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An online magazine sharing intriguing stories and little-known facts

about the unique items we come across at Miller and Miller Auctions.

 

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ITEM HIGHLIGHTS

Showcasing interesting items from our upcoming auctions.

 
 

Schneider's Porcelain Sign - Lot 324

Anyone local to Waterloo Region knows the iconic blonde hair blue eyed "Dutch Girl". She was not a fictional character. In 1954 the company choise a real life person by the name of Nancy Featherstone for that gig. She's the one you see on the sign off the 401. But before Featherstone there was the "original" Dutch Girl, Joyce Volker, who is featured on this sign. Volker was the daughter of the 1936 Schneider's Sales Manager Howard Volker. Schneider's hired Canadian sign-maker "Vilas" (Cowansville, Quebec) to create what you see here. It's one of the most graphic porcelain signs produced in Canadian history. Why was Volker replaced by Featherstone 1954? No sex scandals. Goverment labelling requirements forced the company to simplify its logo. Needless to say, this sign had very limited exposure in the advertising world. For advertising collectors, doesnt get any better.

Estimate: $3000 - 5000

Live Auction Details: Canadiana & Historic Objects. February 9th. 10 am.

Auction Location: 59 Webster St. New Hamburg, Ontario. N3A 1W8

 

WWII Winston Churchill Screened Milk Bottle - Lot 137

Lakedrive Dairy, Bracebridge Ontario

Milk cartons have long been an effective tool to find missing persons. But in the late 1930s, with the invention of applied colour labels (ACLs), the Canadian government discovered that milk bottles were an effective way to raise money for the war effort. This bottle is evidence. Made by the Dominion Glass Company, it shows all things patriotic: an airplane, boat, tank and Winston Churchill looking through the "V" for "Victory". The implied message: buy Victory Bonds! It worked. The government raised over 12 billion dollars in "milk for Britain" campaigns promoted on milk bottles. In 1942 all glass production was diverted to the war effort, making these "war slogan" milk bottles a rarity indeed. (Source: Paul Huntley canadianbottlecollector.com)

Estimate: $500 - 800

Live Auction Details: Canadiana & Historic Objects. February 9th. 10 am.

Auction Location: 59 Webster St. New Hamburg, Ontario. N3A 1W8

 


1860s Toronto-Made 4-Wheel Pram - Lot 212

Baskets, slings and backpacks are methods of baby transport that are still in practice in some parts of the world today. However, in as early as the 1860s, Canadians had other ideas. Ever since Queen Victoria bought the first of four strollers at the Hitchings Baby Store in England, the trend was set. The rolling baby pram was a must-have for the wealthy. This 1860s pram is one of the earliest produced in Canada. It has an unusual (probably patented) dual front wheel. It is tagged, E. Wilby Toronto underneath, which was probably a carriage maker as well. Such a lavish mode of infant transporation in early Toronto was a privilege reserved for the most elite. How this one survived close to 160 years is a total mystery.

Estimate: $400 - 600

Live Auction Details: Canadiana & Historic Objects. February 9th. 10 am.

Auction Location: 59 Webster St. New Hamburg, Ontario. N3A 1W8


WRITER SPOTLIGHT

Diane Sewell has been a professional writer for more than 25 years. She has written two commissioned books, feature stories for the Globe and Mail, Toronto Star and assorted consumer magazines, as well as a variety of marketing and communications tools for a broad and fascinating range of clients. She also happens to love antiques, having been exposed to them from an early age.