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Archive for the 'Garden' Category

The Different Types of Weathervane Ornaments

Posted by Dave McIntosh on January 15th, 2010

Weather impacts all of us and how we live, what we do and when. Today, we have an unbelievable amount of high tech equipment to help us monitor, track and predict the weather, but the one tool many still like to use is the weather vane.

Weather vanes are common fixtures on the tops of buildings large and small. The earliest known weather vane was constructed atop Athens’ Tower of the Winds by an astronomer in 48 B.C., but you’ve probably seen them topping everything from a historical government building to your neighbour’s barn. These weathervanes can display many different kinds of ornaments as well.

Weathervane OrnamentsArrow and scroll Weathervane Ornaments
These weathervanes include a simple arrow ornament which is attached to a horizontal tube. The arrow or scroll moves around to indicate the wind direction. Sometimes the term “arrow” and the term “scroll” are interchangeable. This depends on the type of fletching, whether there is a point on it and what type of point it is, how intricate the details are, and whether the design contains any actual wrought scrolls.

Banner and Bannerette Weathervane Ornaments
These ornaments are fashioned after medieval pendants and flags, the basic parts of this particular ornament are the points in front and a flat area in the back. Though the terms “banner” and “bannerette” may also seem to be interchangeable, but a banner usually has an area large enough for a date or monogram to be cut out or applied to the ornament, while a bannerette has an area which might be large but is mainly decorative.

Weathervane OrnamentsSilhouette Weathervane Ornaments
This style of ornament has also been in use for many, many years. After 1900, the silhouette weathervane became very popular again, and often displayed fables, sporting events or themes. In Europe, businesses and guilds would display their specialty using this type of vane ornament.

Swell-bodied Weathervane Ornaments
The most common type of weathervane and is most closely associated with the American weather vane makers. The sculpture piece has dimension but is thinner than a fully three-dimensional sculpture piece so it will be more aerodynamic in the wind. Molds are created from hammered copper for these ornaments. The molds are then trimmed and soldered together into a hollow form which is a few inches thick. This type of vane can also be formed freehand.

Weathervane OrnamentsFull-bodied Weathervane Ornaments
These ornaments are a 3-dimensional representation of a particular subject. Often these are Custom made with each one being a new and unique design never seen before on a weathervane. Sometimes, two or more smaller types from vanes are combined to form a larger one.

At one time Copper Weathervanes were seen on just about every home, especially in the country. Today you’ll be able to find them on rooftops in just about every country in the world. While they are practical in that they tell you the wind direction many of them are also highly decorative.

To serve the growing demand, there are more weathervanes being made in the world today than at any point in history. Due to the large variety of manufacturers and styles, becoming familiar with the product is crucial when purchasing. Since the purchase of a weathervane is often a singular affair, and because it’s highly visible, it is important to select carefully.