updated 8/12/2006 8:34:55 PM ET 2006-08-13T00:34:55

A copper weathervane that sat atop the Woonsocket train depot for nearly a century was sold at a New Hampshire auction for $1.2 million.

It is believed to be a record price for an American weathervane.

The sculpture, in the shape of a locomotive, is 5 feet long and 17 inches high and topped the train depot from 1882 to 1971.

An unidentified bidder paid more than $1.2 million for the weathervane at an Aug. 5 auction in Manchester, N.H., according to a report Saturday in The Providence Journal.

"We knew the demand would be pushed to the ceiling," said James Horan, office manager for Northeast Auctions, which ran the auction. "We thought $500,000 to $700,000. You just don't find this kind of thing."

The weathervane was removed from the building in 1971 after the depot was sold.

It passed through dealers and collectors, eventually ending up in the collection of Raymond Egan, a former executive at Bristol Myers-Squibb, according to the auction catalogue.

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