Rare or unique calf weathervane. American, probably circa 1840-1880


Pine, carved, brass tack eyes, horns, leather ears, original red and white painted decoration with a beautifully worn and weathered surface, 15 x 20 x 2 inches, the horns span 4 inches in depth.

The use of leather for the original ears of this piece are unusual and distinctive characteristics of a carved wooden weathervane that draw a comparison with a well-known red and white painted wooden rooster weathervane with a leather cockscomb formerly in the Barry Cohen collection and illustrated in a number of books, including Robert Bishop, American Folk Sculpture (New York, 1974), p. 136; Robert Bishop and Patricia Coblentz, A Gallery of American Weathervanes and Whirligigs (New York, 1981), David A. Schorsch, The Barry Cohen Collection (New York, 1990), pp. 86-87, and Harvey Kahn and Tom Ziesmer, Spiritually Moving, A Collection of American Folk Art Sculpture (New York, 1998), catalog no. 36.

Aside from a carved wood pattern for calf weathervane by E. G. Washburne & Company in the collection of the New York State Historical Association (illustrated in Adele Earnest, Folk Art in America, A Personal View (Exton, PA, 1984), p. 66, this is the only example of a  weathervane in this rare form known to us, and the only one that is a unique one-of-a kind carved and painted wooden effort.


Found in Iowa;

Austin T. Miller American Antiques, Columbus, OH;

A distinguished Midwestern private collection

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