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Lot # 986 (of 1594)   < Previous Lot | Next Lot >

Circa 1894 Roger Connor's Baseball Weather Vane

Starting Bid - $100.00, Sold For - $1,057.50

This unique piece, a circa 1894 brass weather vane in the form of two crossed bats and a baseball, was once the property Hall of Fame first baseman Roger Connor and adorned the top of his house on South Main Street in Waterbury, Connecticut, for nearly 90 years. In 1979, the weather vane was purchased by Barry Halper and, in similar fashion, rested upon his roof for the next twenty-five years. The story of how Barry acquired this piece epitomizes his love of collecting. In the 1970s Barry had read an article about Roger Connor in which it mentioned this unique weather vane was long ago on his Waterbury, Connecticut, home. Barry, of course, couldn't help but wonder what happened to it. He guessed that it was probably still on the roof of the house. Since Waterbury was a short drive from his home in New Jersey he took to his car and set out to find it. Barry spent nearly a day driving through the neighborhood looking at rooftops, and his mission soon paid off when surveying the Waterbury skyline he finally found the piece. A knock at the appropriate door followed momentarily. Unable to contain his excitement, he quickly negotiated a sales price with the homeowner and made arrangements to have it taken down and shipped to his home in New Jersey. Barry then placed the piece on his roof, where it proudly resided for nearly twenty-five years before being transferred to the backyard of Barry's new residence. This was always one of Barry's favorite pieces and he always enjoyed telling the story of how he happened to discover and save it. To Barry, learning about the existence of and then personally finding Roger Connor's baseball weather vane was really what collecting was all about. The piece is accompanied by a letter to Barry Halper from the masonry company that originally removed it from Connor's house, as well as a copy of an article written by Connor's granddaughter in which she references the weather vane, and notes that when Roger Connor brought this home as a gift for his wife it was specifically placed over the roof of their bedroom, as she felt protected by it while Connor was on the road playing ball. The weather vane, as one might expect, is in very fragile condition today due to the fact that it has been exposed to the outdoor elements for nearly 120 years. All of the parts are heavily rusted, with many sections of the vane having literally "rusted away." Additionally, there are the remains of both a bird nest and wasp nest within the round base. For the reasons stated it must be noted that this piece is too fragile to ship. This item must be picked up in person or the winning bidder must make arrangements to have a representative pick it up. Please do not bid on this item if such arrangements cannot be made. Also keep in mind that since it must be picked up, out of state residents will be required to pay New Jersey sales tax (7%). We apologize for any inconvenience. Reserve $100. Estimate (open). SOLD FOR $1,057.50

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