Published: September 1, 2015
FAIRFIELD, MAINE — Paintings, Americana and Asian works created four busy days for James Julia and his staff as 2,596 lots were sold over a four-day period, August 25–28, for a total of $4.7 million, including the buyer’s premium. The star weathervane in the sale, lot 2152, a monumental and important cow, circa 1890, commissioned by William Hayes of Tariffville, Conn., for his barn was probably created by JW Fiske of New York City.
The vane has a fine verdigris patina after spending 100 years on the cupola of the Hayes Dairy Barn, and later on the cupola of the Simsbury Post Office. The weathervane was accompanied by a complete history of ownership, including a number of photographs, and a bronze plaque from the Simsbury Post Office where the vane resided from its dedication in 1966 to 1988, but for a day short of a year when it was stolen and then recovered. It was bought by Richard Garthoeffner, Lititz, Penn., for $52,732, including buyer’s premium. “Weathervanes like this do not come along very often,” a very happy Rich said, as he loaded the cow into his car for the ride home.
Taking first place among the paintings in the sale was the portrait of the bark Mary by Fitz Henry Lane (American 1804–1865), measuring 19½ by 27 inches sight, 26½ by 34½ inches overall, that sold for $118,500. It is listed as being in very good condition with minor inpainting. Information about the ship indicates that she was built in 1844 in Medford, Mass., having Boston the home port. It is attributed to the shipbuilders Foster & Taylor.
A complete report on all of the four-day sales will be in a forthcoming issue of Antiques and The Arts Weekly.
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