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Miller & Miller's Canadiana & Folk Art Auction Has The Marty Osler Canadiana Collection

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By Author: Ethan Miller
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An online-only Canadiana & Folk Art auction featuring the lifetime Canadiana collection of Marty Osler will be held on Saturday, April 17th, at 9 am Eastern time, by Miller & Miller Auctions, Ltd., based in New Hamburg. Online bidding will be via LiveAuctioneers.com and the Miller & Miller website: www.MillerandMillerAuctions.com.

In all, 306 lots will cross the auction block. In addition to Canadiana and folk art, categories will include furniture, paintings, pottery, stoneware, tools, toys and banks, architectural and nautical. There will be no in-person event due to COVID-19, but bidders can tune in to the live webcast on auction day to watch lots close in real time. Telephone and absentee bids will be accepted.

“Marty Osler is a true collector. You can see his passion for history and the human experience reflected in the objects he acquired,” said auction adviser Peter Baker, adding, “We discovered great things that haven’t seen the light of day for thirty years and many are of museum quality.”

Included are over twenty important “book” pieces and objects that span Canada’s ...
... geographic regions, ranging from a dated crooked knife from Nova Scotia to a Haida dance paddle from the West Coast. “In addition to the high-end material, there are lots of interesting items that will appeal to beginning collectors,” Baker said. “This is truly a something-for-everyone auction.”

One lot certain to attract attention is a circa 1960 painting on green board by Maud Lewis (Canadian, 1903-1970) of a favorite local cove with the red-roofed Lynch House on the shore and the ferry Princess Helene entering the harbor. The Princess Helene operated between New Brunswick and Nova Scotia for 30 years. The signed, framed work should bring $8,000-$12,000.

All prices quoted in this report are in Canadian dollars and include the buyer’s premium.

Canadian furniture pieces will feature several fine cupboards, to include the following:

- A Quebec architectural one-piece cupboard-on-table with original paint, brass hinges, knob and slide lock; the cupboard section having an arched top over a single door supported in the front by white painted Corinthian columns (est. $8,000-$12,000).

- A Waterloo County two-piece cupboard with the original paint and excellent proportions, 87 inches tall by 20 inches wide, the overpaint professionally cleaned by the legendary Alan Clairman to show lighter color panels on a light brown case (est. $4,000-$6,000).

- A Western Canada Ukrainian two-piece cupboard in the original burgundy red paint with green highlights, likely made in Saskatchewan between 1900 and 1920, 84 inches tall by 18 ½ inches wide, with a diamond motif in upper and lower doors (est. $2,000-$3,000).

An oil on canvas painting signed by the self-taught artist Chief James Beaver (1846-1925), one of Ontario’s famed “Six Nations Artists” who also painted houses and buildings, 22 inches by 36 ½ inches (sight) should bring $2,000-$4,000. Also, an exquisite circa 1929 cruiser model made by Ditchburn Boat company (Lake Muskoka, Canada, established 1871), 28 inches long, with bow pennant, original canvas canopy and a lifeboat, is expected to sail away for $1,000-$1,500.

A fine burl bowl with great form and color, 20 ½ inches in diameter and made in Ontario circa 1840, with great lift, gorgeous patina and no cracks, hand-turned with a faintly incised double rim, should realize $3,000-$5,000; while a circa 1890-1900 Western Cree pipe bag with a beaded floral panel of red flowers with blue centers, purple flowers with yellow centers and a blue leaf, all on a white ground and in a 36 inch by 13 ½ inch frame, is expected to reach $1,000-$1,500.

An early 19th century Ontario harvest table with a three-sided box stretcher and a single drop leaf supported by a plank draw support, in the original red/brown paint and with the original knobs, 66 inches long by 27 ½ inches wide, has an estimate of $2,500-$3,500. Also, a carved pine Nova Scotia footstool in the original brown paint with chip-carved motifs, made in Lunenburg in the early 19th century with a carved top with a central snowflake design, should hit $2,000-$3,000.

Walking sticks are in the auction, to include an allegorical walking stick from North Bay (Ontario), with a great surface and carved details, including hearts, dogs, a horse, a crescent moon and other images, circa 1870-1880 (est. $3,000-$5,000); and a 19th century burled head walking stick with a carved head as the pommel and natural burl for the hair and a beautiful burled surface on the shaft, all with a deep surface patina from years of use (est. $2,000-$3,000).

A figure in full walking mode made from found materials by Edward Rentz (Canadian, 1908-1995), shown carrying two suitcases with a sign saying, “The hell with Canada, I am going to Winnipeg”, 12 ½ inches tall, signed and dated 1984, should garner $1,000-$1,500. Also, a circa 1900 model of a sealskin Bering Sea / Alaska style kayak (yup’ik), with two cockpits, exhibiting great patina, mounted on a contemporary base, 42 inches long, is expected to make $800-$1,200.

An exceptional carved slide-top pencil box made around 1800 in Saint-Henri-de-Levis, Quebec, with the original untouched brown painted surface and incised with the name Germain Roberge on the bottom, 8 ¼ inches long, has an estimate of $2,500-$4,500; while a late 19th century Quebec double-sided game board (checkers and dames) in brown cream paint with finely painted green vines and red berries / rosebuds in each keeper section, should command $1,000-$1,500.

A safe-viewing preview (where all COVID-19 protocols will be in place and observed) will be held April 14th, 15th and 16th, from 1 pm-5 pm Eastern time in the Miller & Miller Auctions gallery at 59 Webster Street, New Hamburg, Ontario. Masks will be required of all attendees. To schedule a preview, call (519) 662-4800; or send an email to info@millerandmillerauctions.com.

To learn more about Miller & Miller Auctions, Ltd. and the Canadiana & Folk Art online-only auction scheduled for Saturday, April 17th at 9 am Eastern time, please visit www.MillerandMillerAuctions.com. Updates are posted frequently.

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