McInnis distributes collection from late dealers Jack & Grace Weil


Auction action in Amesbury, Mass.

AMESBURY, MASS. – The estate collection of Jack “Jacques” and Grace Weil was offered for sale over two days at John McInnis Auctioneers from June 11th to 12th. The Weils ran the Jacques H. Weil Antiques Shop in Marblehead, Massachusetts for decades during the mid-20th century and became specialists in pewter, American artifacts, and Americana.

“[They] were very successful old-fashioned antique dealers in the greater Boston area … Their Marblehead store was the go-to place on the North Shore for rare Americana from folk art and textiles to paintings and formal home furnishings, ”the auction house wrote. “When they closed their landmark in the 1970s, their entire personal collection and any extras that were kept in their home were left untouched.”

Jack died in 1983 and Grace died in 2019.

“Jack was an interesting guy,” said auctioneer John McInnis. “They lived in Pittsburgh in the 1950s, and he was an executive in the early days of TV advertising. He just loved antiques and left this world and came to Massachusetts, moved here with his family and became an antique dealer. He bought things and held them.

“It was a pleasure to meet Grace before she died,” he continued. “She was one of the nicest, cutest ladies and loved living surrounded by beautiful things in her home. Her dying wish was to know that all of her belongings were on the way to a new home. It was so bittersweet that she died in her home at the age of 90, just days after we finished cataloging. That was her life’s work. It made her so happy to know that all the things that were important to her would go to new caregivers. It calmed her down. “

The auction was an online-only format, although McInnis noted that the preview in his gallery had previously been “bullied”.

The sale was for $ 22,140 on a leather military strap with an engraved shoulder badge depicting a cavalry officer with a rampant horse. It well exceeded its high estimate of $ 800. This was the case with many of the American artifacts, which had somewhat sparse descriptions and high scores. The bidders knew what they were seeing and tracked them accordingly.

McInnis said he believed the brand was American. “It just had a great shine, a great finish,” he said, “It was so original that no one has ever tried to clean it or anything that buyers love.”

At $ 6,765 was an early nineteenth century Salem artillery shoulder strap plate that was only 2½ inches high. The Salem Flying Artillery, a Confederate regiment, was originally from Roanoke County, Virginia, set up as an infantry company with the Ninth Regiment in the May 1862 siege and eventually surrendered at Appomattox.

Continental militaria artifacts would also prove desirable, including $ 4,675 paid for an Eastern European cavalry sword with a wooden handle and brass guards. The company said the sword was from the 18th or 19th centuries with a blade that was likely Polish in origin. An 18th-century English hammered brass collar engraved with a shield flanked by a lion and unicorn sold for $ 4,305. It read “God and my law”.

Low estimates got high results on tin. A group of seven American plates from different manufacturers brought in $ 3,444. It contained three smooth and shaped brim plates by Cornelius Bradford, one by Edmund Dolbeare, another attributed to J. Applebee, and one by Giles Griswald. Four pieces of pewter from Thomas Danforth II and III were grouped by Rosewell Gleason with a sugar bowl – they would cost $ 2,706. The Danforths were a prominent 18th-century Connecticut pewter family; Danforth II fathered six sons, all of whom became pewter-makers.

Notable documents included a 1775 Security Committee document, written in Salem, Massachusetts, relating to the arrest of deserters. The handwritten document sold for $ 2,952. Ahead at $ 4,305 was Thomas Jefferson’s 1801 shipping paper, printed and lettered by Jefferson, allowing Captain John Hooper and his schooner to pass through The powder point.

In fine art was an 1853 watercolor by George Burgess depicting a California gold mining operation that sold for $ 14,760. Measuring 10 by 14 inches, the scene shows the busy washing activity around the Mokelunme River, which served as a major gold-producing stream during the gold rush. On the back of the work was a handwritten receipt from 1849 for a share in a California adventure by George H. Sprague.

Early American prints were led by two hand-colored mezzotints commemorating the death of George Washington. The mezzotint was originally published in Philadelphia by Edward Pember and James Luzarder after Washington’s death on December 14, 1799 Liberty, Mourns Washington’s Tomb. The duo sold for $ 3,690. A lithograph of the early American Mayhew family tree would cost $ 2,952. At the base of the family tree was Thomas Mayhew, who established himself as governor of Martha’s Vineyard in 1642. The original artwork from which this lithograph was created was drawn by an F. Mayhew in 1826.

