Historian’s well-documented Early American artifacts offered in Mass.

Twisted, hand-forged iron candle holder, early 18th century, twisted iron with hanging hook and drip pan, 7 inches high.

ROCKLAND, Mass. – The Estate and collections of John P. Richardson, a lifelong Hingham, Mass., resident, historian, naturalist, writer, wetland scientist, proprietor of the Hingham Book House (1974-1986) and uber collector of everything Hingham, will be sold Nov. 19, 2011 beginning at 11 a.m. at the Holiday Inn in Rockland, Mass.

The collections will be sold at auction in three separate sessions. The first session will sell selected offerings from more than 3,000 historical artifacts from the 17th to the 20th century.

Richardson tagged nearly everything with provenance information: where, when and how it was found, and from what families they were obtained. His overall philosophy was that “these things would tell a story of how people lived and worked in Hingham before the impact of technology. Much of it was acquired by crawling under eaves, beneath old houses, barns and stores and in the lofts and attics of buildings about to be razed.

Hundreds of Hingham families are represented in this auction including: Hersey, Lincoln, Wilder, Loring, Burr, Gay, Long, Cushing, Bouve, Tower, Lane, Beston, Dwiggens, Fearing, Gardiner, Sprague, and so on.

This rare coopered Hingham pail is initialed A.H. for Abijar Hersey. It dates to the late 18th century.

Categories to be sold in this session include prints, paintings and watercolors (Isaac Sprague – who worked with Audubon); many pieces of woodenware and toys; rare shipwright and carpenter tools; Civil War artifacts and weapons; large collections of advertising tins, bottles, posters and boxes from the Howe’s General Store, Cushing House Inn, and the Nye Tavern. Sea chests, whaling harpoon, Captain’s telescopes, ships and railroad lanterns, decoys, clocks, canes, early Hingham signs, stoneware, architectural pieces, weathervanes, early blown flasks, rare taxidermy, medicine bottles, and redware will all be crossing the auction block.

The auction catalog can be seen on-line at Willis Henry Auctions, Inc.

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