Advertising, Toys and Historic Objects, Many of Them Canadian, will be in Miller & Miller's June 20 Online-Only Auction 

The sale is loaded with advertising and signs, toys, general store items, petroliana (gas station collectibles), automobilia, breweriana and historical ephemera.

New Hamburg, ON, Canada, Jun 6, 2020 -- A Kuntz tin lithographed beer tray made in Canada and featuring a St. Bernard dog graphic, a Canadian J.M. Fortier Cigar framed lithograph from the 1890s, and an American Coca-Cola school policeman sign from the 1950s are just a few of the expected top lots in Miller & Miller Auctions, Ltd.’s online-only auction planned for June 20th.

The 687-lot Advertising, Toys & Historic Objects auction is bursting with advertising and signs, toys, general store items, petroliana (gas station collectibles), automobilia, breweriana and historical ephemera, much of it Canadian in origin. There will be no in-person event to attend, but bidders will be able to tune in to a live telecast on June 20th to watch lots close in real time.

Internet bidding will be facilitated by, and the Miller & Miller website ( Phone and absentee bids will be accepted.

“Demand is strong for items that hearken to a simpler time,” said Ethan Miller of Miller & Miller Auctions, Ltd. “Experienced and novice collectors alike will be pleased with this well-rounded, market-fresh offering of advertising, toys and nostalgia. Many of these items have been unlocked from old time collections. There’s never been a better time to surround yourself with the past.” 

Mr. Miller added, “To a brewerianist, finding a Kuntz Brewery ‘St. Bernard’ tray is equivalent to finding King Tut’s tomb. This one is entirely untouched, and it will likely never surface again.”

The highly detailed, 13-inch tray, boasting exceptional color and gloss, is a candidate for top lot of the auction. It’s estimated to bring $6,000-$7,000 (all prices quoted are in Canadian dollars). Among Canada’s most highly sought beer trays, this one features an image of a St. Bernard dog behind a bottle of Kuntz’s Special Export Lager. It’s marked “Kaufmann & Strauss Co.” (N.Y.).

The J.M. Fortier Cigar framed lithograph, housed in a 35 ½ inch by 27 ½ inch gilt plaster frame with moulded tobacco leaves, is marked “Heffron & Phelps, Lithographers” (N.Y.) lower right (est. $3,000-$5,000). The Coca-Cola school policeman sign, 60 inches tall, is the “fishtail” logo version. It has two lithographed metal panels standing on a cast metal base (est. $2,500-$3,500).

Petroliana and automobilia will feature three items all carrying high estimates of $3,000. The first is a Goodyear 8-foot-by-2-foot single-sided porcelain sign, made in Canada in the 1930s and showing great color and gloss. The sign is marked “Property of Goodyear Co. General Steel Wares Product” on the lower edge. Its only flaws are some minor patches of porcelain loss.

The second is an Arno Model 31A pedestal air meter, made by Romort Mfg. Co. (Oakfield, Wisc., USA) in the 1940s and featuring a lighted case. The third is a Canadian Clearvision visible gas pump from the 1930s, 9 feet tall, with a hail screen. The base, nozzle and brass plate on the body are all stamped. The gas pump has a fresh coat of paint but is non-functioning.

The toys category is plentiful and will include the following examples:

- A fully restored Sturditoy “Pumper No. 7” pressed steel fire truck, made in the U.S. in the 1930s, modeled after a 1927 LaFrance fire truck, with a functioning bell and water pump, marked “Sturditoy Made by Pressed Metal Co.” (Pawtucket, R.I.) (est. $1,500-$2,000).

- A circa 1890s J & E Stevens (Cromwell, Conn. USA) baseball-themed Darktown Battery mechanical toy bank, cast iron, non-functioning (needs a new spring), and showing two patent marks (to the underside and coin door), has some surface loss (est. $1,200-$1,500). 

- A Buddy “L” water tower fire truck toy, made in America from heavy pressed steel in the 1930s with rubber and brass components, having functioning pump action, professionally restored, with all the wheels stamped “Firestone Buddy ‘L’ Balloon (est. $1,200-$1,500). 

General store items will include an 1880s Canada Paint Company paper lithograph under glass in the original marked frame, 35 ½ inches by 25 ½ inches, free of restoration (est. $2,000-$3,000); and an early 20th century Snow Drift Baking Powder clock, made for the Canadian market by W. F. Baird Co. (Plattsburgh, N.Y. USA) and with movement by Seth Thomas (est. $1,500-$2,000). 

A Butler Dawes Brewery black horse statue, 18 inches tall, plaster cast in the 1930s by the famed Woodstock, Ontario artist Ross Butler (1907-1995) is expected to gallop off for $2,000-$3,000. Butler was famous for his butter sculptures at the Royal Winter Fair. For this piece, he was commissioned by the Dawes Black Horse Brewing Company. It’s incised with Butler’s name. 

Also offered will be a Pepsi Marquis Cleveland neon clock (“Say Pepsi Please”) that lights and functions, made in America in the 1950s and measuring 32 inches by 36 inches (est. $1,400-$1,600); and a rare, early De Laval Cream Separator single-sided porcelain flange sign, made in the U.S. in the 1920s with text, “World’s Standard, Over 1,500,000 in Use” (est. $1,200-$1,500). 

Miller & Miller Auctions, Ltd. has three major auctions planned for the fall. A Music Machines, Coin-Op & Advertising auction, featuring the Ken Vinen collection, will be held on Saturday, Sept. 19, at 9am Eastern. Online bidding begins on Aug. 21. The auction will be online and live in the New Hamburg gallery, at 59 Webster Street. The deadline for consignments is Aug. 24. 

Just added is a Canadiana & Historic Objects auction, featuring the Brian Stead collection, slated for Saturday, Oct. 24, also at 9am Eastern time, online and live in the New Hamburg gallery. 

Then, a Watches & Jewellery auction that was originally planned for June 6th but was deferred due to COVID-19, has been re-scheduled for Saturday, Nov. 21, at 9am, online and live in the gallery. Online bidding will begin on Monday, Nov. 2. The deadline for consignments is Oct. 23.

To learn more about Miller & Miller Auctions and the firm’s slate of upcoming auctions, visit

About Miller & Miller Auctions, LTD.:
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, e-mail to To learn more about Miller & Miller Auctions, Ltd. visit

Media Contact:
Ethan Miller
Miller & Miller Auctions, Ltd.
59 Webster Avenue
New Hamburg, Ontarip, Canada  N3A 1W8
(519) 573-3710