Business

The legendary Vancouverabila collection will be auctioned

Mike Wagner, who was searching for an incredibly rare piece, died at the age of 84 at the end of last year. Part of his collection was put up for sale at Mad Picker’s online auction this week.

Article content

Mike Wagner was not a professor of history. But when it came to Vancouver and British Columbia souvenirs from the late 1800s and early 1900s, he was one of the experts.

Advertising 2

Article content

Most people look at the Silver Spring Brewery items in Wagner’s collection and think it was a stir bar for painters. But Wagner knew his true purpose. Cleaning up bubbles from the top of beer in a 1910s or 20s beer parlor.

He loved associating these mysterious fragments of history with those who were interested. He stepped back and tilted his head up, giving a lecture in his deep, vibrant voice, as Julius Caesar addressed in the Roman Senate.

“At shows (of antiques and collectibles), we always see people asking him about what they found and what they had,” said Don Stewart, a rare book dealer in Macleod’s books. .. “He was considered a dependable man for information. He was very serious and an authority.”

Wagner died of cancer on December 23 at the age of 84. On March 1st, part of his collection was put up for sale at Mad Picker’s online auction in Alder Grove.

Advertising 3

Article content

The Silver Spring Brewery Foam Scraper sells for $ 290, with an additional 28% tax and fees, with a final price of $ 373. This may sound daunting, but as auctioneer Wayne Really said, “Where have you seen it before?”

Mike Wagner's Silver Spring Brewery is promoting a beer foam scraper sold at the Mad Picker Auction on March 1st.
Mike Wagner’s Silver Spring Brewery is promoting a beer foam scraper sold at the Mad Picker Auction on March 1st. Photo by Arlen Redekop / /PNG

Wagner was known for finding very rare pieces, such as the Pocket Mirror, which was launched in the early 1900s as a promotional item for BC Hydro’s predecessor, BC Electric.

The full names for the blue, cream and orange items are British Columbia Electric Railway Company, Light and Power Division, and Vancouver Gas Ltd. “Electric light, heat, electric power” draws a curve around the company name at the top. , “Cooking with gas” at the bottom. It was sold at a “hammer price” of $ 180. This is $ 230 including fees.

Advertising 4

Article content

However, the main Wagner item for sale was the tin sign by lithograph of Alexandra Lager, the “Queen of the State Beer”. The beer was served by the Vancouver Brewery and named after Queen Alexandra, the wife of Edward VII, whose portrait is the centerpiece of the sign.

It dates back to 1901-1910, and it is believed that only one remains. Found in an interior miner’s hut and made from two damaged signs. Wagner combined the best of both worlds to create the perfect one.

“They didn’t catch fire because they used it around the stove pipe,” Wagner explained in a 2004 interview.

Queen Alexandra’s sign sold for $ 3,400, or $ 4,352 for a fee. The old brewery’s appealed to collectors like Wagner, who tend to be male and working class.

Advertising 5

Article content

“What did the men do in front of the radio and TV, in front of the car? They drank, gambled and smoked,” Wagner said in 2004.

However, it was a temporary advertising item, so it hardly survived. Museums and archives have also taken time to understand the value of such history. Collectors like Wagner helped save it.

Mike Wagner on the cover of the Fraser Valley Antiques and Collectibles Club newsletter The Holedown in 2017. Filmed at the club's annual three-day antique fair at Queens Park Arena in New Westminster. Courtesy Jason Vanderhill / FVACC
Mike Wagner on the cover of the Fraser Valley Antiques and Collectibles Club newsletter The Holedown in 2017. Filmed at the club’s annual three-day antique fair at Queens Park Arena in New Westminster. Courtesy Jason Vanderhill / FVACC

Wagner has been a longtime member of the Fraser Valley Antiques and Collectibles Club, which has approximately 150 members. It was born out of a “bottle digger” like Wagner, who digs old bottles and collectibles from old garbage dumps and property where historic buildings had collapsed.

“There were several sites that were going to be redeveloped, and we broke into them and dug bottles, thereby preserving history,” Stewart said.

Advertising 6

Article content

“But they were doing it illegally, and sometimes someone would make them mommy the police, they were threatened about their breach. But what they were trying to do was It was just a search for history before it was completely destroyed, because when those big excavators get in there, it’s over. “

Wagner was born in Germany and came to BC in his twenties. He is a private person, he has a girlfriend and a son, and little is known about his private life, except that he currently lives in England.

Leary said there will be more Wagner items at future auctions. This week’s Mad Picker Sale featured 1,352 items, many from local collectors who purchased another collection. Overall sales were $ 290,000, plus a commission.

“I specialize in human caves such as Automobilia and Coca-Cola signs,” said Really, who has been in the antique industry for over half a century. “The market was so strong thanks to COVID that I entered the online business.”

The market looks strong. The rare Orange Crush sold for $ 6,100 ($ 7,808 with a fee), and the restored Coca-Cola Bend 81 vending machine sold for $ 5,700 ($ 7,296 with a fee).

“There are so many people in the human cave,” Really said. “They are buying from this sale all over Canada.”

jmackie@postmedia.com

Mad Picker's Wayne Really has Mike Wagner's BC Electric Pocket Mirror auctioned on March 1st.
Mad Picker’s Wayne Really has Mike Wagner’s BC Electric Pocket Mirror auctioned on March 1st. Photo by Arlen Redekop / /PNG
The 1903-04 historic sign advertises Alexandra Lager, named after Edward VII's wife.
The 1903-04 historic sign advertises Alexandra Lager, named after Edward VII’s wife.
Mad Picker Wayne Really has an orange crash sign, the best-selling item at the March 1st auction. The hammer was priced at $ 6,100 and after the fee was $ 7,808.
Mad Picker Wayne Really has an orange crash sign, the best-selling item at the March 1st auction. The hammer was priced at $ 6,100 and after the fee was $ 7,808. Photo by Arlen Redekop / /PNG

    Advertisement 1

Comment Comment

Postmedia maintains a lively yet civic discussion forum and encourages all readers to share their views on our articles. Moderation can take up to an hour for comments to appear on your site. Comments are relevant and should be stored with respect. You have enabled email notifications. You will now receive an email when you receive a reply to a comment, when the comment thread you are following is updated, or when a user follows a comment. For more information and details on how to adjust your email settings, see Community Guidelines.

The legendary Vancouverabila collection will be auctioned

Source link The legendary Vancouverabila collection will be auctioned

Related Articles

Back to top button