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Miller & Miller's Online-only Advertising, Canadiana & Historic Objects Auction Will Be Held Apr 13

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By Author: Ethan Miller
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Three vibrant and colorful paintings by the acclaimed Nova Scotia artist Maud Lewis (1901-1970), a 19th century French Bontems caged singing bird automaton, and a Canadian 1910s Gilson, Guelph Dixie “Ace” Tractors sign are a few of the expected top lots in Miller & Miller Auction Ltd’s online-only Advertising, Canadiana & Historic Objects auction Featuring the Greg Hisey Collection, slated for Saturday, April 13th.

The auction, starting at 9 am Eastern time, is packed with 397 lots of general store items, art glass, Canadiana, advertising signs, Western collectibles, pottery and stoneware, art, and lamps and lighting. In the historic town of Maple Creek, Saskatchewan, Greg Hisey achieved his lifetime goal of building a global destination for travelers seeking a presence of the past. Inspired by early life experiences, Hisey’s “Ghost Town Blues” was a miniature ghost town bed and breakfast, where travelers worldwide could immerse themselves in the past.

“Greg Hisey lives up to the motto of his hometown of Maple Creek, Saskatchewan, ‘where past is present,’ and so does his collection,” ...
... said Ethan Miller of Miller & Miller Auctions, Ltd. “Working with themes of early Western transportation, veterinary and general store, Mr. Hisey collected advertising and furnishings right out of a ghost town. Additions to the catalog are remarkable, too, including late 19th century automata, rare Canadian political posters and folk art, decorative art glass, silver, bronzes, and early lighting. East meets West in this diverse sale.”

Maud Lewis has been featured in numerous Miller & Miller auctions in recent months, always with positive results. Of the three of her paintings in this auction, the expected top performer is a late 1965 or early 1966 mixed media on pulpboard (beaverboard) titled Cow in Spring Meadow. Although seldom seen, the image is one that spans three decades. It is signed “Maud Lewis” on verso and upper right edge, is 12 inches by 14 inches (board, less frame) (est. $25,000-$30,000).

All prices quoted are in Canadian dollars.

The other two paintings by Lewis are titled Two Deer in Winter (est. $20,000-$25,000) and Covered Bridge in Winter (est. 20,000-$23,000). Also up for bid is a unique and prized ink on paper handwritten letter dated February 3, 1967, with the original envelope, from Maud Lewis to John Kinnear, a London, Ontario artist and friend who worked as an agent for Ms. Lewis in the second half of the 1960s. Ms. Lewis states in the letter that she has finished decorating some dustpans supplied by Mr. Kinnear. It’s signed, "Maud Lewis" (est. $1,200-$1,500).

The circa 1885 French Bontems caged singing bird automaton is housed in a bronze cage, 18 ½ inches tall, with applied scenic Sevres plaques surrounding the base panels. Included is the crank-style winding key. It was tested and is mechanically functioning (est. $9,000-$12,000).

The Canadian Gilson, Guelph Dixie "Ace" Tractors sign from the 1910s is an embossed lithographed single-sided tin sign, 13 ¾ inches by 20 inches. Gilson Manufacturing was a Wisconsin company that opened a branch plant in Guelph, Ontario in 1907. The Dixie Ace tractor was made by Gilson in Guelph, 1919-1920, but none are known to exist. The sign is marked, "St Thomas Metal Signs, St. Thomas, Ont." lower right edge (est. $3,500-$5,000).

A circa 1891 Conservative Party of Canada poster lithograph, encouraging voters to embrace tradition and protectionism by reelecting Sir John A. Macdonald (1815-1891) Prime Minister, 39 ¾ inches by 26 ¼ inches (paper, less frame), featuring his official campaign slogan (“The Old Flag, The Old Policy, The Old Leader”), should reach $3,500-$5,000. The effort proved successful but, sadly, three months after this 6th majority victory, Macdonald passed away.

A circa 1885 Smoking Boy Automaton by Leopold Lambert (French), featuring bisque head and hands and arms that move up and down, 22 ½ inches tall, has an estimate of $3,500-$5,000. The doll is dressed as a male, with a green velvet jacket and hat, red tights, red sandals, and a bone cane in his right hand, all on a green velvet base. The automaton is mechanically functioning and is marked, with original song card pasted to the underside.

A wooden veterinary remedies store display cabinet for Dr. Lesure's Famous Remedies (Keene, New Hampshire), the tin lithograph panel depicting a horse in profuse detail peering out of an oval stone opening, is estimated to bring $3,500-$5,000. It is one of the "holy grails" in veterinary patent medicine collecting and comes with the original advertising booklet. The cabinet, from the 1900s, is in great overall condition and is 27 inches tall by 21 inches wide.

A Swiss, circa 1890s Stella Grande Disc music box in a mahogany case, with paneled lid and front panel with applied carved decoration, is expected to play sweet tune for $2,500-$3,000.

Tested and working and in original complete condition, the unit includes 32 assorted discs.

A rose cut overlay kerosene banquet stand lamp of the type made in America from 1860-1880 by Boston & Sandwich Glass Co. (Sandwich, Mass.) and other manufacturers (although the maker of this piece is unknown), should rise to $2,000-$2,500). It’s made from glass, brass and marble and has a ruby cut to colorless urn-form font with three rows of ovals and punties. The brass connector with bobeche is for hanging prisms. The shade is frosted and colorless.

While these are online-only auctions with no live gallery bidding, bidders can tune in to the live webcast on auction day, April 13th, to watch lots close in real time. Here’s a link to the auction: https://live.millerandmillerauctions.com/auctions/4-D4VAAO/decorative-arts-historic-objects. Bidding is also available via LiveAuctioneers.com. Phone and absentee bids will be accepted.

To learn more about Miller & Miller Auctions, Ltd. and the online-only Advertising, Canadiana & Historic Objects auction Featuring the Greg Hisey Collection slated for Saturday, April 13, visit www.millerandmillerauctions.com.

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