Months just after finding a treasure trove of historical pictures in the attic of a professional making in Geneva, the collection will be up for auction.
David Whitcomb, a Canandaigua-dependent lawyer, purchased a a few-tale constructing on Seneca Road to broaden his law observe in December. While exploring the property’s 3rd-ground apartment, which he eventually designs to rent out, he discovered a sealed-off attic and its contents, which provided hundreds of vintage items from a switch-of-the century photography studio.
In just days of the Feb. 1, 2021, Democrat and Chronicle post about Whitcomb’s discover, his discovery garnered worldwide interest. Whitcomb and his treasure, which involved a portrait of Susan B. Anthony, was later featured on CNN and in The New York Instances and Smithsonian magazine, amid other publications.
A duplicate of the framed photo is just one of 350 a lot accessible in the future auction slated to choose place up coming thirty day period at 1 Source Auctions, 177 S. Principal St., Canandaigua.
The auction, to be held in individual and online, is scheduled to begin at 3 p.m. on Sept. 18. Commencing bids array from $25 to $5,000. An open residence is set to take area the night time before the auction and a preview will begin at 1 p.m., two several hours prior to the auction is scheduled to start out.
The vaulted attic at Whitcomb’s Geneva regulation office at 35 Seneca St. was stuffed with vintage pictures, framed pictures and photography products and boxes of elements.
“It truly is stunning to believe that this a lot material was in the attic and that we introduced it all down,” he explained. “The strategy that it was just there, dropped to background, survived a hearth in the making up coming door which we’ve pinpointed to a hearth in 1980 in the neighboring making.”
Century-outdated letters and shipping and delivery offers stashed in the attic showed that the contents when belonged to James Ellery Hale, a photographer who labored in downtown Geneva between 1892 and 1920.
Hale was well-known for his portraits of leaders of the suffragist motion, including the selected “official” photo of Anthony, taken in November 1905, just months just before she died.
Whitcomb past week reported he keeps contemplating how someone later on put in a drop ceiling, ultimately sealing off the attic and its contents.
“At that second in time, the selection was made to merely leave what practically amounts to a full photographic studio, up there and just seal it shut,” Whitcomb stated. “It’s intellect boggling.”
Preparing for the auction has taken months, and has been “a good deal of function and a lot of enjoyment,” Whitcomb mentioned. All over the approach, Whitcomb reported he is fulfilled ” some quite appealing and passionate people” in fields from heritage, museums, authors and images experts.
Most of the recovered items ended up quickly relocated to an antique seller in Canandaigua, and a photographer in Geneva created the approximately 50 intact glass plates located in the attic. Some of individuals images are paired with the glass negatives for the auction.
Aaron Kirvan of Once Source Auctions before this 12 months approximated that the assortment could fetch up to $100,000, but was unsure of a determine due to the fact quite a few goods are one-of-a-type.
“It really is quite tough to gauge the benefit of this selection only because there is basically very little else like it,” Whitcomb claimed. “As just one pro in photography from Eastman Kodak put it, it truly is like opening a tomb in Egypt that hasn’t been previously opened and raided, in the photography discipline, it really is opening a time capsule to the height of photography, just before absolutely everyone had a hand held digital camera and fast pictures.”