skip to Main Content

The Way the Wind Blows: American Weathervanes

From the colonial artisans who produced weathervanes by hand in the 18th century, to the craftsmen and factories who made weathervanes available to homesteaders in the 19th and 20th centuries, weathervanes have become part of the American folk art canon. Dating originally to ancient China and Greece, weathervanes arrived in American with the Dutch Reformed Church in the mid-17th century in the form of a copper weathercock that sat atop a building in Albany, NY. The earliest known maker of weathervanes in the United States was Shem Downe whose famous gilded grasshopper adorns the roof of Faneuil Hall in Boston. The introduction of factory production of weathervanes in the early 19th century in Boston transformed the market for weathervanes, allowing for greater production and dissemination outside of New England. One such company was A.L. Jewell & Co., in Waltham, MA. After the Civil War, weathervane manufacturing began in New York, taking on new forms that followed cultural trends and appealed to the new consumer.  Combining functionality, artistry and personal expression, American weathervanes have become part of the Americana vernacular. Our August 5thAmericana sale offers a fine selection of American weathervanes, including those by Jewell & Co. and others made by anonymous craftsmen.

Time & Location

European Works of Art in The Collection of Luigi Pellettieri
Thursday, July 15 at 11am

Back To Top