Portraits Page 4 Great Canadian Antiques
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Commemorating People 2 - Great Canadian Non-Ceramics - 1820-1920 - 5

1 2 3 4 5 6
Victorian and Edwardian Canadians commemorated their cultural, political, and military heroes, in a stunning variety of ways, using every material at hand, and trying to hook everything up towards some utilitarian purpose, if at all possible.

We showcase the variety in non-ceramic items below, roughly in chronological order, usually picking one example, only, to stand in for all the others that were made.

Commemoratives "put to use" have long ago been broken, defaced, and been simply discarded.

Luckily, far-seeing collectors have preserved some to give us a "window on the past" of the kinds of people that mattered to Canadians over a century ago.

"Canadian" - The vast majority of these items were not manufactured in Canada, but were imported and used in Canadian Victorian and Edwardian homes.

They were verily, the object of "Canadian passion." Because remaining Canadian examples are often degraded or unobtainable we've sought them out elsewhere so that the story could be told.

On their own dedicated pages are the bewildering variety of Canadian military portraits and ceramic commemoratives.

Go to Great Canadian Military Portrait Gallery
Go to Great Canadian Commemorative Ceramics

Great Canadian Heritage Treasure

Breath Mint Dispenser, Prince Albert's - c 1869
Orig. tin - Size - 5 cm
Found - Niagara-on-the-Lake, ON
A tiny breath mint dispenser with a sliding lever to allow one tablet to come out at once.

An early memorabilia item featuring Queen Victoria's husband, who died in 1861.

Great Canadian Heritage Treasure

Bronze Bust, Queen Victoria, Hamilton MacCarthy - 1897
Orig. bronze bust - Size - 46 cm, wt 11.8 kg
Found - Shakespeare, ON
Signed H MacCarthy RCA, Sculptor, 1897
The most stunning memorabilia item, for household use, of the Victorian Age, we've seen, is this phenomenal bronze bust by Canada's top sculptor of Boer War monuments.

Go to Hamilton MacCarthy
Great Canadian Heritage Treasure

Marble Bust, Queen Victoria - 1897
Orig. marble - Size - Bigger than life-size
Found - Toronto, ON
For institutional use only, people memorabilia was made over-size, and of more durable materials.

This phenomenal bust, sculpted from a block of marble, once was in the Argus Corp headquarters at 1 Toronto Street - where she watched disapprovingly as Conrad Black stealthily carried boxes past her - oops, and a video camera - full of evidence of millions he stole from shareholders...

In this exact same corner of the auction house, an oil portrait of Conrad's father was ignominiously auctioned off among the other starving artist art, by the receivers, to try to get some of the looted money back, for which Conrad got some slap-on-the-wrist jail time...

With its huge marble plinth it must weigh 1,000 pounds. It was bought at auction by an auctioneer who will donate it to a museum. Nobody else would buy it... However fine, it's just too damn heavy and huge.

So even for the most passionate collector, it's either the wife, or this thing... Hmmmh...

Great Canadian Heritage Treasure

Boer War Bronze Monument, Hamilton MacCarthy, Brantford, ON - 1905
Orig. bronze - Size - Bigger than life-size
Found - Brantford, ON
For public use, memorabilia of important people can be found in public spaces all over Canada.

This fabulous bronze by Hamilton MacCarthy has guarded the front of the Armouries in downtown Brantford for over 100 years.

Go to the Story Behind this Bronze

Go to Hit me with Bronze Statues

Great Canadian Heritage Treasure

Hand-coloured Lithograph, Thayendanegea, Joseph Brant - 1848
Orig. hand-coloured lithograph 1848 - Size - 18 x 26 cm
Found - New York, NY
Pub. McKenney & Hall, 1848 octavo

Joseph Brant was already dead in 1838 when this image was compiled by Catlin and others for the spectacular series of famous Indian chief launched that year.
Great Canadian Heritage Treasure

The Death of Tecumseh, Battle of the Thames, Oct 18, 1813 - N Currier, 1846
Orig. hand painted lithograph - Image Size - 23 x 32 cm
Found - Toronto, ON
The George Harlan Estate Coll
The earliest commemoratives of people that were made were of paper, because it was relatively easy to do, easy to ship, cheap to make and could be tacked up anywhere.

The McKenney & Hall Indian Chiefs, including Canadian ones, were a landmark publication, starting in 1838, as hand painted lithographs and were issued in large quarto or small octavo sizes. They are spectacular.

Go to McKenney & Hall 1839

Currier and Ives started about the same time and soon became the pre-eminent publisher of commemorative and pictorial prints in the US and Canada. The Death of Tecumseh was a very popular seller at a time when most whites agreed that "The Only Good Indian is a Dead Indian."

Go to Currier & Ives 1846
Great Canadian Heritage Treasure A fabulous brass trivet from the Civil War, dated 1861-62, featuring a Confederate States of America general and showing the wear and grunge from 150 years of use.

You wish... Trouble is its a fake, a repro from the 1950s. Better bone up on your fakes before you spend big money on things that look genuine and aren't...

