Historic letters to be auctioned at Amesbury next week | Local News
AMESBURY – A ship’s passport signed by John Adams and a group of letters written by William Lloyd Garrison will be available to the highest bidder when John McInnis Auctioneers hold a three-day auction, starting with a collection of historical documents from the estate of Jacques “Jack” and Grace Weil next week.
John McInnis Auctioneers held an auction of items from the Weil collection last summer and is now moving on to its collection of historical letters, documents and correspondence. The auction will take place at 76 Main Street beginning at 10 a.m. on Thursday, August 4.
“We have articles from World War I and the USS Constitution, it’s just a treasure trove of historical records,” McInnis said.
Jacques “Jack” and Grace Weil were considered the most successful mid-20th century antique dealers in Greater Boston.
The husband and wife duo operated the Jacques H. Weil antique shop in Marblehead in the mid-20th century and also rose to prominence as Americana experts.
The Weils closed their shop in the 1970s and ended up storing their personal collection of antiques, which included documents signed by King Louis XVII of France and abolitionist poet John Greenleaf Whittier, in their Marblehead home.
Grace Weil outlived her husband and died in 2019. John McInnis Auctioneers owner John McInnis said Weil’s dying wish was to have his collection of ephemera cataloged and sold to those who would appreciate its historical significance.
“She was the sweetest, sweetest woman and was so thrilled to see all of these things ready to be auctioned off to give the public a chance to reacquire things for their own collections,” he said.
The auction will also include online and telephone bidding and will be the first day of a three-day “Summer Antiques and Estates Extravaganza” which will run until Saturday August 6.
“We have everything you can imagine. We have Civil War artifacts and furniture from the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries. We also have paintings from the 17th and 18th centuries and there are all kinds of things,” McInnis said.
Among the Weil collection is a group of letters written by Garrison and addressed to David Johnson of Lynn in 1893 and 1894, and a letter from 1800 awaiting the arrival of the USS Constitution, after some maintenance and maintenance, written by George Higginson of Newburyport.
“Basically, it’s a receipt. They kept receipts for everything and it’s a chance for someone to own this privately and not have it in a museum,” McInnis said.
McInnis added that a passport for the schooner William and Mary signed by President John Adams in 1797 (not part of the Weil collection) will also be auctioned next week.
“They signed passports for ships to pass through our waters at the time and this is one of them,” he said.
Each day of the three-day auction extravaganza will begin at 10 a.m. and the Main Street auction house will be open for previews on Saturday, July 30 and Sunday, July 31, from noon to 5 p.m.
For more information, visit: www.mcinnisauctions.com/antique-auctions/auction.php?auctionid=519.
Writer Jim Sullivan covers Newburyport for The Daily News. He can be reached by email at [email protected] or by phone at 978-961-3145. Follow him on Twitter @ndnsully.