NEW HAMBURG, Ontario, Canada – Three extremely rare turn-of-the-century motor vehicles – a 1907 REO Model A 5-passenger touring car, an 1899 Stanley Stanhope No. 1 “Locomobile” and an 1911 Model H prototype REO Pickup Truck – fetched a total of $120,950 at Miller & Miller Auctions’ Petroliana & Advertising online auction held September 10.
All figures quoted are in Canadian dollars and include an 18% buyer’s premium.
Stanley Stanhope’s 1899 Model No. 1 “Locomobile”, made by the Locomobile Company of America, was the top lot at the auction, selling for $44,250. It was very popular and soon became known as the “Stanley Steamer” due to its quiet yet powerful two-cylinder steam engine. Literature boasted that it “weighs less than 400 pounds and is odorless and quiet when in use.”
The 1907 REO Model A 5-seat touring car sold within estimate for $41,300. This early and unusual vehicle was designed by Ransom E. Olds (creator of the Oldsmobile curved dash). It was restored in 2006. For years the car was proudly displayed at Richard Bennett’s Horseless Carriage Museum in Fenelon Falls, Ontario. In fact, the first three batches came out of the museum.
The eye-catching variant and potential prototype of the 1911 REO Model H pickup truck, manufactured by the REO Motor Truck Company in Lansing, Michigan, had been fully restored and featured signage for the dealer “Ballantine & Taby” ($35,400 ). Advertisements for the truck (also designed by RE Olds) claimed it could “do the job of three horse-drawn trucks at less than half the cost”.
“For decades, Richard Bennett has added unusual items to his museum,” said Ethan Miller of Miller & Miller Auctions, Ltd. “Buyers demanded to own what he collected. It was an exciting sale.
Brass-era vehicles added the “wow factor” to an auction filled with automobiles, steam engines, commercials and music machines. All categories were enthusiastically received.
Mr Miller added: “While mature market categories such as brass-era automobiles performed slightly worse than we expected, gasoline/petroleum and soft drink advertising lagged. 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 push the overall gross amount of the sale up to $553,951.
The 408-lot auction included petroliana (petrol station collectibles), billboards, general store, steam, railroad, automobilia, music machines and bicycles. About 500 people registered to bid using the Miller & Miller Auctions, Ltd. website. (www.MillerandMillerAuctions.com) and LiveAuctioneers.com. 99% of lots sold; 66% of the top 50 lots exceeded the estimate.
A 1940s Canadian White Rose Gasoline double-sided porcelain sign with the “Slate Boy” graphic, 4 feet in diameter and marked “The WF Vilas Co. Ltd.” Cowansville PQ” on the lower edge, surpassed its high estimate of $20,000 to finish at $24,780; while a three-part 1947 White Rose gas station sign, each single-sided porcelain piece, 36 inches in diameter with banners measuring 15 ½ inches by 94 ½ inches, marked “P&M 47” at the bottom right. left, reached $14,160.
A 35 ¼ inch by 28 inch 1930s Canadian Ford V8 dealership double sided die cut porcelain sign, a must have for any serious petroliana collection, featuring a graphic of the revolutionary V8 engine from ‘Henry Ford, changed hands for $23,600. Additionally, a 1940s Canadian Supertest Gasoline double-sided porcelain sign, 4 feet in diameter, displaying the iconic Supertest maple leaf logo, had some minor loss of porcelain around the frame mounting holes, but reported still $20,060.
A rare Canadian Red Indian Marathon Gasoline gas pump globe, 16 ½ inches by 16 ½ inches, with the graphics drawn on the outside surface of the globe, went to a determined bidder for $17,700; while a Canadian Red Indian Cyclo Gasoline pump globe, of the same dimensions (“Cyclo Gas/No-Knock Motor Fuel”) fetched $8,850. These two one-piece, fired-glass gas pump globes from the 1920s were discovered in Waterloo, Ontario, and were apparently never fitted to pumps.
A 1930s Canadian Red Indian Gasoline porcelain merchant’s sign, 5 feet in diameter, bearing the inscription “The WF Vilas Co. Ltd.” Cowansville PQ” on the bottom edge, with only a few scattered spots of porcelain loss, fetched $11,800. Additionally, a 1940s Canadian White Rose Gasoline double-sided china merchant sign, a chunky 48 inches in diameter, with the china showing an exceptional virgin shine but also stressed hairlines, fetched $10,620.
A Swiss Paillard Grand Cylindre d’Orchestre music box circa 1890, in excellent cosmetic and working condition, capable of playing 10 tunes with its organ, drum, castanets and bells, in a rosewood and burr wood case on a matching stand , played a sweet tune for $9,440. Additionally, an 1880s 53-inch English high-wheeled bicycle, made of painted tubular construction with rubber wheels, bearing the sticker “Simpsons Bicycle Shop Cycles and Sporting Goods, Ont.” “, brought in $8,260.
A mid-1910s American Hires Root Beer single-sided oval tin sign, self-framed, 19 ¾ inches by 23 ¾ inches, with the artwork signed and dated by the artist-illustrator “Harry Morse Meyers 1915”, has found a new home for $8,850; while a 1920s Coca-Cola “turtle” one-sided tin sign, also American, embossed and still with the original hanging chain, cost $7,080. The sign was depicted in Alan Petretti’s book, Coca-Cola collectibleson page 203.
Miller & Miller Auctions has four other major auction events scheduled for the remainder of 2022. All are online auctions only on Saturdays, with no live auctions. These include in particular the following:
- Canadiana & Folk Art (October 8)
- Petroliana & Publicity (October 29)
- Watches & Jewelry (November 19)
- Petroliana & Advertising (December 3)
Miller & Miller Auctions, Ltd. is Canada’s trusted seller of high value collections and always accepts quality shipments. The company 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 unique piece, an estate or a collection, you can call them at (519) 573-3710; or, you can email them to [email protected] Learn more about Miller & Miller Auctions, Ltd. and the company’s upcoming auctions, please visit www.millerandmillerauctions.com.
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