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Miller & Miller's Canadiana, Pottery & Folk Art auction, 640 lots in all, will be held Feb. 8th in New Hamburg, Ontario

01-23-2020 03:41 PM CET | Arts & Culture

Press release from: Miller & Miller Auctions, Ltd.

New Hamburg, ON, Canada, January 23, 2020 -- A Canadiana, Pottery & Folk Art auction featuring the collection of the late Don Pero - a quiet but passionate collector of old school primitives, from pottery to furniture to folk art - will be held on Saturday, February 8th by Miller & Miller Auctions, Ltd., online and in the gallery at 59 Webster Street in New Hamburg, Ontario.

"Don Pero had an appetite for the items he collected, all of which were authentic and important," said Ethan Miller of Miller & Miller Auctions. "Everything he collected had flair. For decades he was a patron of one of Canada's most renowned dealers - Ron O'Hara. Don quietly absorbed some of Canada's rarest historic objects. Now, these many objects will be sold without reserve."

Also offered will be the lifetime collections of John Wine and Jim Fleming, pioneer collectors of pottery and folk art, respectively. The 640 curated lots of historic artifacts in the sale include primitive and fine furniture, early pottery, fine art, folk art, historic objects (to include advertising and ephemera, military items and toys) and decorative arts (to include lamps and lighting, bronzes and statues).

Nearly all the lots in the auction carry a strong Canadian theme. An expected top lot is a large wood carving by the inventor and Canadian artist Yosef Drenters (1931-1983). Titled Mother and Child, the figural wood carving is 6 feet tall and has a pre-sale estimate of $12,000-$15,000. It was gifted by Drenters to the current owner in 1973. All prices quoted are in Canadian dollars.

A rare, signed Canadian Wagner Ginger Beer bottle, stamped "Jos Wagner Maker Berlin Ont" just above the lower edge, 8 ½ inches tall, is expected to hammer for $5,000-$7,000. The same estimate has been assigned to a handle-less cup and saucer attributed to The William Eby Pottery (Conestoga, Ontario, 1855-1907), featuring a blue and green slip decoration over a lead glaze.

An iconic Canadian "Fat Man" wool and burlap hooked mat dated 1916, quite possibly Ontario's most recognizable hooked rug, with strong colors and imposing stature of the "Fat Man", 40 inches by 29 inches, should bring $4,000-$6,000. Also, A circa 1940 CBC Radio Canada sign, depicting the original logo for CBC Radio Canada from 1940-1958 and designed by Ecole des Beaux Arts student Hortense Binette, 61 inches by 48 inches, has an estimate of $1,500-$2,500.

A lovely Waterloo County painted corner cupboard made in Preston the second half of the 19th century and retaining its red and mustard grained painted finish, 40 inches tall by 81 inches wide, has a pre-sale estimate of $4,000-$6,000. Also, a decorated utility bowl attributed to the Pottery of Adam Biernstihl (Bridgeport, Ontario, 1867-1900), an earthenware bowl with a decoration of a bird pecking at feed in green slip over a buff base, should find a new owner for $1,500-$2,000.

The original artwork category is plentiful and will be led by an oil on canvas painting of a horse by the Canadian photographer and painter J. J. Kenyon (Oxford County, 1862-1937), 23 ½ inches by 17 ½ inches (sight) (est. $4,000-$6,000); and a well-documented, two-sided oil on canvas folk art rendering of a young girl and her spaniel dog with a mother and child (verso), nicely housed in a wood frame and painted by an unidentified Canadian artist sometime in the 1850s, 18 ½ inches by 21 inches (sight) (est. $3,500-$5,000).

An oil on canvas painting by Canadian artist Manly MacDonald (1889-1971), titled Spring Willows by a Mill, signed in the lower left corner and measuring 19 inches by 25 inches (sight) is expected to change hands for $3,500-$5,000; while an oil on canvas by Homer Watson (Canadian, 1855-1936), probably painted around 1910 near Kaufman Flats, Doon and titled Cattle by Stream in Woods, 16 inches by 12 inches (sight) has an estimate of $2,500-$3,500.

Rounding out the fine art category, a mixed media painting (including gouache and conte) on Crescent Illustration Board by Harold Town (Canadian, 1924-1990), signed and dated ("March 21, '78"), 15 inches by 15 inches (sight), should fetch $2,500-$3,500; and a Modernist abstract sculpture executed circa 1970 by Walter Yarwood (Canadian, 1917-1996), made from painted cast aluminum and on a wood base, 14 inches tall, signed, has an estimate of $2,000-$3,000.

A late 19th century Swiss cylinder cabinet music box featuring an intricately inlaid case and fitted to a custom 20th century quarter sawn oak base, including original songbook and three cylinders (eight songs per cylinder) should reach $3,000-$4,000. Also, an R. Woodruff Burford U.C. tall case clock, made in Canada in the 1830s, 81 ½ inches tall, with a painted dial, 30-hour wooden movement and original grain painted finish to the pine case, is expected to make $2,000-$2,500.

A T. Ketland Co. flintlock rifle with Indian trade token, stamped "Ketland" with Birmingham markings on the barrel and lock plate, restored, with some minor pieced-in repair to the trigger, the barrel length 36 ¼ inches, has an estimate of $2,000-$3,000; while a figural earthenware chamberstick from the 19th century, probably Canadian, depicting two mice climbing up a candlestick, 11 ½ inches tall, possibly made by an Ontario potter, should rise to $1,500-$2,000.

Internet bidding will be facilitated by the platforms and Online bidding is already available and will run on up to auction day February 8th. Phone and absentee bids will be accepted. Previews will be held live in the gallery on Sunday, Feb. 1, from 9 am to 5 pm; on Friday, Feb. 7, from 5 pm to 8 pm; and on auction day, Feb. 8, at 8 am Eastern.

Ethan Miller
Miller & Miller Auctions, Ltd.
59 Webster Street
New Hamburg, Ontario, Canada N3A 1W8

Miller & Miller Auctions is Canada'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 (519) 716-5606; or, you can send an e-mail to To learn more about Miller & Miller Auctions and the February 8th auction visit

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