Thursday - 11 February 2016

The high art of the weathervane

30 August 2012Written by Mark Bridge

Weathervanes have always been at the pinnacle of aspirations for collectors of American folk art.

The special place of weathervanes in American collecting culture was established beyond all doubt in 2006 when an example formed as a lifesize Indian chief smashed all records by selling at $5.2m (£2.9m).

But it is still possible to enter the market at a very much lower leveland auctioneers  Skinner had some choice examples a recent sale at their Marlborough, Massachusetts rooms.

They included this 20in (51cm) high copper butterfly vane from the private collection of dealers Cheryl and Paul Scott which reached $35,000 (£23,650). The unusual late 19th century vane, attributed to J. W. Fiske and originally found on a north shore Massachusetts estate, was one of several in the separately-catalogued Scott collection offered on August 11-12.

The top bid was for a 2ft (61cm) high zinc and copper 'Index' walking horse weathervane, made c.1860 by the Massachusets firm of J. Howard & Co, at $37,500 (£25,340).

The Scott collection also produced four more antique horse vanes at prices between $2450 and $8000, and an eagle vane at $1300 (£880).

Skinner's mixed-owner session included a range of animal vanes in the low thousands and a mid-20th century zinc, copper and iron aeroplane took $1200 (£810).

The buyer's premium was 18.5/10%.

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