New Hamburg, Ontario, Canada, January 27, 2024 — Vibrant and colorful paintings by acclaimed Nova Scotia artists Maud Lewis (1901-1970) and Joe Norris (1924-1996), and a spectacular 18th century Quebec armoire, 82 inches tall by 51 inches wide, are the expected headliners in two days of online-only auctions scheduled for February 10th and 11th by Miller & Miller Auctions, Ltd.
The Saturday, February 10th Canadiana auction features the Richardson, Blevins, Morawetz & Molson Foundation Collections and contains 329 lots of Canadiana, pottery, stoneware, textiles, art and Canadiana furniture. The February 11th Canadian Folk Art auction showcases works from the Maritime Provinces, Ontario and Quebec, and has 215 lots of folk art, art, Canadiana and decoys.
â€œThe Canadiana auction is a rare opportunity to acquire items from very prominent collections with varied focus,â€ said Ethan Miller of Miller & Miller Auctions, Ltd. â€œAll the collectors had discerning taste and knowledge of their pieces. This auction has a wonderful selection of hooked mats and marquetry boxes as well as a mix of 19th century Canadiana furniture and accessories.â€
He said of the Feb. 11 Canadian Folk Art auction, â€œWhat a mix, from 19th and 20th century Quebec Flat Plane carvings to a collection of birds by Yvon Cote to art from Maud Lewis, Joe Norris, Joe Sleep, Barbara Clark Fleming and Cyril Hirtle, to pieces from noted Nova Scotia and Quebec carvers like Charlie Tanner, Ian Fancy, Sid Howard, Chatigny and Alcide St. Germain.â€
Maud Lewis has headlined numerous Miller & Miller auctions in the past, and this one will be no exception. On February 10th, her mixed media on beaverboard works titled Black and White Cat and Sandy Cove in Fall have estimates of $30,000-$35,000 and $25,000-$28,000, respectively. Her harbor scene painting titled Gulls at Harbor on February 11th should reach $20,000-$25,000.
All prices quoted in this report are in Canadian dollars.
Maud Lewis has become one of Canadaâ€™s most renowned artists and the subject of numerous monographs, novels, plays, documentaries, and even a feature film. She was born into relative comfort and obscurity, and died in poverty. She overcame severe physical challenges to create a unique artistic style, and sparked a boom in folk art in her home province of Nova Scotia.
Joe Norrisâ€™s enamel on wood panel rendering of a serene Nova Scotia coastal village with a lighthouse, painted in 1986, is housed in its original wooden flower frame as created by the artist. Itâ€™s expected to hit $8,000-$11,000. The work is signed lower right (â€œJoe Norris 1986â€) and marked â€˜F2577â€™ on the upper left of the frame, which measures 36 inches by 54 Â¼ inches.
Joe Norris spent most of his life in the small hamlet of Lower Prospect, Nova Scotia. He began painting in 1972, after a heart attack forced his early retirement from the fishing and construction trades. His works depicted life along the seacoast, with scenes of wildlife, nature and landscapes painted in bold colors. Joe Norris’s work is in many galleries and collections.
The 18th century Quebec armoire with a high double-paneled frieze and bold cabriole feet was refinished in the 1950s and boasts a warm pine patina and robust construction. It was pictured in The Early Furniture of French Canada by Jean Palardy. The armoire doors and sides have panels in a transitional Louis XIV/XV style. The estimate is $20,000-$30,000.
Another Day 1 star lot is the 18th century Quebec oval box with fine carving and sponged paint (est. $8,000-$10,000). The box, with sponged motifs visible on the sides, has an unusual top, with the oval edge lapping over the band around the top, providing a finished look to the lid. The design is also complemented with swirling good luck symbols, pinwheels and hearts.
A rare stoneware picture frame made by John Marx (Brantford, Ontario, circa 1860s-1890s), is an intricate and beautiful piece thatâ€™s signed on the reverse and boasts a lovely lattice design and dark glaze (est. $5,000-$7,000). Also, a 10-inch-tall tin rooster weathervane from the Laurentians in Quebec, with strong feather detail and spurs on each foot, standing on a blue painted globe, the body in a weathered white paint, should command $4,000-$6,000.
A â€œHorse in Paradiseâ€ hooked rug dated 1898 with superb color, condition and age, 31 Â½ inches by 46 Â½ inches, the hooking on the horse clipped to provide a wooly coat against a spotted floral background, is expected to fetch $4,000-$6,000. Also, a 1780 Quebec pine slide-top candle box carved in the solid with diamond and linear motifs and a zig-zag border, the underside of the box deeply carved with a radiant sun, has an estimate of $3,000-$5,000.
Back to Day 2, where a carved Man with Walking Stick by Nova Scotia artist Charlie Tanner (1904-1982), rendered in 1980 in Mr. Tannerâ€™s distinctive style that makes his human figures so attractive to collectors, should earn $2,000-$3,000; while a circa 1970 softwood sculpture by Edmond Chatigny (Quebec, 1895-1985), a three-tiered work with an owl at the top, four small birds in the middle and six birds and a frog at the bottom, should bring $2,000-$3,000.
While these are online-only auctions with no live gallery bidding, bidders can tune in to the live webcast both auction days, February 10th and 11th, to watch lots close in real time. Hereâ€™s a link to the February 10th auction: https://live.millerandmillerauctions.com/auctions/4-C4NF7J/canadiana-the-richardson-blevins-morawetz-molson-foundation-collections. Hereâ€™s a link to the February 11th auction: https://live.millerandmillerauctions.com/auctions/4-C4NGJ2/canadian-folk-art. Online bidding is also available, via LiveAuctioneers.com. Phone and absentee bids will be accepted. The start times for both auction days are 9 am Eastern time.
To learn more about Miller & Miller Auctions, Ltd. and the February 10th and 11th auctions, visit www.millerandmillerauctions.com.