MLA Auction 50 – Fall 2020 – Ginger Beers

Closed Sat Oct 31 at 6pm ET.

GB001 Robertson – Mt Forest
Minimum Bid: $1000
Range:$1500-2000
Sold: $5000

I am proud to say that in the nearly 20 years since I put out Transfer Printed Ginger Beers of Canada, very few unlisted bottles have turned up. It speaks to how thorough we were in tracking down and photographing every one we could find. This unlisted variant of the A. Robertson Mt Forest was discovered this past Summer. A solid cream large pint made by the Brantford Stoneware Company. All the previously known variants are two tone and English-made. When I got this bottle, it was missing the back half of the blob top. I had it professionally restored and the job is outstanding. The glaze is heavily crazed, typical of Brantford bottles. The restorer has got this perfectly matched. Single potstone front. Displays perfect. One of a kind.



GB002 Day – Belleville
Minimum Bid: $1000
Range:$1500-2000
Sold: Not

A rare solid cream H. Day Belleville made by the Brantford Potteries. One of two known examples. This one was beheaded and has had the entire top replaced. The job is incredibly good with the heavy crazing of the body perfectly matched. This is the second time I have sold this exact bottle and I have often shown it to collectors to illustrate how well a bottle can be professionally restored. Displays mint. This is the one pictured in the book.


GB003 Sproatt – Toronto CW
Minimum Bid: $1000
Range:$1500-2000
Sold: $1000

Henry Sproatt is first listed in 1837 as a carter, then grocer & provisions merchant. In 1848, he started advertising himself as a ginger beer maker. He operated until 1862. His bottles are some of Canada’s earliest and best. He used both glass and pottery bottles all of which are rare. We have sold a couple examples (maybe the only examples) of two gray stoneware primitives of his that were North American made. This quart size brown glazed example is English-made and early. Quite possibly the first stoneware Sproatt bottle. Extremely rare. When I published the book on Canadian primitives twenty years ago, I could not find one to photograph. Near mint condition with the thinest flake off the lip. 10″ tall.


GB004 Northern Springs – Toronto
Minimum Bid: $500
Range:$800-1000
Sold: $1000

The Northern Springs is one of Toronto’s rarest ginger beers. They were in business just two years, 1911-12. This example is dead mint. Original marked and matching stopper. Better than yours!


GB005 Joseph Cook – Port Perry
Minimum Bid: $300
Range:$400-600
Sold: $750

The Cook family were soda water and ginger beer makers in Port Perry from 1892-1927. Joseph Cook established the business and there are several primitive style bottles that bear his name. This little pint size bottle is the only one to feature a trademark shield, quite uncommon for this style of bottle. A rare bottle with only a handfull known. This one has a number of potstones which are clearly in-manufacturing. Otherwise excellent with its original bail and closure.


GB006 Christin – Ottawa
Minimum Bid: $300
Range:$400-600
Sold: $450

This two tone H. Christin is another style of Brantford Potteries-made bottle. I have always liked the exaggerated blob top on these. Heavy crazing and a bit of rust from burial. No chips or cracks. Virtually all the examples I have handled were badly damaged. A great example of this scarce Ottawa ginger beer.


GB007 Brydge & Perry – Kingston
Minimum Bid: $200
Range:$300-400
Sold: $650

A Brydge & Perry royal export brewed ginger beer from Kingston Ontario. Long flat flat off the top edge of the mouth. Otherwise excellent. A scarce ginger beer that is very hard to find in good condition.


GB008 Norton – Berlin
Minimum Bid: $200
Range:$300-400
Sold: $275

A C.H. Norton Berlin Ontario with great star trademark. Some ground wear and light stain from burial but no chips or cracks. Original marked and matching stopper.


GB009 Robertson – Mt Forest
Minimum Bid: $200
Range:$300-400
Sold: $220

A quart size A. Robertson from Mt. Forest Ontario. This is the scarce variant with blob top. Tiny bit of nibbling on the blob edge. Otherwise excellent. Super clean example of this one. Kennedy Glasgow mark.


GB010 Robertson – St Catharines
Minimum Bid: $200
Range:$300-400
Sold: $400

A scarce Thomas Robertson ginger beer from St. Catharines Ontario. Dead mint condition. Best possible example of this scarce bottle.


