The First Art Newspaper on the Net    Established in 1996 Thursday, August 11, 2022

Weathervanes and windmill weights standout in Skinner auction
Rare Cast Iron "Screw-leg" Rooster Windmill Weight. Image courtesy Skinner Auctioneers.

MARLBOROUGH, MASS.- Skinner Auctioneers’ sale of “Colorfully Cast: A California Collection,” the immense and delightfully rustic holdings of a California couple who spruced up their homes with incisively-chosen objects over the past three decades, attracted widespread interest with active bidding in every category. “This collection was anything but predictable,” reflected Stephen Fletcher, Executive Vice President of American Furniture & Decorative Arts. “The couple were truly venturesome in their collecting.”

The sale was held online from January 31 at 12 p.m. through February 10, 2022 at 7 pm., and was highlighted by some of the sale’s diverse highlights: a panbone plaque carved with a ship and the initials “H.M.” which sold for $21,250; the unusual cast and molded “Tuckerman” Rooster weathervane which brought $16,250; an early 19th century floral applique textile which commanded $11,250; and a lovely pair of cast iron Art Deco architectural ornaments, which soared over their estimate to $8,125.

A group of 33 cast iron weights, originally meant for counterbalancing the blades on late 19th and early 20th century windmills, performed exceptionally well at auction. These windmill weights, most with early painted surfaces and some of very rare forms, were led by the “Screw-leg” Rooster weight ($8,750), a bright orange-painted “Mogul” weight ($6,250), and other less common shapes like a bell ($4,688) and a heart ($4,375). All told, the weights brought over $77,000 – on average, about $40 a pound.

Other highlights—further evidence of the collection’s unabashed eclecticism—include:

• A pair of cast iron carnival shooting target rigs ($6,250)
• An early 19th century family record ($3,625)
• A pair of wooden and tin wall sconces mounted with carved shorebirds ($3,750)
• A set of four rock-crystal-mounted sconces ($3,625)
• A carved and painted fish ($4,688)
• A late 19th century trade sign from a clothing store in Elizabethtown, Pennsylvania ($5,625).

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