Stained glass windows sold

A collection of stained glass windows that had been a part of the city's heritage for more than a century was sold at auction recently.

The windows had looked out on Washington Street from a building that was first the Universalist Church, and then became the Bath Alliance Church, since 1892 or thereabouts, based on a review of Universalist Church records.The windows were removed in July after the Beth Israel Congregation, which now owns the building at 906 Washington St., determined that they could not be preserved and maintained at the site.

After the windows were removed, some Bath area residents mounted an drive to raise enough money to buy the windows, but that effort fell short.

The windows were sold during the three-day Thanksgiving Weekend Auction Extravaganza at Thomaston Place Auction Galleries on Route 1.

Auctioneer Kaja Veilleux sold each window separately, with prices ranging from $500 to $2,750. An unofficial count showed five of the stained glass windows going to bidders from New Jersey and one to Ohio. Four of the windows will likely remain in Maine, pending final payment of the bids that were made on them.

The auction was an elaborate event. There were four or more television sets high up on the walls where bidders and spectators could get up-close views of what was being auctioned. One camera was filming the auctioneer at all times. Ten or more phones were located in the back of the hall for people who couldn't attend the auction but still wanted to bid.

Veilleux's assistants included 12 to 15 men and women dressed in white shirts and black skirts or trousers. One man, dressed in all black, would lift the heavy items to the front of the hall when it came time to bid on them. The auctioneer wore a three-piece suit, but he removed his jacket as the auction progressed.

The auction drew more than 150 people, who listened intently to the fast-paced process. Items for bid included furniture, jewelry, guns, weather vanes, ships in bottles and paintings. Some of the stained glassed windows were lined up outside against the building where the day's sunlight brought out their colors, offering those from Bath who attended the auction one last chance to see the intact collection.

600450 Stained glass windows sold
Date: 4 December 2003

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