GB011 Carley – Windsor
Minimum Bid: $200
Range:$300-400
Sold: Not

A quart size E. Carley ginger beer from Windsor Ontario. Not marked but certainly made by the RCP Co of Akron Ohio. Heavy scrape front. Blurred transfer. No chips or cracks. A scarce bottle.


GB012 Shannon – Toronto
Minimum Bid: $200
Range:$300-400
Sold: $300

A pint size primitive from John Shannon Toronto. John Shannon ran the Beaver Soda Water Works from 1867 to 1870. Very unusual and iconic for its beaver pictoral stamp. Bottle made and marked by the Doulton Lambeth pottery in England. A great glaze with lots of character. Near mint with only minor imperfections.


GB013 Arnold – Seaforth
Minimum Bid: $150
Range:$200-300
Sold: Not

A scarce Frank Arnold ginger beer from Seaforth Ontario. Heavy 1/2″ base edge chip rear. Otherwise excellent. Marked and matching stopper.


GB014 Dodds – Seaforth
Minimum Bid: $150
Range:$200-300
Sold: $200

A John Dodds ginger beer from Seaforth Ontario. Couple of base imperfections but otherwise excellent condition. Marked and matching stopper.


GB015 Tune Bottling – Stratford
Minimum Bid: $150
Range:$200-300
Sold: $150

A Tune Bottling Co ginger beer from Stratford Ontario. Near mint with a couple of minor base edge separation marks. Original bail and stopper. Stopper is very faintly marked. Munderloh Montreal mark. A real nice example of this one.


GB016 Laurie – Perth
Minimum Bid: $150
Range:$200-300
Sold: Not

There are a number of variants of the J. Laurie old English ginger beer from Perth Ontario. This one has a double line for the inner circle and small stars to either side of the transfer. Munderloh Montreal mark. Near mint with one tiny stopper hole flake.


GB017 Laurie – Perth
Minimum Bid: $100
Range:$150-200
Sold: $100

This J. Laurie Perth has a single line to the inner circle, heavier stars, and no maker’s mark. 4″ hairline rear that is incredibly faint. Otherwise super clean and strongly transferred. Note the differences from the preceeding lot.


GB018 Menzies – Pembroke
Minimum Bid: $150
Range:$200-300
Sold: $700

A quart size primitive from Robert Menzies who ran a confectionary in Pembroke Ontario. An unusual primitive for the disk-like mouth. Thin line of stain down the left size and one potstone. Minor stuff. A great example of this scarce Eastern Ontario primitive. 9 1/4″ tall.


GB019 Starr Brothers – Brockville
Minimum Bid: $150
Range:$200-300
Sold: $170

A pint size primitive from the Starr Brothers Brockville. George & Henry Starr took over operation of their father’s business in 1860. Together they operated the Starr Brothers Steam Works, a confectionary business that included the brewing of ginger beer. While these pint sized bottles are not rare, they are tough to find in good condition. This one is excellent. A bit of stain and one rust spot from burial, but otherwise excellent. A little bottle standing just 6 3/8″ tall.


GB020 Frisco – Montreal
Minimum Bid: $100
Range:$150-200
Sold: $550

The Frisco Soda Water Co ginger beer from Montreal has alwas been one of my favourite Quebec bottles. Likely Medalta Potteries-made and unsual for its square collar mouth and dark brown top. 5″ hairline down the left side. Otherwise excellent.


GB021 Tune & Son – London
Minimum Bid: $100
Range:$150-200
Sold: 100

A J. Tune & Son from London Ontario. Restored top. Otherwise excellent. Super clean and strong transfer. Original marked and matching stopper.


GB022 McLaughlin Ginger Shandy
Minimum Bid: $100
Range:$150-200
Sold: Not

A J.J. McLaughlin ginger shandy marked for both Toronto and Edmonton plants. Unusual for having a blue top. Professional restoration to the top that is of high quality. Otherwise excellent. Displays perfectly.



GB023 Thompson & Findlay – Glen Williams
Minimum Bid: $100
Range:$150-200
Sold: Not

This lot includes both variants of the Thompson & Findlay ginger beer. The left one still has “English” on it. Heavily cracked. Original T&F marked and matching stopper. The right one has “English” ground off, which is how most are found. Mint condition, other than the obvious grinding. Stopper for Thompson & Wilson Glen Williams.



GB024 Sutherland – Hamilton
Minimum Bid: $100
Range:$150-200
Sold: $110

A thin pint size Sutherland’s stone ginger beer from Hamilton Ontario. One of the few Ontario ginger beers with a blue transfer. Near mint conditon. Buchan Portobello mark.


