Miller & Miller will Present Parts 1 and 2 of A Major Advertising, Railroadiana & Historic Objects Auction, March 23-24

New Hamburg, Ontario, Canada, March 9, 2024 -- A two-day, online-only auction comprising Parts 1 and 2 of the William Robert Wilson single-owner lifetime collection of Advertising, Railroadiana & Historic Objects is planned for Saturday and Sunday, March 23rd and 24th, by Miller & Miller Auctions, Ltd., based in New Hamburg, Ontario. Start times both days will be 9 am Eastern time.

Part 1, on Saturday, March 23rd, will contain 451 lots of railroad collectibles, bottles, pottery, stoneware and architectural items. Part 2, the next day, will feature 511 lots of additional railroad and architectural items, plus nautical and marine lots. There will be no live bidding, but bidders can tune in to the live webcast on to watch lots close in real time.

“Bill Wilson curated one of Canada’s best collections of railroadiana to ever hit the market,” said Ethan Miller of Miller & Miller Auctions, Ltd. “Nothing was held back, and collectors are stirring. Until now, only his closest friends knew what he had. Bill’s passion was railroad, but any object rich with historical meaning had a place in his collection. Session one on Saturday, focuses on breweriana, stoneware, general store signage and unique historic maker’s plaques.”

Mr. Miller continued, “Session two features Bill’s railroad spoils. It includes the most extensive collection of locomotive number plates ever offered at a single time. Each number plate is unique and is often the only remaining thread of a locomotive’s identity. This session also includes an extensive offering of railroad builder’s plates, railroad silver and china, station signs, lanterns, locks and bells. Other categories include stream gauges and steam whistles, nautical bells and whistles, machinery, bridge builder’s plates, and more. This is a historic, single-collector sale.”

Lot #767, on Day 2, is a brass Canadian National Locomotive number plate (6057), an 11 inch by 16 ¾ inch Mountain type plate from a famous locomotive built by the Montreal Motor Works in 1930. It traveled from Kamloops to Jasper on a Royal Train Ride in 1939. Included is a copy of Canadian National Magazine, with a cover relevant to the plate (est. $3,000-$5,000).

All estimates in this report are in Canadian dollars.

Continuing with a few of the Day 2 expected top performers is lot #462, a Canadian Northern Express double-sided porcelain flange sign from the 1910s, very rare, measuring 14 inches by 26 ¼ inches and marked, “Acton Burrows Co. Toronto” to the lower edge on both sides (est. $2,000-$3,000).

Lot #811 is a Grand Trunk Railway locomotive bell, 13 inches tall and 17 inches in diameter, made in Canada in the 1920s and marked “GTR” in casting on the hanger. The bronze bell is mounted to a cast iron harp and hardware and the hardware features older, “in-service” paint (est. $2,000-$3,000).

Lot #638 is a Canadian 1930s-era McAvity Canadian National Railroad six-chime steam whistle made from painted cast metal, 21 inches by 8 inches by 7 inches, embossed “Standard CNR World McAvity” on the body and showing older, “in-service” paint (est. $1,200-$1,500).

Day 1 will be highlighted by lot #185, a Canadian double-sided porcelain RCA Victor Globetrotter radio sign from the 1940s, measuring 20 inches by 30 inches. One side shows a pea-sized factory flaw below the left side hanging hole, and there are some scattered minor surface scratches. Still, the sign should bring $3,000-$5,000.

Lot #74 is Canadian Pacific Locomotive number plate #815, made in Canada in the 1940s. The cast iron frame with brass numbers is 8 ¾ inches by 17 ¼ inches. The locomotive was built by the Montreal Locomotive Works in 1908 and later repainted. It was scrapped in 1960 and was one of three that powered the “triple-header” from Toronto to Orangeville in 1960 (est. $2,000-$3,000).

Lot #289 is a lithographed paper in a frame depicting the Greater Northern Navigation Company Great Lakes Route Huronic, measuring 24 ¾ inches by 38 inches (sight, less frame). The litho, from the 1900s, is marked “Toronto Litho Co. Ltd.” and signed by the illustration artist, “A. H. Hider”, at the bottom left edge of the image. The work is nicely matted (est. $2,000-$3,000).

Lot #272 is a rare two-gallon salt-glazed jug for Charles Heath Druggist in Kingston, Upper Canada. 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 14-inch-tall jug was professionally restored (est. $1,500-$2,000).

Internet bidding will be through, plus the popular bidding platform Here is a link to the Part 1 auction, on Saturday, March 23rd: Here is a link to the Part 2 auction, on Sunday, March 24th:

In-gallery previews will be held Wednesday thru Friday, March 20th-22nd, from 12 noon until 5 pm each day in the Miller & Miller showroom, at 59 Webster Street in New Hamburg, Ontario.

To learn more about Miller & Miller Auctions, Ltd. and the auctions on March 23rd & 24th, 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 about Miller & Miller Auctions, Ltd., please visit

Media Contact:
Ethan Miller
Miller & Miller Auctions, Ltd.
59 Webster Street 
New Hamburg, Ont., CD N3A 1W8