Go to The Fakes Pages

Brass Trivet, Confederate States of America - dated 1861-1862
Orig. brass - Size - 13 cm
Found - London, ON

Great Canadian Heritage Treasure
Leaders of the Sudan Campaign - 1885
Orig. chromolithographs - Image Size - 41 x 57 cm
Found - Hamilton, ON
Most commemorative prints in the 19th century featured military leaders and battles. As hand coloured lithographs - like Currier & Ives and McKenney & Hall gave way to chromolithographs like these two, prints became truly spectacular.

These two are the finest of the type we've ever seen.

Go to Commemorating Gordon
Great Canadian Heritage Treasure

Heroes of the Sudan - 1885
Orig. chromolithographs - Image Size - 41 x 57 cm
Found - Hamilton, ON
These two fabulous chromolithographs were from a Canadian attic where they were stored for decades. They celebrate the heroes of the Sudan campaign in 1885, when Canadian boatmen were hired to row the British army up the Nile to rescue General Gordon from the clutches of "Muslim fanatics," who for some reason, were passionate to defend their homeland from foreign invaders from half way around the globe.
Go to Military Heroes

So, who's the Hero?

Great Canadian Heritage Treasure

Barrel Cover, Sleepy Eye Flour Mills - c 1890
Orig. chromolithograph - Size - 41 cm
Found - Rockway, ON
Not a fake repro, like most of the advertising stuff out there, posing as real antiques. Better bone up on how to tell a chromolithograph like this from a modern repro. Early advertising was done with high end chromolithography that was far superior to the later reproduction colour processes used today.

Go to Genuine Chromolithographs
Great Canadian Heritage Treasure

Patriotic Clock, Spanish-American War - 1899
Orig. clock - Size - 28 cm
Found - Milton, ON
Patriotic clocks were the rage in the late 1900s.This one is dated 1899.
Go to Clocks
Great Canadian Heritage Treasure

Tankard , World Champion Sculler, Ned Hanlan - 1880
Orig. glass tankard - Size - 11 cm
Found - London, UK

A fabulous glass tankard of when Toronto's Ned Hanlan won the world sculling championship on the Thames River against Australian Edward Trickett, before a crowd of 100,000 onlookers. It was the first individual sports championship ever won by a Canadian.
Great Canadian Heritage Treasure

Spooner, Queen Victoria - 1887
Orig. glass - Size - 12 cm
Found - Burlington, ON
Emblazoned with dual portraits of Victoria in 1837 and 1887, and holding fabulously rare Canadian militia spoons from the Oxford Rifles from c 1865.

Great Canadian Heritage Treasure

Glass Compote, Marquis of Lorne, Arriving in Halifax - 1878
Orig. glass - Size - 21 cm
Found - Rockway, ON

A fabulous covered glass compote - to hold nuts, fruit, or candy - issued to commemorate the arrival in Halifax, Nova Scotia, of Queen Victoria's daughter Princess Louise, and her husband, the Marquis of Lorne, as the new Governor-General, the representative of the Queen in Canada and the Head of State.
Great Canadian Heritage Treasure

Wool Embroidery, Queen Victoria - Annie Rogers, 1872
Orig. wool embroidery - Size - 61 x 71 cm
Found - St. Thomas, ON

One of the finest Canadian memorabilia items has got to be this stunning embroidery, made by 14 year-old Annie Rogers, of St. Thomas, Ontario in 1872.

Except for the face, bosom, and the background around her head, which is painted, everything is made up of hundreds of individually embroidered threads of coloured wool.

The embroidery is a carbon copy of an oil painting of Queen Victoria at the time which Annie saw and used as a template for her spectacular piece of work.

Go to Annie Rogers
Great Canadian Heritage Treasure They turned out to play major roles in establishing some sort of cultural standards in a country made up mostly of "wild" Indians, fishermen, farmers, lumbermen, and sod busters.

And just like the modern royals, they had a very interesting and varied love life.

Go to Princess Louise's Lover

Butter Dish, Marquis of Lorne & Princess Louise Arriving in Halifax - 1878
Orig. glass - Image Size - 23 cm
Found - Rockway, ON
Great Canadian Heritage Treasure

Folk Art Commemorative Portrait, Tom Cross - c 1885
Orig. wc - Image Size - 23 x 31 cm
Found - Toronto, ON

A very fine commemorative, an original watercolour in a period frame and glass of a local character in Hamilton, Ontario at the time of Confederation. He died in a drowning accident and a friend painted him so he would not be forgotten.

Go to Poor Tom Cross
Great Canadian Heritage Treasure

Folk Art - US General Phil Sheridan - c 1883
Orig. oil on wood - Image Size - 49 x 47 cm oa
Found - Toronto, ON

A fabulous folk art painting, oil on thick wooden board, of famous US General Phil Sheridan, surrounded by sea shells.

He was Commander-in-Chief of the US Army from 1883-1888, when he died. An admirer with some painting skills, who may have served with him in the Civil War or during the Indian Wars out west, chose to commemorate him with this fabulous folk art painting.

Go to Little Phil Sheridan
Great Canadian Heritage Treasure

Birthday Invitation, Capt. Grahame - 1885
Orig. card - Size , opened up - 22 x 24 cm
Found - Thornton, ON
Printed Rolph & Smith, Toronto

The earliest birthday invitation we've seen, to the shindig celebrating Captain Graham's 50th, just west of downtown Winnipeg.

