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    • Histories.
      Detail of a 1928 aerial photograph showing Nicholson Street (upper left to lower right) at Botetourt. When we talk about history at Colonial Williamsburg, it’s the 18th century that comes first to mind. While the 18th century is certainly our research and interpretive focus, archaeologists spend ... Continue Reading »
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      Now is the time of year to begin the production of vegetable transplants that will be ready to put into the garden in late March and early April. Dung of the proper heat In preparation, we have gathered dung to supply the hotbed. For those new to the ... Continue Reading »
    • ‘Therapy’ and ‘Outlet’ Becomes a Calling for Weaver
      By Lisa O. Monroe A bargain with a college roommate may have brought Karen Clancy to Williamsburg. But it was her mother’s love of history and the creative spark she ignited in her daughter that started Clancy on a path to become the Revolutionary City’s head weaver, dyer and spinner. ... Continue Reading »
    • TURN returns to Williamsburg
      By Bill Sullivan Scores of visitors to Colonial Williamsburg’s Historic Area witnessed history Monday as AMC’s spy drama TURN returned for a final day of filming. The Governor’s Palace was the setting for scenes that will appear later this year in episode 9 of the show’s second season.
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      On a cold January afternoon, who’s working on the Market House? You might be surprised…. Webcams can be marvelous things. Through the lens of a webcam, Colonial Williamsburg’s “virtual visitors” kept up with daily progress as the Coffeehouse and Armoury reconstructions took shape. With its constantly ... Continue Reading »
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Colonial Williamsburg Cleans Out The Attic

Tools, machines and antique artifacts from Colonial Williamsburg went on the auction block in Indianapolis, Ind., on Friday, March 23 and Saturday, March 24.

“It is unusual. These items are from a very highly respected institution. It is a great opportunity for those interested. The items have been in storage for a lot of years,” said Martin Donnelly, owner of Live Free or Die Auctions, which will conduct the sale at the Clarion Hotel and Conference Center.

Many of the items to be sold have been stored at Colonial Williamsburg, a historic district in Williamsburg, Va., since 1935. Most of them date from the 19th Century and are not consistent with the Colonial Period, which is why they are up for bid. “There has already been a tremendous amount of interest from people who are aware we have these things. (Some people) have admired and looked at them for years. Each item will have the logo of Colonial Williamsburg on it,” Donnelly said.

The hand tools and shop accessories were once used in the shops at Colonial Williamsburg but have been replaced with functional period reproduction tools, a practice consistent with modern curatorial practices. “The tools will go to collectors. Using the tools in the shops degrades them, and the mission of Colonial Williamsburg is preservation,” Donnelly said.

All of the proceeds from the sale will benefit the collections acquisition fund of Colonial Williamsburg.

One of the highlights of the auction will come from Lot 500, an ivory-tipped cabinet maker’s plough plane, which is expected to bring $5,000 to $10,000, Donnelly said.

This high-quality 1880s tool, made by Sandusky Tool Co., was used by woodworkers to cut grooves for panels on cabinets, he explained. It has brass wheels and arms, which are ivory-tipped.

“It was top of the line and would have cost several months’ wages,” Donnelly said.

Other impressive items are watchmaker and clockmaker tools.

“They have visual appeal and are not readily available. These items are in nearly new condition despite being over 100 years old,” Donnelly stated.

Donnelly predicted that rare planes by Stanley Rule and Level Co., the largest toolmaker in the U.S., will be in high demand due to their superior condition and the added value of having been stored in the attic of the State Capitol Building.

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