A copper butterfly weathervane that took $35,000 (£23,650) at Skinner.

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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%.