He had an amazing record of service in battles of the British Empire, all listed on the card.

Many of Britain's soldiers settled in Canada after leaving the service, in the early and middle 1800s.

Go to Birthday Card
Great Canadian Heritage Treasure

Political Silk, Wilfrid Laurier - 1895
Orig. silk - Size - 5 x 15 cm
Found - Cambridge, ON

A very rare political silk commemorating a Liberal Party rally in Woodstock, Ontario, leading to the election, in 1896, of the first French-Canadian Prime Minister in history.

Go to Great Silks
Great Canadian Heritage Treasure A fabulous Canadian double-sided advertising tin for Dargai cigars which were manufactured for George Kelly & Co. in London, Ontario.

Dargai had been a huge battle in Pakistan, where the Highlanders stormed the heights, as Piper Findlater, though grievously shot up, continued to play during the assault.

He became a huge hero on his return to London.

Go to Dargai Sheet Music

Go to Holloway's Dargai


Advertising Tin, Dargai Cigar, London, Ontario - c 1898
Orig. tin - Image Size - 17 x 25 cm
Found - Aberfoyle, ON
Great Canadian Heritage Treasure

Iron Plaque, Prime Minister John A Macdonald - c 1880
Orig. iron casting - Size - 7 x 10 cm
Found - Napanee, ON

The finest "folk" commemorative of Canada's first prime minister that we've seen. Painted on cast iron, it was cheap so everyone could afford one.

Go to All About John A
Great Canadian Heritage Treasure

Brass Plaque, Queen Victoria - 1897
Orig. brass plaque - Size - 44 cm
Found - Rockway, ON

Outstandingly huge, and ostentatious, in any place it is displayed, is this fabulous stamped brass commemorative which is a full 44 cm wide.

The back is all splotchy with old brazing residue on the hanger, and whitish brasso stains from sloppy children who once were charged with keeping this shining, over a hundred years ago.

Go to Pin Trays
Great Canadian Heritage Treasure

Political Poster, Prime Minister John A Macdonald - 1891
Orig. chromolithograph poster - Size - 56 x 87 cm
Found - Montreal, PQ

A fabulous political poster from John A's last election fight, showing what always works when an incumbent is tired, has no new ideas, and the population sees no worthwhile alternative on the horizon.

This old chestnut remains Stephen Harper's winning domestic strategy in 2011; it has worked for five years, in a minority no less.

For foreign policy, since Canada has no imperialist bloodletting legacy of its own, Harper just follows his six-gun sidekick, drone mad heroes in the US Right.

Go to More Fabulous Chromolithographs
Great Canadian Heritage Treasure

Buggy Blanket, Admiral Dewey - 1898
Orig. buggy blanket - Size - 1.25 x 1.42 m
Found - Jensen Beach, FL

A rare souvenir from the age when the horse and buggy was the main means of transport for everyone, and no one would think of going out, in colder weather, without their buggy blanket. It was another way to display your patriotic support for your country's leaders.

The Beginning of a Bad Idea - This tribute is to US Admiral Dewey who annihilated the Spanish Fleet at Manila Bay, in the Philippines, in 1898, during the short Spanish-American War. which can be said to mark the end of US isolation from world politics.

It also marked the beginning of the Age of American Imperialism, when the US would obliterate anyone, who dared interfere with global US economic, political and military hegemony. This was years before Clint Eastwood and John Wayne popularized this philosophy of "just shooting anyone they found disagreeable."

It was ushered in by Teddy Roosevelt's "big stick," which endures and expanded in the 21st century with Obama's hundreds of drone attacks, ramped up troop deployments, and God-awful human carnage of women, children, and men, in whichever helpless Muslim state the American President chooses to target next.

Clearly the anger is growing enormously among the 1.5 billion Muslims in the world.

And Canadian Prime Minister Harper, who has killed more Muslim women, children, and men, than any Canadian of any kind in History, after joining the American war against the Muslims in Afghanistan, has been successful, in historic proportions, at turning Muslim anger at Canadians.

Go to Fabulous Tapestries
Great Canadian Heritage Treasure

Doorstop, Lord Roberts - 1900
Orig. brass doorstop - Size - 25 cm
Found - Cambridge, UK

A highly coveted brass doorstop of Lord Roberts dating from his famous March to Pretoria in 1900.

At a time the only air conditioning was mother nature, with open doors providing important air circulation for home and office, doorstops were as necessary as paperweights, to keep the papers from blowing away in the ensuing gusts...

It dates from a time when the British, not the Americans, were seen as the Imperial terrorists around the world.

To get the war they wanted against the backward, sleepy Boer Republics in South Africa they created their own fake "weapons of mass destruction" scenario in the media, for a cassus belli. But unlike the American corporate calumnists, who were after access to cheap oil, the British plotters were after the gold that had been discovered under the Boer farmlands.

Canadians would send their first ever military force to fight in an overseas war for Queen and Country, not gold thank you...

Go to the Dead Horse
Great Canadian Heritage Treasure

Trivet, Lord Roberts - 1900
Orig. brass trivet - Size - 22 cm
Found - Niagara-on-the-Lake, ON
This fabulous trivet remains, after over a decade of sleuthing the worldwide antique market, the finest memorabilia trivet we've ever seen - make that the finest trivet.

