A MOLDED COPPER FLYING ANGEL GABRIEL WEATHERVANE
A MOLDED COPPER FLYING ANGEL GABRIEL WEATHERVANE
A MOLDED COPPER FLYING ANGEL GABRIEL WEATHERVANE
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Please note this lot will be moved to Christie’s F… Read more
A MOLDED COPPER FLYING ANGEL GABRIEL WEATHERVANE

ATTRIBUTED TO J.W. FISKE, NEW YORK, LATE 19TH CENTURY

Details
A MOLDED COPPER FLYING ANGEL GABRIEL WEATHERVANE
ATTRIBUTED TO J.W. FISKE, NEW YORK, LATE 19TH CENTURY
17 in. high, 26 1⁄2 in. wide, 8 1⁄4 in. deep
Provenance
Adele Earnest (1901-1993), Stony Point Folk Art Gallery, New York
Stewart E. Gregory (1913-1976), Wilton, Connecticut
Sotheby Parke Bernet, New York, 27 January 1979, lot 223
Mike Nichols (1931-2014), Connecticut
Sotheby’s, New York, 28, 29, 31 January 1987, lot 1041
Hirschl & Adler Folk, New York
Acquired from above, May 1987
Literature
An Eye on America: Folk Art from the Stewart E. Gregory Collection (New York, 1972), pp. 3, 32, no. 5.
Sotheby's, advertisement, The New York Times, 20 December 1987.
Peter Goodman, Notebook, no. 871.
Exhibited
Osaka, Japan, World Exposition, United States Pavilion, 1970.
New York, The Museum of American Folk Art [the American Folk Art Museum], An Eye on America: Folk Art from the Stewart E. Gregory Collection, 13 March-14 May 1972.
Special notice

Please note this lot will be moved to Christie’s Fine Art Storage Services (CFASS in Red Hook, Brooklyn) at 5pm on the last day of the sale. Lots may not be collected during the day of their move to Christie’s Fine Art Storage Services. Please consult the Lot Collection Notice for collection information. This sheet is available from the Bidder Registration staff, Purchaser Payments or the Packing Desk and will be sent with your invoice.

Brought to you by

Cara Zimmerman
Cara Zimmerman Head of Americana and Outsider Art

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Lot Essay

Heralded by an illustrious provenance, this Angel Gabriel weathervane is a masterful survival of the form. From the pose, with the left arm bent and resting on the right shoulder, to the two-part pleated dress and protruding feet, the model illustrated here closely follows a design published in 1893 by J.W. Fiske of New York (J.W. Fiske, Copper Weathervanes (New York, 1893), p. 50). Although the subject was rendered by several manufacturers, this model is exceedingly rare. A model that shares the overall pose but differs in details of the dress and positioning of the left hand is thought to have been made in circa 1872 possibly by the Mott Co. of Chicago (Sotheby's, New York, 10 October 2019, lot 11). The Mott company also operated out of New York where it was the main competitor of the Fiske operation and it is possible that these similar models illustrate the rivalry between the two firms.

The weathervane was owned by Adele Earnest (1901-1993), one of the six founding trustees of the Museum of American Folk Art (now the American Folk Art Museum). She sold the vane to pioneering collector Stewart E. Gregory (1913-1976) of Wilton, Connecticut, who served as the Museum’s vice president from 1971 to 1974 and in 1970, this weathervane was part of a dramatic display of over forty vanes and sculptures at the US Pavilion at the World Exposition in Osaka, Japan. The sale of Gregory’s collection for over $1.3 million in 1979 was considered a watershed moment in the market for American folk art and this Angel Gabriel weathervane, which sold for $16,000, was widely reported in the press. Its purchaser was legendary film and play director Mike Nichols (1931-2014), whose notable achievements on the stage and the big screen include Whos Afraid of Virginia Woolf (1966), The Graduate (1967), for which he won the Academy Award for Best Director, Broadway’s Annie (1977-1983), Working Girl (1988), The Birdcage (1996) and Primary Colors (1998).

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