Miller & Miller announces Music Machines, Clocks & Canadiana auction

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Miller & Miller announces Music Machines, Clocks & Canadiana auction
Wurlitzer Model 147 military band organ from 1916, housed in a beautiful oak case, 87 inches tall, fully functioning, with an assortment of Style 150 music rolls (est. CA$6,000-$9,000).

NEW HAMBURG.- A Wurlitzer Model 147 military band organ from 1916, rare and beautiful 18th century Dutch clocks and gorgeous painted pine furniture pieces made in Ontario, Canada in the mid-19th century are a few expected top lots in Miller & Miller Auctions, Ltd.’s online-only Music Machines, Clocks & Canadiana auction slated for Saturday, March 20.

The auction, starting promptly at 9 am Eastern time, features four outstanding collections: the Cathy and Gerry Koolen collection of music machines and clocks; the Robert Russell clock collection, the John Wine collection of Canadian furniture and the Ben Lennox collection of fresh-to-market and seldom-seen items ranging from early historic trade signs to rare seltzers.

“We are pleased to be offering Cathy and Gerry Koolen’s outstanding collection of Dutch clocks, tower clocks and music machines,” said Ethan Miller of Miller & Miller Auctions, Ltd. “The only thing more honest than their collection is them. Also, the Robert Russell collection of Pequegnat clocks tells the rags to riches story of a Canadian company that truly defied all odds.”

The auction is loaded with 645 lots. In addition to clocks, Canadiana and music machines, the catalog also boasts pottery and stoneware, folk art, advertising signs, toys, breweriana and more. Online bidding will be facilitated by and the Miller & Miller Auctions website: Telephone and absentee bids will also be accepted.

The Wurlitzer Model 147 military band organ is very rare and is housed in a beautiful oak case measuring 87 inches tall by 84 inches wide. It was originally powered by a steam engine that powered the carousel for which it was purchased. The functioning band organ, with 46 notes, two stops and an assortment of Style 150 music rolls, should change hands for $6,000-$9,000.

All prices quoted are in Canadian dollars.

A pair of rare Dutch clocks also carry estimates of $6,000-$9,000. One is a wall clock, very rare, made in the Zaanse region of Holland (near Amsterdam) between 1690-1725 and previously sold at Sotheby’s. The other one is an animated tall case clock, made in Amsterdam in 1770, having animated movement with windmills and a man fishing, the clock and dial both nicely restored.

Painted pine Ontario, Canada furniture from the John Wine collection will be led by a Wellesely ‘Schrank’ wardrobe from the 1850s, featuring a subtle fern motif in the door panels and having two-piece construction (base and body), 89 inches tall by 63 ½ inches wide (est. $6,000-$9,000); and an open dish dresser from the 1840s, 82 inches tall by 54 inches wide (est. $3,000-$5,000).

Canadian signs will be plentiful and will include these wonderful, highly collectible examples:

• A Niagara Falls Railway Suspension Bridge wood sign, 1880s (“travel over and back for 10 cents”), historically significant and 16 inches by 50 ½ inches (est. $2,500-$4,000).

• A Regent two-sided porcelain service station sign from the 1950s, impressive at 60 inches in diameter, in fine shape except for a few pea-sized chips (est. $2,500-$3,500).

• A scarce and early Selkirk, Ontario Carriage & Sign Painting single board wood trade sign, circa 1870s, with vivid raised lettering repainted in the 1930s (est. $2,000-$3,000).

Two lots with tremendous visual pizzazz have identical estimates of $2,500-$3,500. The first is an American-made Arts and Crafts 6-shade hanging light fixture from the 1920s, solid brass with leaded slag glass Handel-style pond lily shades, re-wired. The other is a 1930s Pepsi-Cola neon clock made in the 1930s for the French-Canadian market, with Pepsi’s early ‘double-dot’ logo.

Pequegnat Canadian clocks are a big hit with collectors. Up for bid will be a “Barley Twist” variant hall clock from the 1920s, 84 inches tall; and a “Beaver 1st Issue” wall clock from the 1910s, 36 inches tall. Both feature an 8-day weight-driven time and strike movement and are contained in quarter sawn oak cases. Both clocks have a pre-sale estimate of $2,000-$3,000.

Returning to music boxes, a coin-operated pipe organ and roll tune calliope made in Vermont in the 1980s by Ragtime Automated Music, in a quarter sawn case, featuring 31 brass pipes, a snare drum and cymbal, should fetch $2,000-$3,000; and a large Swiss Stella music box made in 1897 by Mermod Freres, in a carved mahogany case and with 24 discs, is estimated at $2,000-$2,500.

Rounding out just a brief list of auction highlights, a 9 ½ foot tall corner cupboard, made in Canada of wood in the 1860s and previously housed at a Whitby (Ontario) convent, carries an estimate of $2,000-$3,000; while an amber Beaver quart-size fruit jar, glass with a zinc band and featuring a correct, matched tone amber button lid, 7 ½ inches tall, should garner $1,500-$2,000.

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