It summarized Lord Roberts' victories of 1900: capture of the two Boer capitals, Bloemfontein and Pretoria, and the lifting of two sieges, Mafeking and Ladysmith. In spite of it all, because the Boers wouldn't fight fair, fighting wars the traditional way, was all a waste of time; the war went on for two more years, with guerrilla warfare.

It was used in a Canadian household as it came from the estate of a long-time Niagara Peninsula antique collector.

Go to Trivet
Great Canadian Heritage Treasure

Brass Candlesticks, Boer War Soldiers - 1900
Orig. bronze - Size - 23 cm; wt - ea 1.1kg
Found - Miami, FL

Anonymous Tommy Atkins figures of all kinds were produced, including these fabulous heavy and high end brass candlesticks. The uncomplaining, long suffering British foot soldier who got little pay, and often an early death in a foreign field, was a hero in poetry, song, and memorabilia.

Go to Candlesticks to Die For
Great Canadian Heritage Treasure

Brass Trivets, A Gentleman in Kharki - 1900
Orig. brass - Size - 17 & 22 cm
Found - Newport & London, UK

The "Gentleman" was taken from a Rudyard Kipling poem celebrating the underappreciated British foot soldier.

Go to A Gentleman in Kharki
Great Canadian Heritage Treasure

Flag, Lord Roberts - 1900
Orig. cotton flag - Size - 52 x 65 cm
Found - Bristol, UK

Go to Flag Crazy
A fabulous flag of the British Empire's most popular and successful general. It could be draped over the back of a sofa, framed and hung on the wall, or tacked with nails to a stick and waved wildly during patriotic parades.

Unlike modern generals who command from far behind the lines with a Blackberry, Bobs is shown leading from the front, and looking back to encourage his men to follow him, up front where the bullets are flying. That's how he won his Victoria Cross as a young officer.

Go to Blackberry Generals
Great Canadian Heritage Treasure

Paperweight, Bugler Dunne, the Hero of Colenso - Dec. 1899
Orig. glass - Size - 10 cm
Found - Winnipeg, MB

The Boer War's most famous bugler, Bugler Dunne, who lost his bugle in the Tugela River as his regiment tried to cross under fire at Colenso. He was wounded and dropped it. He survived the retreat and Queen Victoria personally handed him a new engraved one.
Go to Bugler Dunne

Lots of boys went to war in Victorian times.

Go to Boys at War

Lots were buglers.

Go to Boys and Bugles

Some were Canadians.

Go to Edward McCormick
Great Canadian Heritage Treasure

Pinback, Lord Roberts - 1900
Orig. tapestry - Size - 44 mm
Found - Montreal, PQ

Fighting for top honour as a Canadian memorabilia tin commemorating a Canadian is this fabulous pintray of Colonel Otter. You will never see another.

Go to Pinback Heaven
Great Canadian Heritage Treasure

Tapestry, Major-General Baden Powell - 1900
Orig. tapestry - Size - 48 x 54 cm
Found - London, UK

Fighting for top honour as a Canadian memorabilia tin commemorating a Canadian is this fabulous pintray of Colonel Otter. You will never see another.

Go to Tapestries
Great Canadian Heritage Treasure

Ashtray, Lord Roberts & the Globe, Toronto - 1900
Orig. metal - Size - 10 cm
Found - Kelso, ON
That's General Roberts in relief on a small ashtray issued by the Toronto Globe as a patriotic give-away in 1900.

In 2011, the Globe is still rabidly patriotic, and one of the biggest media boosters of the war against the Muslims in Afghanistan, Iraq, Gaza, Lebanon, etc. - in short, wherever they can be found...

Canadian Heritage Treasures

Ribbon, Paardeberg - 1900 Ribbon, Peace - 1900
Orig. silk - Size - 4 x 11 cm
Found - Dunnellon, FL
Orig. silk - Size - 6 x 12 cm
Found - New Plymouth, NZ
Two fabulous portrait ribbons for the bloodiest battle of the Boer War where 31 Canadians died, and for the false peace that followed.
Great Canadian Heritage Treasure

Lord Roberts & Queen Victoria chocolate box, 1900
Original cardboard box - Size - 3.25"w x 9.25"l x 1.5"d
Found - Ottawa, ON
Original cardboard, signed Nixon's, Ottawa, in amazing condition
An amazing cardboard chocolate box from Nixon's in Ottawa, that featured Canada's most popular soldier ever, Lord Roberts, on the lid.

Go to Great Canadian Chocolate
Great Canadian Heritage Treasure

Match Safe, Lord Roberts - 1900
Orig. bakelite match safe - Size - 4 x 5 cm
Found - Lone Jack, MO

Fighting for top honour as a Canadian memorabilia tin commemorating a Canadian is this fabulous pintray of Colonel Otter. You will never see another.

Go to Stuff with Matches
Great Canadian Heritage Treasure

Tin, Boer War Commanders - 1899
Orig. tin - Size - 20 x 20 x 19 cm
Found - Cheltenham, ON
Perhaps the most coveted Canadian tin of the Boer War, as it celebrates - uniquely - a Canadian, Col. William Otter, on the right side above. This is also probably the first time a Canadian personality is featured on a commemorative tin.