GB025 Day – Belleville
Minimum Bid: $100
Range:$150-200
Sold: $160

A Harry Day’s old time brewed ginger beer from Belleville Ontario. Near mint condition. Marked and matching stopper. Price Bristol.


GB026 Hutchinson – St Thomas
Minimum Bid: $75
Range:$100-150
Sold: $75

A T.H. Hutchinson from St Thomas Ontario. 6″ crack at rear. Displays perfect.


GB027 Toronto Pair
Minimum Bid: $100
Range:$150-200
Sold: $230

A pair of Toronto ginger beers. The Howel’s stone ginger beer has a professionally restored top of high quality. Displays perfectly. The Salisbury Ginger Beer Company is a beautiful mint example with a nicely textured shoulder.


GB028 Thompson Kingston Pair
Minimum Bid: $100
Range:$150-200
Sold: $210

A pair of ginger beers from James Thompson Kingston Ontario. The left one is a scarce variant with the rounded shoulder and long neck. Near mint with just minor imperfections. The right one is the common style with blue transfer. Restoration to the top but otherwise excellent.


GB029 Wilson Toronto Pair
Minimum Bid: $100
Range:$150-200
Sold: $150

A pair of crown top two tone Charles Wilson ginger beers from Toronto. Both have repaired tops, as nearly all of this style do. The larger pint on the right has a heavy touch mark on the right side.


GB030 Wilson – Toronto
Minimum Bid: $75
Range:$100-150
Sold: $200

A pint size Charles Wilson ginger beer from Toronto. This is the variant with a highly detailed squirrel trademark. A few scuffs and scrapes but no damage. Original closure with a strongly marked stopper.


GB031 Wilson Toronto Pair
Minimum Bid: $75
Range:$100-150
Sold: $150

A pair of Charles Wilson ginger beers from Toronto. The left one is the standard small blob pint. Mint condition. The right one is known as the pointy ear variant and has a larger blob top. Some fine hairline cracking and a single flake off the shoulder front.


GB032 Thompson Hamilton Pair
Minimum Bid: $100
Range:$150-200
Sold: $110

A pair of John Thompson’s Kickley brewed ginger beers illustrating the two main variants. The left one has a single line around the outer circle. Writing at centre is larger. The right one has the double line around the outer circle and smaller writing at centre. Kennedy Glasgow mark. Both are near mint with marked and matching stoppers.


GB033 Hamilton Threesome
Minimum Bid: $100
Range:$150-200
Sold: $100

Three ginger beers from Hamilton Ontario. The Pilgrim Brothers left has some heavy scraping down the left side, but is otherwise good. The Cummer & Son is mint with its original marked and matching stopper. The pint size two tone Domininon Soda Water has a large chip off the base edge and a 1″ hairline in the lip.


GB034 Port Hope Pair
Minimum Bid: $100
Range:$150-200
Sold: $80

A pair of ginger beers from Port Hope Ontario. The Itheel Walter was made by the Medalta Potteries. Mint condition. The Crown Bottling Works is a Kennedy Glasgow bottle. Mint with its original marked and matching stopper.


GB035 Toronto Threesome
Minimum Bid: $100
Range:$150-200
Sold: $160

A lot of three Toronto ginger beers. The Clark Brothers has a few nibbles out of the blob edge, but is otherwise excellent. The John Verner is a beautiful near mint example. The tan coloured William Robertson is near mint. A great little threesome.


GB036 Ontario Pair
Minimum Bid: $75
Range:$100-150
Sold: $210

A pair of Ontario ginger beers. The Charles Horsman from Campbellford Ontario is near mint. The Alexander Walker from Orangeville Ontario has a heavy crack rear. Displays well. Original marked and matching stopper. Both Kennedy Glasgow marked.


GB037 Toronto Pair
Minimum Bid: $50
Range:$75-100
Sold: Not

A pair of Toronto ginger beers in an unusual style. The Toronto Pure is mint. The L.A. Kirkland has a 1″ base edge chip right side and a scrape shoulder front.


GB038 Ontario Pair
Minimum Bid: $75
Range:$100-150
Sold: $80

A pair of Ontario ginger beers. The Thompson & Wilson from Glen Williams is near mint with minor imperfections. Marked and matching top. The solid cream W. Robertson from Toronto is near mint with a single base separation mark.