10th auctions, visit www.millerandmillerauctions.com.