All of the many other tin boxes popular in Canada in the late 19th century had only British monarchs or generals on them.

Including the most famous tin right of the entire Victorian/Edwardian period, in which Queen Victoria made a gift of chocolate to all her soldiers serving in South Africa in the Boer War.

Go to Tins to Die For
Great Canadian Heritage Treasure

Newspaper Clipping - 1900
Orig. news clipping - Size - 7 x 10 cm
Found - Toronto, ON

'nuff said...


Go to Boer War Heroes
Great Canadian Heritage Treasure A fabulous, one of a kind item featuring the Gentleman in Kharki, with helmet at his feet, and bandage round his head, making a last stand against the foes of Queen and Country... whatever...

The base is heavy cast iron, the figure spelter, and the clockface celuloid.

And it surfaced at an estate sale in a small town in southern Ontario where it had made its home for over 100 years.

Clock, Gentleman in Kharki - 1900
Orig. clock - Size - 19 x 14 cm
Found - Jarvis, ON
Great Canadian Heritage Treasure

Pin Tray, Col. William Otter, 1900
Orig. tin pintray - Size - 7 x 10 cm
Found - Pottageville, ON

Fighting for top honour as a Canadian memorabilia tin commemorating a Canadian, is this fabulous pintray of Colonel Otter. You will never see another.

Those utilitarian Canadian grannies, or teenage girls, used it too to hold their pins and needles when sewing. Hence the tiny chips on Otter's face. More far-sighted collectors, put their away and so have few paint scuffs.

Go to Fabulous Pin Trays
Great Canadian Heritage Treasure

Wooden Cigar Box, Prime Minister Laurier - 1897
Orig. wooden cigar box - Size - 1.5" x 5.5" x 8.75"
Found - Farmington, NH

The prince of all cigar boxes is this wooden commemorative of Prime Minister Wilfrid Laurier posed before the Parliament Buildings that would burn down in 1916, with loss of lives, all blamed on "Terrorists," German, that time - have we heard this before? Turned out an overheated stove - in the dead of winter - was the culprit.

Go to Cigar Box
Great Canadian Heritage Treasure

Money Bank, President Kruger, 1899
Orig. cast iron bank - Size - 15 cm
Found - Dundas, ON

Probably the most famous iron money bank of all time is Carruthers-Gould's famous caricature of the Transvaal Republic's President Kruger. He had beaten the British in 1881; they were not going to let him do it again, in 1899. Carruthers-Gould would reappear to design his famous toby jugs in 1915.

Go to Kruger Money Bank
Great Canadian Heritage Treasure

Dexterity Puzzle, President Kruger - 1899
Orig. puzzle - Size - 7 cm
Found - Amsterdam, Netherlands


Even enemies of the British Empire were featured in games.

Here kids could "take a crack" at dastardly President Kruger of the Boer Republic and "draw his teeth." The dexterity puzzle was to see who could roll those five tiny balls into position in his mouth.

Go to Puzzle
Great Canadian Heritage Treasure

Sheet Music, Boer War - 1900
Orig. sheet music - Size - 26 x 35 cm, copyright 1900
Found - Melbourne, AU
Of many fine pieces of sheet music produced during the late Victorian period, this fabulous multi-page, bound chromolithograph cover is one of the best.

If you want to know who originally bought it, in 1900, and played it - we traced her name...

Go to Bert Walter
Great Canadian Heritage Treasure

Faked Cover Photo - Anytime from 1900-1993
Orig. book cover - Size - 16 x 22 cm
Found - Toronto, ON

The "Bible" of Canada's participation in the Boer War, features - we kid you not - a totally faked cover photo of "supposed Canadians," long said to be shown climbing a hill for an attack in South Africa, when It is, almost certainly, someone else - possibly the Israelites climbing the mountain - doing it, and probably only during a photo op...

Go to Those Faking Canadians 1
Go to Those Faking Canadians 2
Go to A Real Canadian Hero
Great Canadian Heritage Treasure The earliest portrait medallion featuring a Canadian we've seen, and certainly bar none, the most pathetic. The father, was Canada's Minister of Militia, who had worked harder than anyone, to get permission to send Canadians to go to war against the Boers.

Go to Captain Dillon's Medals
Go to Harold's Home

Commemorative Shooting Medal - Harold Lothrop Borden - 1900
Orig. plate - Image Size - 47 cm
Found - Toronto, ON

Prov - Capt. Dillon Coll

Great Canadian Heritage Treasure

Medallion, Maj. Gen. Sir Eugène Fiset - 1940
Orig. metal - Size - 7 cm
Found - Montreal, PQ
A fabulous and very heavy medal to commemorate a famous Canadian volunteer soldier, who served, as a young man, with outstanding distinction on the battlefield at Paardeberg, in 1900. He was credited with saving many lives during a fight that cost 31 Canadian soldiers their lives.

In later life he would go on to head the Royal Canadian Army Medical Corps, as Major General, and to become the Lieutenant-Governor of Quebec.

And he had a jig composed in his honour by a Quebec fiddler.

