Months following locating a treasure trove of historic photographs in the attic of a professional developing in Geneva, the assortment will be up for auction.
David Whitcomb, a Canandaigua-primarily based lawyer, acquired a 3-story developing on Seneca Avenue to broaden his law practice in December. While exploring the property’s 3rd-flooring apartment, which he eventually strategies to rent out, he learned a sealed-off attic and its contents, which bundled hundreds of vintage merchandise from a switch-of-the century images studio.
In days of the Feb. 1, 2021, Democrat and Chronicle report about Whitcomb’s come across, his discovery garnered international consideration. Whitcomb and his treasure, which incorporated a portrait of Susan B. Anthony, was later featured on CNN and in The New York Moments and Smithsonian magazine, amid other publications.
A duplicate of the framed picture is one of 350 loads offered in the impending auction slated to choose area subsequent month at A single Supply Auctions, 177 S. Most important St., Canandaigua.
The auction, to be held in particular person and on line, is scheduled to get started at 3 p.m. on Sept. 18. Starting off bids assortment from $25 to $5,000. An open household is established to get spot the night right before the auction and a preview will begin at 1 p.m., two hours in advance of the auction is scheduled to begin.
The vaulted attic at Whitcomb’s Geneva legislation office at 35 Seneca St. was crammed with vintage images, framed pictures and photography gear and boxes of products.
“It truly is gorgeous to think that this considerably material was in the attic and that we introduced it all down,” he stated. “The plan that it was just there, misplaced to history, survived a fireplace in the building next doorway which we have pinpointed to a fire in 1980 in the neighboring developing.”
Century-old letters and shipping packages stashed in the attic confirmed that the contents after belonged to James Ellery Hale, a photographer who labored in downtown Geneva between 1892 and 1920.
Hale was famed for his portraits of leaders of the suffragist motion, together with the designated “official” image of Anthony, taken in November 1905, just months just before she died.
Whitcomb previous 7 days mentioned he keeps contemplating how anyone afterwards set up a drop ceiling, eventually sealing off the attic and its contents.
“At that moment in time, the choice was made to simply go away what pretty much quantities to a comprehensive photographic studio, up there and just seal it shut,” Whitcomb stated. “It is really thoughts boggling.”
Planning for the auction has taken months, and has been “a lot of work and a lot of fun,” Whitcomb stated. In the course of the approach, Whitcomb explained he’s fulfilled ” some extremely intriguing and passionate folks” in fields from historical past, museums, authors and images industry experts.
Most of the recovered objects were being immediately relocated to an antique supplier in Canandaigua, and a photographer in Geneva designed the approximately 50 intact glass plates discovered in the attic. Some of those people photographs are paired with the glass negatives for the auction.
Aaron Kirvan of The moment Supply Auctions before this calendar year approximated that the assortment could fetch up to $100,000, but was unsure of a figure due to the fact several objects are one particular-of-a-variety.
“It really is very difficult to gauge the value of this collection only for the reason that you will find basically nothing at all else like it,” Whitcomb said. “As one particular qualified in images from Eastman Kodak place it, it is really like opening a tomb in Egypt that hasn’t been beforehand opened and raided, in the pictures subject, it can be opening a time capsule to the peak of pictures, in advance of all people had a hand held digicam and fast pics.”