Miller & Miller’s May 14 online auction will feature works by Maud Lewis, Demetre Chiparus and Franz Xaver Bergman

Oil painting on Masonite board by renowned Canadian artist Maud Lewis (1901-1970), titled Black Truck (1967), measuring 11 inches by 14 inches (est. CA$30,000-$35,000).

Art Deco bronze sculpture by Romanian artist Demetre Chiparus (1886-1947), depicting a dancer with outstretched arms (est. CA$15,000-20,000).

Art Deco bronze sculpture by Romanian artist Demetre Chiparus (1886-1947), depicting a dancer with outstretched arms. 17 ¼ inches tall (estimated between CA$15,000 and $20,000).

“Naughty Bronze” cold painted by Franz X. Bergman (Austrian, 1861-1935), a Vienna bronze table lamp featuring an amorous couple in 18th-century costume (est. CA$9,000-$12,000).

Powder horn signed John Tansel (Kentucky, 1800-1872), carved with a federal eagle with armored chest (est. CA$15,000-$20,000).

Powder horn signed John Tansel (Kentucky, 1800-1872), carved Federal eagle with armored chest, arrows in one clawed foot, leafy vine in the other (est. CA$15,000-$20,000).

Watercolor and pencil on paper rendering of Princess Louisa at age 2, by Joseph Swift (Canadian, 1832-1889), c.1880 (est. CA$12,000-$15,000).

Watercolor and pencil on paper rendering of Princess Louisa at age 2, by Joseph Swift (Canadian, 1832-1889), c.1880, artist signed lower right (est. CA$12,000-$15,000).

Categories include art, fine pottery, furniture, bronzes, sculptures, folk art, textiles, fruit pots, silver, oil lamps and lighting. Lot 407 starts at 9 a.m.

This sale contains significant folk art. The rare Maud Lewis Black Truck painting was traded to its second owners in the 1970s for grilled cheese sandwiches and could set a record.

—Ethan Miller

NEW HAMBURG, ONTARIO, CANADA, April 29, 2022 / — Original oil paintings by a Canadian artist Maud Lewis (1901-1970), marvelous bronze creations by the Romanian sculptor Demetre Chiparus (1886-1947), and a group of “naughty bronzes” painted cold by the Austrian artist Franz Xavier Bergman (1861-1935) are just a few of the expected highlights from Miller & Miller Auctions, Ltd.’s online auction.

The auction is an exciting offering of freshly released Canadian antiques, showcased in folk and decorative art from the late 19th century to the 1970s, with selections from the Alan Emerson Collection. “Alan Emerson’s collection ranges from Canadiana to folk art to Pairpoint lamps,” said Ethan Miller of Miller & Miller Auctions, Ltd. “The quality, authenticity and variety make this a compelling sale. A total of 407 lots in total will be offered for auction.

The Canadiana category includes stoneware and pottery, fruit pots, furniture, oil lamps, business signs, quilts and folk art. “This sale contains significant folk art,” Miller said. “The rare Maud Lewis Black Truck painting was traded to its second owners in the 1970s for grilled cheese sandwiches and could set a record. Sold separately, three letters from Maud to John H. Kinnear, the artist to whom she gifted it in 1967. Black Truck is expected to fetch $30,000 to $35,000.

All estimates quoted in this report are in Canadian dollars.

Maud Lewis painted many different vehicles which were part of her life and inspired many of her automotive subjects. Black was his favorite color. The truck, less often seen, will undoubtedly fill a void for collections focused on this aspect. Black Truck, painted in 1967, is oil on Masonite board and measures 11 inches by 14 inches. It’s a spring painting, with the truck, daffodils, cherry blossoms and a house.

Also by Lewis, an oil painting on board titled Oxen Pulling Logs (1967), a snowy scene of a driver with oxen hauling logs with prominent evergreens in the background, 12 inches by 16 inches (est. $20,000 – $25,000). Wedged between the two paintings is lot 336, a group of letters from Ms. Lewis to Mr. Kinnear, dated 1966-1967 (est. $3,500-$5,000). Few of Mrs Lewis’s letters exist, and these offer a rare insight into her fascinating world.

