Auction PR Publicity Announcements News and Information
Auction PR Publicity Announcements News and Information


The auction will be held in the firm’s gallery, at 76 Main Street in Amesbury, Mass., at 12 noon.

AMESBURY, Mass. – A pair of massive single-owner multi-generational collections – one of stamps and exonumia (tokens, medals and the like), the other of photographica and antique cameras – will be sold April 2-3 by John McInnis Auctioneers, in the firm’s gallery at 76 Main Street in Amesbury, starting at 12 noon both days, Eastern time. Nearly 1,000 lots will be sold.

The second day of the auction – on Sunday, April 3rd – will feature photographica, antique cameras and camera parts.
The second day of the auction – on Sunday, April 3rd – will feature photographica, antique cameras and camera parts.
“Each of these sessions will have interesting and highly desirable items waiting to be discovered, after being tucked away, out of public view, literally for decades,” said John McInnis of John McInnis Auctioneers. “There will be something for everyone, from the beginner to the advanced collector.” Internet bidding will be provided by both and

Session I – the stamps and exonumia – will be sold on Saturday, April 2nd. The stamps are from a two-generation collection begun in the 1930s by a prominent family in Andover that operated a woolen mill facility for years in town. The collection has never before been seen at auction and will include plate blocks, commemoratives, air mails, first day covers and international albums.

Expected top lots will include a 1-cent “Columbus Sight of Land” 1893 Columbian Exposition issue, a block of 24 Curtiss bi-plane airmail stamps from 1918, a block of six 50-cent “China Clipper” airmail stamps (also from 1918), a Graf Zeppelin $1.30 stamp, and an International Souvenir Sheet Album from 1939, complete except for the U.S., Albania thru the French Sudan.

Exonumia, from an Ipswich family collection, will also be sold April 2nd and immediately following stamps will feature Civil War and Hard Times tokens, table medals, commemoratives, advertising, political and presidential examples, fraternal and membership-themed medals and tokens, prize medals, merchant tokens, art medals, transportation tokens, currency, encased coins and stamps and institutional awards.

Star lots will feature a John Adams, Esq. Presidential campaign medal from 1800, a group of 12 Civil War-era postage stamps encased in brass and mica so they could more easily be protected and exchanged as currency, a lot of 22 Civil War and Hard Time tokens (1856 City Hall New York, Mahony’s Clothes Warehouse, etc.), Post Colonials, and a lot of 12 Colonial and post-Colonial issues (1722 Rosa Americana penny, 1773 Virginia half penny, and others).

Other exonumia will include a group of 20 Hard Time store card tokens and other items from the 1930s, to include March’s Stationery (Portsmouth, N.H.), Anderson Boot (NY), Walsh’s General Store, The Constitution “Roman Fitness” and Clothes (Faneuil Hall, Boston). Also sold will be a group of obsolete banknotes, scripts and Confederate / Civil War-era fractional and store issues.

Session II – on April 3rd – will be dedicated to two areas of photography, from the dawn of “solar painting.” These will include perhaps one of the largest known single-owner collections of daguerreotypes (some dating as far back as the early 1840s) and ambrotypes – between 600 and 700 examples between the two – plus tintypes, cabinet cards, cartes des visites, albumen prints and more – 542 lots in all, some being sold in multiples.

Offered will be mammoth Civil War photos, train photos, cabinet cards, framed “yard-longs,” 15 photographs taken by Eva Watson-Schutze (Am., 1867-1935), one of the founding members of the Photo-Secession with Stieglitz; two Western landscapes taken by Carleton Watkins (Am., 1829-1916), whose photos of Yosemite valley inspired the U.S. Congress to preserve it as a National Park; and a 20 inch by 16 inch silver gelatin original photograph of Half Dome, attributed to Ansel Adams.

Also being sold that day will be antique cameras, equipment and other areas of photographica, to include more than 100 19th and early 20th century cameras, lenses and equipment, a tabletop stereoviewer, thousands of 19th century postcards, travel albums, cabinet cards, hundreds of glass plate negatives, 19th century camera tripods, a daguerreotype stereoview and other equipment.

Individual lots will feature an early and exceedingly rare and desirable 1/6-plate daguerreotype depicting a skull and poison, a 1/6-plate occupational daguerreotype of a man with fowl, an early trunk and box containing a small trove of ambrotypes, cartes des visites and daguerreotypes (45 in all), and a large plate Civil War albumen composite of Minnesota Volunteer Militia Officers.

Two landscape photographs by Carleton Watkins, one titled Yosemite, Cathedral Rock, 20 inches by 16 inches, is expected to bring $1,500-$2,500. Sixteen circa 1900 photos by Eva Lawrence-Watson-Schutze are images of Jane and Catherine Everett (4 ½ inches by 6 ½ inches). Ms. Watson-Schutze studied under their father at the University of Philadelphia. The photos are estimated at $400-$600.

Cameras and camera equipment will include a circa 1865 Samuel Peck & Co. ferrotype four-tube camera that takes 1/9 plate tintypes, a large German-made Wollensak-Rochester No. 4 studio lens (4 ¾ inches long, 4 inches in diameter) with a lens mount and shutter bulb, and a lot of early camera parts, to include bellows, plate holders, shutter bulbs, tubes, leather for repair and more.

Previews will be held on Thursday, March 31st, and on Friday, April 1st, from noon to 5 p.m. On auction days (April 2-3), previews will be held from 9 a.m. until 12 noon. Previews will also be allowed throughout the sale. In addition to live and internet bidding, phone and absentee bids will also be accepted. The full catalog may be viewed online now, at

John McInnis Auctioneers is the largest full-service auction house on Boston’s North Shore. The gallery located in a 12,000-square-foot Art Deco brick building once housed a grocery store in the 1930s. A company staff of experts is proficient in 18th, 19th and 20th century fine and decorative arts.

John McInnis Auctioneers is always accepting quality consignments for future auctions. To consign a single piece, a collection or an estate, you may call them at (978) 388-0400; or, you can e-mail them at [email protected]. To learn more about John McInnis Auctioneers and the major upcoming April 2nd and April 3rd auction, please visit