New Hamburg, Ontario, Canada, March 26, 2021 -- Bidders literally had time on their hands (and minds) when they registered for Miller & Miller’s online-only Music Machines, Clocks & Canadiana auction, held March 20th. Four of the top five lots were clocks, and clocks made in Canada, the United States and across Europe all found new owners in an auction that grossed CA$418,065.
All prices quoted in this report are in Canadian dollars and are inclusive of the buyer’s premium. Internet bidding was facilitated by LiveAuctioneers.com and the Miller & Miller Auctions, Ltd. website: www.MillerandMillerAuctions.com. Telephone and absentee bids were also accepted.
The 646-lot auction featured four outstanding collections: the Cathy and Gerry Koolen collection of Dutch clocks, tower clocks and music machines; the Robert Russell collection of Canadian Pequegnat clocks; the John Wine collection of fine Canadian furniture; and the Ben Lennox collection of rare, fresh-to-market items ranging from early historic trade signs to rare seltzers.
Top lot honors went to a French Paul O’Dobey wire tower clock made in 1899 and restored in 2007. The clock featured a three-train rack, snail strike mechanism and pinwheel remontoire. It originally came from a monastery and featured an “angelus strike”, striking twelve times on a small bell to signal the monks to prayer three times a day. The clock changed hands for $11,800.
Two clocks each posted prices of $7,080. One was a Nathan Hale Vermont banjo clock, made in America in 1840. The 8-day, time only clock had a movement similar to Willard, with tabs on the corners. The other was an English William Potts & Sons tower clock from 1899, with gravity escapement, original dial and elecrto-wind (no modification to movement, manual wind intact).
In addition to clocks, Canadiana and music machines, the catalog also boasted pottery and stoneware, folk art, advertising and trade signs, toys, breweriana, paintings, fine art and more. A collection of game pie dishes – 16 dishes in all, by makers that included Gerbing & Stephan, Wedgwood, Staffordshire and George Skey – brought a combined $12,744 for the collection.
“A game pie dish is just an old piece of pottery until someone knows that these unglazed dishes were intended to emulate pastry during the flour shortages of the early 19th century,” said Ethan Miller of Miller & Miller Auctions, Ltd. “The collection brought twice what we had expected.”
Miller said the American-made Birge & Fuller “Wagon Spring” clock from the 1840s was another object that told a story and brought high dollars as a result. “The maker wanted the benefits of a compact brass spring driven movement without those clunky weights,” he said. “Unlike in Europe, the brass springs were not available. A patented “wagon spring” fusée style movement was the compromise – American ingenuity at its finest. It ended up bringing $3,540.”
Miller remarked, however, that not all the news coming out of the sale was good. “Canadian furniture and wooden trade signs performed well, but we saw evidence that the market for clocks overall is down,” he said. “Though Koolen tower clocks exceeded all estimates, the Pequegnat clocks fell short in many cases. Advertising remained red-hot, while signs shattered estimates.”
To learn more about Miller & Miller Auctions, Ltd. and the firm’s calendar of upcoming auctions, please visit www.MillerandMillerAuctions.com. Updates are posted often.
Company :-Miller & Miller Auctions, Ltd.
User :- Ethan Miller