Miller & Miller announces highlights included in Petroliana & Advertising auction

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Miller & Miller announces highlights included in Petroliana & Advertising auction
Canadian Red Indian Gasoline single-sided porcelain dealer sign from the 1930s, 5 feet in diameter, marked “The W. F. Vilas Co. Ltd. Cowansville P. Q.” (est. CA$6,000-$8,000).

NEW HAMBURG.- 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 a prototype of the 1911 Model H REO pickup truck – are the headliners in Miller & Miller Auctions’ online-only Petroliana & Advertising auction planned for Saturday, September 10th.

The 407-lot auction, beginning at 9 am Eastern time, will feature much more than just motor vehicles. Other categories include petroliana (gas station items), advertising signs, general store, steam, railroad, music machines and bicycles. “I’m excited about the variety in this sale,” said Justin Miller of Miller & Miller Auctions, Ltd. “It’s what makes our auctions so entertaining.”

Miller added, “Often we see buyers come to our auctions with the idea that they will purchase a certain type of collectible, but they end up with something else completely different that just happened to catch their eye. Without the variety that we strive to provide, buyers don’t have the opportunity to branch out into different areas of collecting. And this auction does have variety.”

With a pre-sale estimate of $40,000-$60,000, the 1907 REO Model A 5-passenger touring car is the sale’s expected lot. This early and unusual vehicle was the brainchild of Ransom E. Olds (creator of the curved dash Oldsmobile). For years the car was on proud display at the Horseless Carriage Museum in Fenelon Falls, Ontario (likewise the following two). It was restored in 2006.

All estimates quoted in this report are in Canadian dollars.

The 1899 Stanley Stanhope Model No. 1 “Locomobile”, made by the Locomobile Company of America, was very popular and quickly became known as the “Stanley Steamer” due to its quiet but powerful two-cylinder steam engine. The literature boasted it “weighs less than 400 pounds and is odorless and noiseless when in use.” The boiler has been rebuilt (est. $40,000-$45,000).

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, has been fully restored and features the merchant “Ballantine & Taby”. Ads for the truck (also designed by R. E. Olds) claimed it could “do the work of three horse-drawn trucks at less than half the cost” (est. $20,000-$25,000).

A 1940s Canadian White Rose Gasoline double-sided porcelain sign with “Slate Boy” graphic, 4 feet in diameter and marked “The W. F. Vilas Co. Ltd. Cowansville P.Q.” on the lower edge, has a pre-sale estimate of $15,000-$20,000; 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 ½ inches by 94 ½ inches, marked “P&M 47” lower left, is expected to bring $9,000-$12,000.

A Canadian Ford V8 dealer double-sided porcelain die-cut sign from the 1930s, 35 ¼ inches by 28 inches, a must-have for any serious petroliana collection, boasting Henry Ford’s V8 engine, should finish at $12,000-$15,000. Also, an American Packard Motor Car “Radiator” double-sided porcelain sign, 1930s, 41 ½ inches by 27 inches and marked, “Property of Packard Motor Co.” lower edge, from the Jean-Marie Paradis collection, should command $9,000-$12,000.

A rare Canadian Red Indian Marathon Gasoline pump globe, 16 ½ inches by 16 ½ inches, with the graphics fired to the exterior surface of the globe, is expected to bring $10,000-$13,000; while a Canadian Red Indian Cyclo Gasoline pump globe, same dimensions, should command $6,000-$8,000. Both of these 1920s-era, one-piece baked glass (OPB) gas pump globes were originally discovered in Waterloo, Ontario, and were purportedly never installed on pumps.

A 1940s Canadian Supertest Gasoline double-sided porcelain sign, 4 feet in diameter, showing the iconic Supertest maple leaf logo, exhibits some minor porcelain loss but is still expected to change hands for $9,000-$12,000. Also, a Canadian Red Indian Gasoline single-sided porcelain dealer sign from the 1930s, 5 feet in diameter, marked “The W. F. Vilas Co. Ltd. Cowansville P. Q.” on the lower edge, also has a few patches of porcelain loss but should make $6,000-$8,000.

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, is estimated to reach $6,000-$8,000; while a circa 1911 American Edison Opera Cylinder phonograph with a smooth mahogany horn, brown-enameled bedplate and tiger-striped hardware, plus 97 cylinders, should rise to $4,000-$5,000.

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, has a pre-sale estimate of $4,000-$6,000. Also, a 1930s-era Canadian SSE Clearvision British American double-sided porcelain gasoline pump with the original one-piece etched globe, original etched glass cylinder and correct nozzle marked, "Service Station Equipment Co. Ltd.", should fetch $3,500-$5,000.

Rounding out this short list of expected top lots is a circa 1895 Swiss Polyphon No. 104 large upright coin-op disc music box, the company’s most popular model used in British taverns, with a matching stand and one disc, 36 ½ inches tall (est. $3,500-$5,000); and a Canadian 1920s-era stationery upright steam engine, professionally restored and mechanically functioning, tagged “The Dyment Foundry Co., Barrie, Can.”, 55 inches tall by 28 inches wide (est. $3,000-$5,000).

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