January 25, 10:08 PM GMT
350,000 - 450,000 USD
IMPORTANT MOLDED COPPER GODDESS OF LIBERTY WEATHERVANE, ATTRIBUTED TO WILLIAM HENIS OR VINCENT W. BALDWIN, PHILADELPHIA OR NEW YORK, CIRCA 1875-79
Height 29 ½ in. by Length 29 in.
Erected on Hale Family Homestead, Tyringham, Massachusetts, 1877-79;
By descent in the Hale Family;
Christie's New York, Important American Furniture, Folk Art, Silver and Prints, January 21, 2006, sale 1617, lot 376;
Stephen Score, Boston, Massachusetts.
Nancy N. Johnson, "For the Record," Antiques & Fine Art Magazine, Summer 2006, p. 88.
William Henis (possibly 1833–1907) was listed in the 1871 Philadelphia Directory as “mfr stoves, also weather vanes, platina points, balls & emblematic signs” and claimed he had founded his business in 1860. Henis included an engraving of this stylized design in a later undated catalogue he published, but the same engraving also appears in a catalogue published by Vincent W. Baldwin of New York, so it is not clear who originated it or what if any relationship there was between the two men. Baldwin was in the hardware business before he first advertised as a weathervane manufacturer in 1874, so either man could have been the source of this particular vane. Tyringham, where it topped a building for many years, is a small town in Berkshire County, Massachusetts.
A similar weathervane is illustrated in Robert Bishop, American Folk Sculpture, (New York: E. P. Dutton & Co., 1974), p. 72, plate 110.