Go to Captain Fiset
Great Canadian Heritage Treasure

Stevengraph, General Wauchope, Killed, Magersfontein - 1899
Orig. woven silk - Image Size - 6 x 10.5 cm
Found - Toronto, ON
Small, exquisitely woven coloured silks called Stevengraphs were extremely popular in the second half of the 19th century, especially of royalty and generals.

Go to Stevengraphs
Great Canadian Heritage Treasure Memorial photos in lockets became popular items in Victorian times, to wear in remembrance of departed loved ones.

Frederick Pocock was a member of the much feared Canadian Scouts, founded by Gat Howard during the Boer War in South Africa in December 1900.

Frederick was killed a year after Gat Howard had met his own end in February 1901.

Now Fred's wife, who probably wore this for the rest of her life, has passed on. As have all the other people who once knew him and cared for him and his memory.

Now the locket has been rescued from the trash heap of history by the Canadian Anglo-Boer War Museum.

Go to Gat's Death

Locket Photos, Frederick William Pocock, Canadian Scout (KIA) - 1902
Orig. memorial locket - Size - open 4.5 x 6 cm
Found - Bridgenorth, UK

Great Canadian Heritage Treasure

Welcome Home Silk, Scarboro, ON - 1901
Orig. silk - Size - 5 x 12 cm
Found - Barrie, ON

The most fabulous commemorative Welcome Home Boer War ribbon we've seen, featuring, as it does, the only photos of the veterans themselves, here in a high quality glass medallion attached with a clasp.

Go to Fabulous Ribbons
Great Canadian Heritage Treasure

Spelter Statue, General Buller - 1899
Orig. spelter - Size - 34 cm h
Found - Los Angeles, CA
A fabulous spelter figure of General Buller, under whom Canada's First Contingent served in the Boer War.

Go to Buller's Statue
Great Canadian Heritage Treasure

Metal Plaque, Queen Victoria Diamond Jubilee - 1897
Orig. metal - Size - 30 x 40 cm
Found - St. Catharines, ON
A unique metal plaque, issued in 1897 for Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee, is bolted to a wooden backing covered in velvet.

Go to Victorian Plates Index
Great Canadian Heritage Treasure

Folk Art, Lord Roberts of Kandahar, 1900
Orig. assembly - Image Size - 74 x 89 cm, wt - 13 kg
Found - St. Jacobs, ON

A truly amazing work of art by someone who was more than passionate about commentating Lord Roberts in the small Ontario town of Damascus, in 1914, the year Bobs died.

How do we know? By tracking down the age and dates or associated historical events from the hundreds of items cemented into the work.

Go to What's All in this Anyway?
Great Canadian Heritage Treasure

Handkerchief, Queen Victoria's Jubilee - 1897
Orig. cotton hanky - Size - 58 x 58 cm
Found - Ottawa, ON

Hankies were a most popular people commemorative as they were small, cheap, and compact to carry around.

How many blew their noses, into the face of the royals, is another question. Most probably used them as neckerchiefs, or just draped them over sofas, or framed them.

Go to Flag Crazy
Great Canadian Heritage Treasure

Mourning Silk, Queen Victoria, 1901
Orig. memorial silk - Size - 6 x 13 cm
Found - Calgary, AB

Fighting for top honour as a Canadian memorabilia tin commemorating a Canadian is this fabulous pintray of Colonel Otter. You will never see another.

Go to Silk Ribbons
Great Canadian Heritage Treasure A superb coronation medallion in a velvet lined case from the Coronation of Edward VII and Alexandra in 1902.

Unlike many medallions from the period, which are made of lightweight metal alloys - like the 3.5 cm Queen Victoria Jubilee medal from 1897 right - these are quality strikes, made of copper, big at 5.5 cm, and very heavy..



Coronation Medallions, King Edward VII & Alexandra - 1902
Orig. copper - Size - 5.5 cm
Found - Ottawa, ON

Great Canadian Heritage Treasure
Serviette Ring, Queen Victoria - 1897
Orig. silver - Size - 4 cm
Found - Palgrave, ON
A serviette ring from an earlier, more polite age, when people actually sat down together at a dining room table to eat, instead of just munching deep-fried chicken legs while lolling about the sofa in front of the TV, while the dog licks your fingers.
Great Canadian Heritage Treasure

Match Safes, Queen Victoria Jubilee, 1887 & King Edward VII, 1902
Orig. silver plate & celluloid - Size - c 4 x 6 cm
Found - St. Catharines, ON
In an age when everyone smoked like crazy you had to carry matches on your person at all times. Match safes with royalty portraits were common.

Above a silver one from Queen Victoria's Golden Jubilee in 1887, and a 1902 Coronation of Edward VII in newfangled gutta percha, a sort of plastic material.

Great Canadian Heritage Treasure

Coronation Banquet Invitation, 1902
Orig. cardboard invitation - Size - 25 x 32 cm
Found - Norwood, ON

A fabulous invitation to the first coronation in Britain in 65 years, showing all the classic signs of a high quality chromolithograph.

Note the Irregular pebbling, not the uniform grid of dots found on modern reproductions.

Cheap picture reproductions, like all the Robert Bateman prints, and most photographs you see, look like this in close-up when viewed through a loupe.

