Painting By Canadian Artist Homer Watson Shines At Miller & Miller Auction

July 5, 2019

A stunning pair of Handel birds of paradise table lamps lit up the room for a combined $20,650, two rare clocks by the Canadian clockmaker Pequegnat together made $12,165, and an oil-on-canvas forest scene by Canadian artist Homer Watson rose to $8,625 at a sale of art, antiques and clocks held June 7 and 8 by Miller & Miller Auctions Ltd. The sale grossed just under $400,000. All prices quoted are in Canadian dollars. The Canadian dollar equals/converts to 76 cents U.S.
The auction was held online and in Miller & Miller’s gallery located at 59 Webster St. in New Hamburg, Ontario, Canada. Over 700 lots of collector-grade art, clocks, fountain pens, lamps, art glass and objects of historical interest sold. Day one was dedicated solely to rare, collectible fountain pens.
The second session was led by a collection of clocks from the Arthur Pequegnat Clock Company, plus other fine offerings. The top-selling Pequegnat was a rare “Nelson” tall case clock, one of only a few known ($8,625). The clock boasted a mahogany case, a beveled glass door and correct “twin dolphins” door key.
Another Pequegnat clock, this one a rare and vibrant “Black Grecian” shelf clock, featured fancy scroll work in the case surrounding the dial and had the early “pine cone” bezel. The clock, which brought $3,540, had been partially restored, with the case painted black with faux marble painted columns and plinths. The feet and bases retained their original finishes.
The Handel birds of paradise table lamps were two star lots, fetching $10,620 and $10,030. Both featured domical shades in “chipped” and “sand finished” glass and were decorated with two pairs each of exotic birds of paradise, one with blossoming peonies, the other blossoming branches. Both had striking colorful signed shades 17.75 inches in diameter.
The Watson (1855-1936) oil-on-canvas painting depicted a forest scene featuring a group of subjects gathered in a clearing. The 24-by-18.5-inch work (sight) was housed in the original frame and signed “Homer Watson” in lower left. The painting exhibited some craquelure (fine cracks to the surface), typical of Watson’s oil paintings.
“The auction overall went incredibly well,” said Ben Lennox of Miller & Miller. “It was a diverse offering covering a number of categories that can sometimes warrant their own dedicated sale. We were fortunate to attract outstanding consignments. Bidding was spirited on all fronts, with items being sold to the floor, on the phone, and via the three online platforms.”
“The majority of Pequegnat clocks fell within estimate, while a few blew past their high estimates. Prices realized for fountain pens on Friday were quite strong. Strength in the market continues on the high and middle market. We’re elated to be able to continue bringing sought-after antiques and collectibles to market while pleasing our consignors and buyers alike,” added Lennox.
A birdseye maple library cupboard made in the Eastern Townships of Ontario in the 1880s or 1890s, made of solid birdseye maple with paneled sides and pull-out ironing board, realized $4,025, while a horse statue plaster cast by the famed Woodstock, Ontario, sculptor Ross Butler (1907-95) for Dawes Black Horse Ale, 19 inches tall, went to a determined bidder for $4,888.
A National Model 3 cash register, the wooden inlaid model coveted by collectors, in original condition, as featured in the book “The Incorruptible Cashier,” went for $5,310. Also, a Baccarat close-packed millefiori paperweight, made in France and incorporating canes featuring various figures, to include a monkey, squirrel and birds, signed and dated “B 1847,” sold for $3,000.
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