Kinnear was the only artist to correspond with Maud Lewis from the time she rose to fame in the mid-1960s until her death in 1970. Kinnear would send the artist pre-primed masonite boards, brushes, and paintings requested. In return, Maud would send the finished paintings to Kinnear to sell and he would then pass the proceeds back to Maud in Marshalltown, her home. In this regard, John Kinnear acts as Maud’s agent in Ontario.

Two Art Deco sculptures by Demetre Chiparus are both chryselephantine bronzes representing dancers with outstretched arms. One is a rare cold-painted, bone-mounted (chryselephantine) figurative bronze from the early 20th century, 17 ¼ inches high (est. $15,000-$20,000). The other is a gilt bronze figure, mounted on bone, 23 ¾ inches high (estimated between $10,000 and $12,000). Both are signed “DH Chiparus – Made in France”. Chiparus lived in Paris.

Highlights of the decorative arts section include majolica art pottery, figurative silverware, Chicago School lamps, and the long-awaited Jack Reingold collection of cold-painted “naughty” bronzes. Several of these are by Franz Xaver Bergman, who signed several of his erotic works with the pseudonym “Nam Greb” (or simply “B”) in an attempt to appear anonymous to avoid possible civil conviction or penalties for obscenity. or immorality.

The “naughty” bronzes by Bergman presented for sale, all from the beginning of the 20th century and signed “Nam Greb”, are orientalist sculptures painted cold and patinated with gold. They include a Vienna bronze table lamp with an amorous couple in 18th century costume (est. $9,000-$12,000); a 14-inch exotic dancer (estimated between $4,000 and $6,000); a 13-inch-tall Chinese geisha (estimated at $4,000-$6,000); and a seated Buddha, measuring only 5 ½ inches (estimated between $3,500 and $5,000).

Mr. Miller remarked of Lot 261: “The John Tansel signed powder horn is Americana in all its glory. Carved of a Federal eagle with an armored chest, arrows in one clawed foot, and a leafy vine in the other, it is a three-dimensional log of Kentucky from the 1820s.” John was the eldest son of the famed carver from horns of Kentucky Francis Tansel, who served in the War of 1812. The 11½ inch long cow horn is signed “JT” on the side of the eagle (est. $15,000-$20,000).

In the furniture category, a circa 1860 pine schrank of knockdown construction typical of Maryhill, Waterloo County, Ontario, with a strongly formed cornice, 80 ¾ inches high by 66 ¾ inches wide, should reach $6,000 to $8,000; while a high-quality two-drawer Markham (Ontario) pine blanket box retaining its original bold worsted paint finish, circa 1840, 35 ½ inches high by 49 ¾ inches wide, is expected to fetch between 3,000 $ and $5,000.

There are two equestrian themed paintings in the sale. One is a watercolor and pencil on paper of Princess Louisa at age 2, by Joseph Swift (Canadian, 1832-1889). The work, circa 1880, is signed by the artist on the lower right (est. $12,000 to $15,000). The second is a 1900 oil on panel signed by JJ Kenyon (Canadian, 1862-1937), titled Western Wilkes – 4566 – McGregor & McCallum, Proprietors, Wallacetown, Ont. (est. $4,000 to $6,000).

A circa 1910 Tiffany Studios Apple Blossom table lamp with a Tiffany-marked mosaic glass shade on a weathered metal base (which is period correct, but not original in the shade) should cost between $8,000 and $12,000. Plus, a Circa 1910 Canadian Folk Art Circus Parade – an extensive menagerie including parade wagons, performers, animals, banners and Punch & Judy characters, plus fabric table decoration pieces , should cost between $4,000 and $6,000.

Internet bidding will be conducted via the Miller & Miller website (, as well as the popular online auction platform Telephone and correspondence bids will also be accepted. Major categories include advertising signs, advertising boxes, soda advertising, breweriana, petroliana (gas station collectibles), toys, clocks, general stores and tools.

Although this is an internet-only auction, with no in-person event to attend, bidders can tune into the live webcast on Saturday, May 14 to watch lots close in real time. Here is a link to the sale:

Miller & Miller Auctions, Ltd. is Canada’s trusted seller of high value collections and always accepts quality shipments. The company 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 unique piece, an estate or a collection, you can call them at (519) 573-3710; or, you can email them to [email protected] Learn more about Miller & Miller Auctions, Ltd. and the auction on May 14, please visit

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Ethan Miller
Miller & Miller Auctions, Ltd.
+1 519-573-3710
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