They are no match for the glorious range and depth of colour found on late 19th century chromolithograph "original" prints.

Go to Dinner That Never Was
Great Canadian Heritage Treasure

Portrait, Chromolithograph, Alexander Muir (1830-1906) - 1907
Orig. chromolithograph - Size - 43 x 60 cm
Found - St. Jacobs, ON

If there is a Canadian who has given more joy, through song, to countless generations of his countrymen and women, young and old, than this man, we do not know him.

To celebrate Confederation in 1867, Alexander Muir wrote "The Maple Leaf Forever," which became a Canadian anthem that was sung with genuine gusto by countless schoolchildren, and men as they marched to battle in Canada, South Africa, and Europe. For almost a hundred years, it was "the" national anthem for Canada, and Canadians, before it was replaced by the more culturally correct dirge "Oh, Canada," which was the de facto National Anthem since 1939, and officially since 1980.

Nothing, in the later musical memory of this 9-year-old, newly arrived immigrant to Canada, has surpassed, in 61 years, the joyous sound of 40 of his classmates in a rural public school, as they belted out "The Maple Leaf Forever," their voices drifting across the farm fields of southern Ontario, in 1950 below.

Alexander's "chromolithographic-rendered" eye, made up of countless irregular pebbles of colour. Which is why, unlike reproduction prints, chromolithographs are each produced individually and are considered "original prints."

Go to Chromolithograph Tutor
The Loss of a National Treasure - The Maple Leaf Forever...

Posing near the giant maple in the front yard are some of the students of the Ousley School in the farmland near Inwood, Ontario, in June, 1952. One teacher looked after all 30 odd students from grades one to eight in one room.

When they sang The Maple Leaf Forever inside the school, their exuberant voices carried out the windows and across the fields.

The song was their anthem to their country.

The song and the maple are gone now, as is the school, and some of the students...

The tallest five, in the back from left to right:

Shirley Burr d, Nancy Murphy,
Beverly Burr,
Mike Recker,
Ivan Armstrong d.

Front three rows from left:

Calvin Armstrong, Arthur Johnson, Carol Clements d, Fred Goldi,
Nancy Clements, Heidi Goldi,
John Goldi,
Richard Johnson, Eileen Brownlee, unk,
Joey Recker fr,
Theresa Wright fr,
Evelyn Wright ba,
Joanne Wilcox ba,
Ina Mae Wilcox fr,
Gloria Johnson,
David Recker ba, Ueli Maier fr,
Frank Murphy,
Linda Murphy.

Hmmh - Wonder whatever happened to him "X"...?

Most never moved far from the part of the country they grew up in. Several are deceased and lie buried not far away.

Today students no longer sing Alexander Muir's joyous verses, but solemnly intone the dirge-like lament, Oh, Canada.

Great Canadian Heritage Treasure

Shortbread Tin, Edward VII - 1902
Orig. tin - Size - 8 x 32 cm
Found - Rockway, ON
We've not been able to clear up the mystery of what this is... though we've asked lots of experts.

The medallion reads right side up, but when transferred to dough, would have shown up as reversed and unreadable...

Still a very heavily used item, showing signs of having been in an oven many times.

Great Canadian Heritage Treasure

Horse Brass, Edward VII Coronation - 1902
Orig. horse brass - Size - 9 cm
Found - Eugene, OR
Among the most fabulous horse brasses - used to decorate the harnesses of working horses of early Canadian farms - are the royalty brasses of the late 19th century. It's very rare to find real ones - that aren't fake modern repros - especially if they're mounted on their original leather straps. Most are fakes too...

Go to Horse Brass

Great Canadian Heritage Treasure

Iron Trivet, What We Have We'll Hold - 1907
Orig. iron - Size - 30 x 40 cm
Found - Rockway, ON
Iron commemoratives were produced to appeal to people of lesser means.

This trivet features the British bulldog - a stand-in for John Bull and the British Empire - who would not be budged from the huge patchwork of red that covered every world map in 1900.

"What we have, we'll hold" was the clarion call of John Bull to any and all challengers from the Sudan War, the Boer War, World Wars I and II, which each produced commemoratives featuring this theme illustrated with a bulldog standing on the Union Jack.

Go to Brass Galore
Great Canadian Heritage Treasure A fine photo commemorating Laurier's MPs at the peak of his power. It belonged to Charles Heyd MP for Brantford, who also left his fiddle.

Go to Charlie's Fiddle

Commemoration Photo, Dominion Government of Prime Minister Wilfrid Laurier - 1902
Orig. photomontage print - Size - 57 x 71 cm
Found - Brantford, ON
Great Canadian Heritage Treasure

Events Program, Royal Visit - 1901
Orig. program - Size - 18 x 23 cm
Found - Beaverton, ON

A fine program from 1901, and the first visit of a Prince of Wales and his consort to Canada.

It features a youngish Duke who would become King George V, ten years later, in 1911. He dedicated Boer War monuments and handed out medals to Canadian veterans who had just returned from the wars in South Africa.

