Search the Collection
Advanced Search

Whale weathervane

Date: 1875-1900
Display Dimensions: 2450 x 865 x 865 mm
Medium: Metal, wood
Credit Line: ANMM Collection Purchased with USA Bicentennial Gift funds
Classification:Tools and equipment
Object Name: Weathervane
Object No: 00015866
Place Manufactured:United States

User Terms

    This weathervane was hand wrought in America and consists of a wooden whale model encased in metal, directional arrows and a sculptured stone base. Weathervanes were commonly displayed on the roof tops of homes, offices, and civic buildings in the 19th century and usually featured models of animals essential to the local economy.
    SignificanceThis weathervane represents American folk art in the late 19th century and the importance of whaling to the American economy.
    HistoryThe tradition of weathervanes was brought to America by English settlers. The earliest American versions depicted subjects that were important to the local economy but gradually became more varied. Often weathervanes in seaside settlements featured sailors, ships, whales, seagulls or fish in their mountings. Local craftsmen and individuals made the earliest designs but by the end of the 19th century commercial manufacturers had become established.

    Additional Titles

    Primary title: Whale weathervane

    Web title: Whale weathervane

    Discuss this Object


    Please log in to add a comment.