Many friends, clients and I share a passion for antique
weather vanes. These symbolic, charming, and sometimes folksy pieces have
gone from assisting farmers, sailors and others with weather forecasting and wind patterns to becoming highly collectible art. Collectors look for rarity in form,
craftsmanship, original condition and size—either big and bold or diminutive.
Did you know many have bullet holes as a result of being the
unfortunate targets of hooligans, etc? Additionally, a weather vane atop
a barn might have represented a farmer’s prized or signature animal. If you see
a cow vane, it could’ve once been on a cattle farm.
Here are a few of my favorites displayed in homes:
My friend Lori’s 19th Cen Dexter Running Horse
vane in her family room. I suggested Dexter go behind the sofa between the lamps from my shop
(converted from antique French balusters). Dexter’s silhouette looks especially handsome back lit.
Many famous racing horses were depicted on weather vanes based on the prints of Currier and Ives. Dexter, also known as King of the Turf, was a sensational racer. He is depicted below by C&I charging in mid air with his head down.
The famous Morgan trotter Blackhawk
in Michelle’s dining room. To read more about Michelle’s home, go here.
The contrast between the fine creamware and Blackhawk’s patina is particularly striking.
Standing on the mantel in Michelle’s living room is this unusually small American gilded cow. I love the little horns.
In Linda and Kit’s conservatory is this American crowing rooster, which is from the family home. Read more here.
In our home is this gilded copper Federal Eagle on top of a pedestal table. It perches above a sphere and directional arrow.
I recently visited Dennis Raleigh Antiques
in Wiscasset, Maine. I met Dennis, a specialist in folk art, years ago at an antiques show, and have purchased wonderful items from him.
Blackhawk and Smuggler Running Horse from Dennis.
A trio of quills most likely from libraries, school houses, etc. Left from Skinner and others from Christie’s.
The “best of the best” in Jerry Lauren’s Manhattan apartment as featured in Antiques and Fine Art.
Above and below photos by Ellen McDermott.
A magnificent Leaping Stag from the Lauren collection.