Early glass collectors were drawn to an amber, hand-blown, hat-shaped, glass, hat-shaped inkwell that sold for $ 9,840. It measured only 1 inches high and 3-7 / 8 inches wide.

Pottery was led by English examples, including a $ 4,305 result for a Nottingham earthenware mug with ribbons of crushed pebbles and vertical comb work. It had a few rim chips on it, but the bidders didn’t mind. At $ 2,952 was a Liverpool pitcher with a satirical image of Buonaparte, Jefferson, and John Bull pulling a cow on all ends. A Liverpool pitcher with a similar image is in the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

While these were the high-flyers, many of the 800+ lots sold under $ 300, making the offering affordable and distributed.

“Buyers loved the iron, the tin, the primitives. Glass worked well. Needlework … everything, ”said McInnis. “Everything was strong, with the exception of the furniture. It’s a good time to buy furniture, it’s very sensible. “

McInnis will host an art auction on June 26th.

All prices shown include buyer’s premium. For more information, please visit or 978-388-0400.

McInnis attributed this mahogany card table to Samuel McIntire. It had a serpentine tip with offset reed legs carved with acanthus leaves and ball feet. It sold for $ 2,091.


An Isaiah Hitchings penmanship book would sell for $ 861.


In this 1775 letter to the Marblehead, Massachusetts Security Committee, a John Pickering writes about the arrest of deserters in Salem. The letter sold for $ 2,952.


The Liverpool makers had fun with the political pressures of the colonial era. Here Napoleon Buonaparte, Thomas Jefferson and John Bull can be seen tugging at the cow. A Liverpool pitcher with a similar image is in the collection of the Philadelphia Museum of Art. This example fetched $ 2,952 with some repairs.


A needle prick sampler from 1881 with the inscription “We’s Free”, which was probably made by a black American, took US $ 922.


A Salem Artillery shoulder strap plate would sell for $ 6,755. The sign likely marked a member of the Salem Flying Artillery, a Confederate regiment that grew up in Virginia.


These two mezzotints were printed shortly after George Washington’s death in 1799. They were released in Philadelphia by Edward Pember and James Luzarder, and the two sold together for $ 3,690.


The sale found its leader at $ 22,140 with a leather military bracelet with a brass badge engraved with a cavalry officer on a widely used horse.


This 19th century flagship lantern lit up to $ 1,599. It features a carved wood flame pommel, pewter body, and 12 stenciled mica glass panels for the “WFC,” 23 inches high.


This finely carved miniature wooden flintlock musket from the Boston Militia with a metal flintlock and rod sold for $ 3,198. It was some sort of early gauge with a slotted base that would slide down a range of inches. 30½ inches long in total.


A 1791 hand embroidery on silk by Margaret Crawford sold for $ 4,428. The Philadelphia skyline can be seen in the background as a mother and daughter collect flowers.


Five pages of Scottish notes for The Cincinnati Red Stockings sold for $ 1,476. The team was the first purely professional baseball team with ten salaried players in 1869.


A trophy baseball from an 1866 game would land a home run for $ 5,904. At the Continental of Newtonville, two teams from Massachusetts competed against each other.


The Weils knew their way around early American pewter, and their collection included renowned metalworkers of the medium. This lot included plates by Cornelius Bradford, Edmund Dolbeare, J. Applebee and Giles Griswal. The group sold for $ 3,444.


Pottery was led by a foamy Nottingham earthenware mug for $ 4,305.


The tallest work of art among all works of art was a watercolor by George Burgess from 1853. The scene shows the Mokelunme River in California, which once flowed of gold and attracted beggars from near and far. The watercolor, 10 by 14 inches, sold for $ 14,760.


Bidders took off their hats to this inkwell, which fetched the highest price per square inch at auction. The amber, hand-blown glass, hat-shaped inkwell sold for $ 9,840.


Drawn by F. Mayhew in 1826, the design for this lithograph family tree was for the famous early American family. The line begins with Thomas Mayhew, who declared himself governor of Martha’s Vineyard in 1642 and established the first European settlement on the island. The lithograph raised $ 2,952. Another Mayhew family lithograph sold for $ 1,353.


This green wash board had cut corners and a heart handle. The bidders smelled love, and it sold for $ 738.


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