NEW HAMBURG, Ontario, Canada – Original and vibrant oil paintings by Canadian artists Alfred Joseph Casson (1898-1992) and Alexander Young Jackson (1882-1974) performed best at an auction of Guns, Sporting and Canadiana held October 9 by Miller & Miller Auctions, Ltd. The two tables combined for almost $ 100,000 (all prices listed here are in Canadian dollars).
The onboard oil landscape painting by Group of Seven artist Alfred Joseph Casson exceeded its estimate of $ 30,000 to $ 40,000 to end up at $ 59,000. The work, entitled Outside Algonquin Park, depicts a bucolic scene near the village of Whitney and was executed in 1940, at the height of the artist’s great career. Casson focused much of his work on the villages and rural towns of Canada.
The oil aboard countryside landscape by Alexander Young Jackson, a founding member of the Group of Seven, was similar in style to Casson’s work, except that there was no building in Jackson’s painting as he there were some in Casson’s. The coin surpassed its high estimate of $ 30,000, selling for $ 38,350. It was signed lower left, titled and dated, “Harrington oat field, Quebec, September 1966, AY Jackson.
The auction had two headliners: the Don and Joyce Blyth Gun Collection and the Marty Osler Lure and Fishing Collections. Marty’s fishing collection included a select offering of quality reels and rods, many from Hardy Brothers of England. The decoy collection was predominantly Canadian and included many fine examples from Carl O. Rankin, Frank Dolsen, Billy Ellis and Ken Anger.
The Blyth collection included firearms from Ontario, many of them unique, as well as large collectable firearms from Colt, Remington, Stevens and others. Also included were works of art by the aforementioned Canadian artists and others. The sale was completed with a selected offering of wonderful Canadian and American furniture and fine and decorative art.
“From guns to fine art, this diverse sale has drawn collectors of all stripes – and they haven’t forgotten their wallets,” said Ethan Miller of Miller & Miller Auctions, Ltd. “The guns Don Blyth paid 50 cents, two dollars and five dollars for the 1950s fetched five-figure sums. The winners were grateful. A few days before this death, Don closed his doors to the idea that his objects are relegated to the obscurity of a museum’s archives. “Let people enjoy it,” he told us. “
Below are additional highlights from the auction, which drew 546 bidders who placed 9,540 bids in a sale that grossed $ 803,993. One hundred percent of the lots sold, and one-third of the lots exceeded the high estimate. All prices listed include an 18 percent purchase premium.
A large Fraktur-type watercolor and ink folk art painting by Anna Weber (Canadian, 1814-1888), signed in fraktur script and dated 1870, the drawing, executed in blues, red, yellow and brown, consisting of eleven pairs of birds, each pair a different type, changed hands for $ 27,140. In addition, a taxidermized male homing pigeon, wrapped in glass and attached to a wooden perch, cost $ 10,620. Carrier pigeons disappeared in 1914. The example for sale dates from around 1900.
There were two paintings by Joseph Swift (Canadian, 1832-1889) in the auction, both with an equestrian theme and both valued between $ 12,000 and $ 15,000. One was from a horse named Manfred, who trotted for $ 16,250. The other was from the horse Royal Exchange ($ 15,340). Smith spent much of his artistic time responding to a growing need for registration of award-winning animals that were often featured at the Toronto Canada Show for Proud Owners in the late 1800s.
Homer Ransford Watson (Canadian, 1855-1936) was also pictured twice in the sale, once with a monumental (34 inches by 44 inches) unframed oil on board, of a pioneer (or farmer) traveling along of a carriage trail, entitled The rack ($ 12,980); the other, a pretty 14 inch by 22 inch outdoor scene of a boy closing the door to his flock of sheep, signed by the artist ($ 11,800). Watson’s paintings captured the industrious efforts of pioneers and farmers.
A Duffner & Kimberly table lamp, made in America in the 1920s and featuring a 20 inch diameter glass shade in nasturtium floral mosaic pattern on a solid bronze thistle pattern base, with a cap die-cut heater and bronze tip, sold for $ 23,600. In addition, an exceptional William Vale London (Finsbury) musical backing clock, made in England between 1804 and 1824, having a backing movement backplate with watermark, 12 bells and four musical selections, fetched $ 14,160.
The firearms were a huge hit with bidders, led by a rare Colt Model 1851 Navy pistol, made in America but handed over to the Canadian Volunteer Militia in Upper Canada (Ontario) in 1855, one of the 800 1851 marine models purchased by Canada that year ($ 28,320); and a B. Mills (Hamilton, Upper Canada) two-shot side-by-side rifle, manufactured before 1842 and one of only two known to Don Blyth, the collector ($ 16,520). Here are a few other guns that have worked well:
- A Michael Mater four-barreled shotgun, made in Canada circa 1858-1879, marked “M. Mater Patent Chippewa CW 34”, with a .70 caliber barrel (just under 12 gauge) ($ 10,620).
- A John Grainger double side-by-side shotgun made in Canada circa 1854-1868, with .50 caliber barrels with Whitworth stripes, walnut stock, engraved hammers ($ 10,620).
- A William Marston rifle made in Toronto circa 1851-1879 with a heavy .40 caliber barrel showing minimal wear, tiger maple stock with cheek, 37 inches long ($ 10,030).
Miller & Miller Auctions, Ltd. has two other online auctions only scheduled for the remainder of 2021: a watch and jewelry auction on Saturday, November 20; and a Petroliana, Breweriana & Advertising auction on Saturday December 4th. Like those that came before it, both will be internet only.
Miller & Miller Auctions, Ltd. is the trusted seller of high value collections in Canada and always accepts quality shipments. The company specializes in high value watches and jewelry, art, antiques and 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] To learn more about Miller & Miller Auctions, Ltd. and the calendar of upcoming events of the company, visit www.millerandmillerauctions.com.
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