New Hamburg, ON, Canada, September 16, 2022 — Three extremely rare, turn-of-the-century motor vehicles â€“ a 1907 REO Model A 5-passenger touring car, an 1899 Stanley Stanhope No. 1 â€œLocomobileâ€ and a prototype of the 1911 Model H REO pickup truck â€“ sped away for a combined $120,950 in Miller & Miller Auctionsâ€™ online-only Petroliana & Advertising auction held on September 10th.
All figures quoted are in Canadian dollars and include an 18 percent buyerâ€™s premium.
The 1899 Stanley Stanhope Model No. 1 â€œLocomobileâ€, made by the Locomobile Company of America, was the auctionâ€™s top lot, selling for $44,250. It was very popular and quickly became known as the â€œStanley Steamerâ€ due to its quiet but powerful two-cylinder steam engine. The literature boasted it â€œweighs less than 400 pounds and is odorless and noiseless when in use.â€
The 1907 REO Model A 5-passenger touring car sold within estimate for $41,300. This early and unusual vehicle was the brainchild of Ransom E. Olds (creator of the curved dash Oldsmobile). It was restored in 2006. For years the car was on proud display at Richard Bennettâ€™s Horseless Carriage Museum in Fenelon Falls, Ontario. All three top lots, in fact, came out of the museum.
The eye-catching variant and potential prototype of the 1911 Model H REO pickup truck, made by the REO Motor Truck Company in Lansing, Michigan, had been fully restored and featured signage for the merchant â€œBallantine & Tabyâ€ ($35,400). Ads for the truck (also designed by R. E. Olds) claimed it could â€œdo the work of three horse-drawn trucks at less than half the cost.â€
â€œFor decades Richard Bennett added unusual items to his museum,â€ said Ethan Miller of Miller & Miller Auctions, Ltd. â€œBuyers clamored to own what he collected. It was an exciting sale.
Brass-era vehicles added the â€˜wow factorâ€™ to an auction that was packed with automobilia, steam engines, advertising and music machines. All categories were received with enthusiasm.â€
Mr. Miller added, â€œWhile categories in mature markets such as brass-era automobiles performed slightly beneath what we expected, gas/oil and soda advertising performed well beyond our estimates. Richard Bennett added unique and interesting items to his museum whenever the opportunity arose. His vehicles in the auction helped boost the saleâ€™s overall gross to $553,951.â€
The 408-lot auction included petroliana (gas station collectibles), advertising signs, general store, steam, railroad, automobilia, music machines and bicycles. Around 500 people registered to bid, using the Miller & Miller Auctions, Ltd. website (www.MillerandMillerAuctions.com) and LiveAuctioneers.com. 99 percent of lots sold; 66 percent of the top 50 lots exceeded estimate.
A 1940s Canadian White Rose Gasoline double-sided porcelain sign with â€œSlate Boyâ€ graphic, 4 feet in diameter and marked â€œThe W. F. Vilas Co. Ltd. Cowansville P.Q.â€ on the lower edge, blew past its $20,000 high estimate to finish at $24,780; while a White Rose Service Station three-piece sign from 1947, each piece single-sided porcelain, 36 inches in diameter with the banners measuring 15 Â½ inches by 94 Â½ inches, marked â€œP&M 47â€ lower left, hit $14,160.
A Canadian Ford V8 dealer double-sided porcelain die-cut sign from the 1930s, 35 Â¼ inches by 28 inches, a must-have for any serious petroliana collection, boasting a graphic of Henry Fordâ€™s revolutionary V8 engine, changed hands for $23,600. Also, a 1940s Canadian Supertest Gasoline double-sided porcelain sign, 4 feet in diameter, showing the iconic Supertest maple leaf logo, exhibited some minor porcelain loss around the frame mounting holes but still brought $20,060.
A rare Canadian Red Indian Marathon Gasoline pump globe, 16 Â½ inches by 16 Â½ inches, with the graphics fired to the exterior surface of the globe, went to a determined bidder for $17,700; while a Canadian Red Indian Cyclo Gasoline pump globe, same dimensions (â€œCyclo Gas / No-Knock Motor Fuelâ€) realized $8,850. Both of these 1920s-era, one-piece baked glass gas pump globes were discovered in Waterloo, Ontario, and were purportedly never installed on pumps.
A Canadian Red Indian Gasoline single-sided porcelain dealer sign from the 1930s, 5 feet in diameter, marked â€œThe W. F. Vilas Co. Ltd. Cowansville P. Q.â€ on the lower edge, with just a few scattered patches of porcelain loss, fetched $11,800. Also, a Canadian White Rose Gasoline double-sided porcelain dealer sign from the 1940s, a stout 48 inches in diameter, with the porcelain featuring exceptional virgin gloss but also some stress hairlines, rose to $10,620.
A circa 1890 Paillard Grand Orchestral Cylinder Swiss music box, in excellent cosmetic and working condition, able to play 10 tunes with its organ, drum, castanet and bells, in a rosewood and burled wood case on a matching stand, played a sweet tune for $9,440. Also, an English 53-inch high-wheel bicycle from the 1880s, made from painted tubular construction with rubber wheels, decaled â€œSimpsons Bicycle Shop Cycles and Sporting Goods, Ont.â€, garnered $8,260.
An American Hires Root Beer single-sided tin oval sign from the mid-1910s, self-framed, 19 Â¾ inches by 23 Â¾ inches, with the artwork signed and dated by the illustration artist â€œHarry Morse Meyers 1915â€, found a new home for $8,850; while a single-sided tin Coca-Cola â€œturtle-backâ€ sign from the 1920s, also American, embossed and still with the original hanging chain, went for $7,080. The sign was depicted in Alan Petrettiâ€™s book, Coca-Cola Collectibles, on page 203.
Miller & Miller Auctions has four more major auction events planned for the remainder of 2022. All are Saturday online-only auctions with no live gallery bidding. These include the following:
– Canadiana & Folk Art (October 8th)
– Petroliana & Advertising (October 29th)
– Watches & Jewels (November 19th)
– Petroliana & Advertising (December 3rd)
To learn more about Miller & Miller Auctions, Ltd. and the firmâ€™s upcoming auctions, please visit www.millerandmillerauctions.com.
About Miller & Miller Auctions, Ltd.:
Miller & Miller Auctions, Ltd. is Canadaâ€™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, you can e-mail them at firstname.lastname@example.org. To learn more about Miller & Miller Auctions, Ltd. and the firmâ€™s upcoming auctions, please visit www.millerandmillerauctions.com.