Canadiana collectors hosting rare auction in Calgary


To some, Sheldon Smithens and Scott Cozens might be junk collectors. To others, the co-hosts of History Channel’s “Canadian Pickers” are masters at finding weird and wonderful Canadiana that can jack up of the value of any collection.

“I’m really excited about the moment of truth on each item, and to find out ‘Yes, Scott and I were right on or we were way out to lunch that day and paid too much,” Smithens told CTV Calgary recently.

Smithens and Cozens are on the road again this weekend, but this time they’re heading to Calgary for a unique auction sale.

To the delight of collectors and the show’s fans, the duo will be selling off everything they purchased during Season 2 of “Canadian Pickers.” The auction will give antique collectors a rare opportunity to purchase items sourced from all over Canada.

“We don’t often get a chance to sell from Newfoundland, from Labrador, northern Saskatchewan, form coast to coast to coast to border I guess,” said Kevin King from Hall’s Auction Services, the company hosting the event.

From a surgical kit used to perform brain operations in the 1890s to a pair of life-sized stuffed horses from a Montreal saddle company in the 1920s, the lineup is filled with one-of-a-kind Canadiana.

One of the auction’s showstoppers is a turn-of-the-century carriage poster done in seven colours.

“It’s when you get colour like that, you get a visual that really grabs you. When you add to it the history, that’s the killer for me,” said Cozens.

“If you can get a combination of a visual appeal and historical significance, that’s what you’re looking for,” he said.

Since its debut in April of 2011, “Canadian Pickers” has attracted a strong following across the country. That success has much to do with Cozens, Smithens and their passion to hunt for junk.

A former electrician, Cozens now works as a lawyer and leaves his office whenever he can to source his next rare find.

Smithens is a third-generation antiques dealer, auctioneer and appraiser.

“I’m always on the hunt, primarily for myself and secondarily to buy and sell,” said Cozens.

He also finds it hard to part with his treasures, as do most collectors.

“I probably keep 10 to 20 per cent of what we buy,” he said.

The “Canadian Pickers” auction will take place on Sunday, March 4

The auction will be held at Hall’s Auction Services on Sunday, March 4. Eager collectors can also preview the items up for sale on Saturday, March 3, from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Source: CTV