An Angel Gabriel weathervane led the American Folk Art Collection of Stephen and Petra Levin, Part I at $1,330,000 – the top lot price sold of all January 2016 Americana Week auctions in New York. Gabriel weathervanes, also known as "Fame," are considered the most desirable and rare form in the iconography of American weathervanes, and the present example is exceedingly rare for its three-dimensional form and exquisite patina. Further highlights of the sale included a cigar store figure of Lord Dundreary by Samuel Anderson Robb, which fetched $322,000 (estimate: $200,000 - $250,000) and a rare Race Track Tout by Charles Dowler, which sold for $454,000, well above its high estimate of $300,000.
“American Beauty: The American Folk Art Collection of Stephen and Petra Levin, Part I” comprises approximately 100 examples drawn from over 300 extraordinary examples of American folk art collected by the legendary collectors, Stephen and Petra Levin. The collection features iconic examples of objects that harness the art, culture and history of America in the 19th and 20th century. Astute and passionate in their love for Americana, the Levins were particularly drawn to powerful, three dimensional, sculptural objects which presage the strength and power and social commentary of American Contemporary art. The Levin Collection will be offered in thematic groupings – Patriotism, Fire-Fighting, Whimsy, Fantasy, Eroticism -- which reflect the impetus and inspiration behind each work, and which continue to inspire American art today.