Go to Ottawa Visit
Great Canadian Heritage Treasure

Events Program, Quebec Tercentenary - 1908
Orig. program - Size - 15 x 26 cm
Found - Portland, ME
24 pages with photos & map

A fabulous souvenir program of the 300th anniversary of the founding of Quebec and Canada, in 1608. The Duke came alone this time to take part in a giant historical pageant that vastly eclipsed the tepid affair celebrating the 400th, in 2008.
Go to Tercentenary
Great Canadian Heritage Treasure

Tin Tray, The Quebec Tercentenary - 1908
Orig. tin tray - Size - 34 x 41
Found - Montreal, PQ

A fabulous large tin tray celebrating Canadian heroes during Quebec - and Canada's - celebration of 300 years since the founding of Canada.

Go to Tercentenary Bash
Great Canadian Heritage Treasure

Flour Bag, King George V - 1911
Orig. flour sack - Size - 40 x 75 cm
Found - Kelso, ON

A fabulous flour bag from a time when selling a royal figure on a common product was thought helpful in promoting a product. What help would Prince Charles or Prince Harry be today?

The flour was grown on the prairies which were being settled heavily in the 1890s under Prime Minister Laurier, and were in full swing by the time King George V was crowned in 1911, from when this flag dates.

Canadians proudly emblazoned memorabilia items with no nonsense labeling calling the British King George, and Lord Roberts as their "Leader."

Go to Fabulous Plates Index
Great Canadian Heritage Treasure

Flag, Duke of York & Mary Visit to Canada - 1901
Orig. flag - Size - 56 x 66 cm
Found -
Ottawa, ON
A fine flag that was once tacked on a stick and waved madly during patriotic parades as the royal couple passed along crowds of frenzied Canadian fans during their tour of Canada in 1901, during the Boer War. They awarded medals to veterans of the fight in South Africa and dedicated monuments to their service to Queen and Country.

Go to Dedicating a Statue
Great Canadian Heritage Treasure

Lapel Flag, Duke of Connaught - 1911
Orig. tin - Size - 35 mm w
Found - Leesburg, VA
Tiny memorabilia metal flag of Queen Victoria's son, Prince Arthur, Duke of Connaught, who was Governor-General of Canada from 1911-1916. In the 1870s Queen Victoria's daughter, Princess Louise - you know, who's named after Lake Louise - had also been in Canada, as wife to then Governor-General the Marquis of Lorne.

Go to the Duke & Daughter
Great Canadian Heritage Treasure

Recruiting Poster - 1914
Orig. poster - Size - 54 x 78 cm
Found - New York, NY

A huge recruiting poster, with a linen backing, to make it last better when tacked up on walls of public buildings, featuring Lord Roberts who died in the opening months of World War I.

Go to Chromolithographs
Great Canadian Heritage Treasure

Door Knocker, General French - 1914
Orig. brass door knocker - Size - 10 cm
Found - Paddock Wood, UK
A fine brass doorknocker of General French who, successfully, took the war to the Boers on horseback as Lord Roberts' cavalry commander in 1900. So, thought the British, the perfect general to direct the Western Front against Kaiser Bill's machine gunners in 1914. Within months he was dismissed; the old horsey general just could not adapt to the new style of warfare that made the horse obsolete.

Go to General French
Great Canadian Heritage Treasure

Spelter Statue, Marshall Joffre, 1914
Orig. spelter - Size - 45 cm h
Found - Omaha, NB

As fine a commemorative of a general as it's possible to find, is this spelter statue of French Commander-in-Chief General Joffre in the early part of World War I.

Alas, though they look impressive on their statues, French generals were no better at modern war than the British. Over a million Frenchmen soldiers and civilians died to Make the World Safe for Democracy.

Go to Bronzes
Go to Remembrance Day
Great Canadian Heritage Treasure

Money Bank, US General Pershing - 1917
Orig. cast iron bank - Size - 20 cm
Found - Rockway, ON

General Pershing was the commanding general of the GI Joe-come-lately when America finally entered World War I in 1917.

They like to say they won the war. Their losses were negligible compared to the French.

Go to Fabulous Pin Trays
Great Canadian Heritage Treasure

Patriotic Clock - c 1910
Orig. cast iron - Size - 34 cm
Found - Barrie, ON
A fine British/American/Canadian commemorative clock, first patented in 1900.

It was manufactured in the US, which had just completed its war against Spain in 1898, features a US/British sailor, a British soldier of World War I vintage, and topping it off with a British bulldog, and a Canadian beaver under the clock. And emblazoned below with the British slogan that started during the Sudan campaign of 1898 but would hold for the Boer War, and World Wars I and II.

Go to Clocks
Great Canadian Heritage Treasure

Canadian World War I Recruiting Poster, 1916
Orig. poster - Size - 27" x 44"
Found - Waterloo, ON
In our estimation, the finest World War I recruiting poster we've seen, offering the best of all worlds, "a golden chance" for the artisan and mechanic...

66,000 Canadian boys who bought the message, "bought the farm" and never returned from a war that started between the hereditary royal houses of Europe and that ultimately claimed 16 million lives.

The democratic politicians that sent them packing from directing the affairs of state were no better, turning the peace they dictated into a weapon of war that, less than 20 years later, led to another total war between the same parties - the victors and losers of WWI - into an even larger bloodbath that claimed 75 million lives.

Now, what was it you were saying about those Muslims?

Go to Poster
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