Saturday, April 6, 2024

Miller & Miller's March 23-24 Online Auction Featured Railroad Collectibles, Architectural Items, Bottles, Pottery, more

New Hamburg, Ontario, Canada, April 5, 2024 -- The 1914 brass shipbuilder’s plate #41 for Collingwood Shipbuilding Company for the S.S. Pelee sold for $15,340, and Canadian National Locomotive plates #6057 and #4006 brought $14,160 and 11,210, respectively, in the online-only auction of the William Robert Wilson collection held March 23rd and 24th by Miller & Miller Auctions, Ltd.

Part 1, on March 23rd, featured 451 lots of railroad collectibles, bottles, pottery, stoneware and architectural items. Part 2, on March 24th, had 511 lots of additional railroad and architectural items, plus nautical and marine lots. The auction was officially titled Advertising, Railroadiana & Historic Objects / The William Robert William Collection (Parts 1-2). It grossed $554,453.

All prices quoted are in Canadian dollars and include an 18 percent buyer’s premium.

The cast brass Collingwood Shipbuilding Company, Ltd. (Canadian) 1914 builder's Plate #41 had a modest $500-$800 estimate, but bidders knew better. Collingwood was commissioned by the Pelee Island Steamship Company of Amherstburg to build a reliable freight and passenger steamer. This plate would have been on the S.S. Pelee to show who the builder was.

The brass Canadian National Locomotive Number plate #6057 was for a Class U-1-e train built by Montreal Locomotive Works in 1930 and scrapped in 1960. The famous locomotive was used on a leg of the Royal Train trip in 1939, from Kamloops to Jasper. Included in the lot was a framed copy of Canadian National Magazine, with a cover relevant to the plate.

The brass Canadian National Locomotive plate #4006 was for a Class T-1-a Santa Fe 212 type locomotive, built by an American locomotive company at the Brooks plant in 1916 and scrapped in 1960. The boiler was built by Montreal Locomotive Works. The plate, which measured 10 ¾ inches by 16 ¼ inches, easily blew past its $1,500-$2,000 pre-sale estimate.

Following are additional highlights from the auction, one in which nearly all lots sold both days and 64 percent of the top 50 lots per day exceeded estimates. On March 23rd, 454 users registered to bid, placing a combined 7,173 bids. On March 25th, 323 users placed a combined 8,695 bids. Internet bidding was via the Miller & Miller website and

One of the sleepers of the sale was a cast brass English Electric Company locomotive builder’s plate #4006 (Canadian, 1924). The train was removed from service in Pointe St. Charles in 1973. The plate bested its $200-$300 estimate by bringing $6,490. Also, a Canadian 1930s-era McAvity Canadian National Railroad six-chime steam whistle, painted cast metal, 21 inches by 8 inches by 7 inches, embossed “Standard CNR World McAvity” on the body, finished at $5,310.

A Kuntz Park Brewery (Waterloo, Ontario factory) lithograph from the early 1900s, matted and professionally framed, marked, "Grip Engravers Toronto" to the lower right corner and measuring 27 ¼ inches by 20 inches (sight, minus the frame), sold within estimate for $4,425.

A rare two-gallon salt-glazed jug for Charles Heath Druggist in Kingston, Upper Canada, more than doubled its $2,000 high estimate by selling for $4,425. The very early and desirable Upper Canada ovoid jug was made in the 1830s. Charles Heath’s business was located on Store Street (later renamed Princess Street), the main thoroughfare in Kingston. The jug was 14 inches tall.

An all-brass Canadian Pacific Locomotive plate #536 from a 460 10-wheeler Class D-6-b train built by North British Locomotive Company, Glasgow Scotland in 1903 and scrapped in 1953, changed hands for $4,130, which was about as expected. The plate, later repainted, was marked, "66L549" to the lower quarter of the rear, and measured 8 ¼ inches by 17 inches.

A Canadian Pacific Express single-sided porcelain railway station sign from the 1930s, 12 inches by 96 inches, with the original mounting brackets, fetched $4,130. Also, an Eaton's College Street department store sign (Canadian, 1930s), brass mounted on wood, 19 ¼ inches by 16 inches and polished, gaveled for $3,540. Eaton, originally known as "Eaton's College Street", operated from 1930-1977. The building is now considered an Art Deco landmark.

To watch a YouTube wrap-up video of the auction, click this link:

Next up for Miller & Miller Auctions, Ltd. is an online-only Advertising, Canadiana & Historic Objects auction slated for Saturday, April 13th. Watch the website for more details. To learn more about Miller & Miller Auctions, Ltd. and the calendar of upcoming events, visit

About Miller & Miller Auctions, Ltd.:
Miller & Miller Auctions, Ltd. 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, you can e-mail them at To learn more, visit