First of all I gotta say, this weathervane has been up and rocking my back yard for a couple of weeks now and I’ve been dying to share it with you guys. But the great Visalia goat fiasco of 2015 occurred and set my blogging back back, oh, just A WHOLE HECK OF A LOT.
The sad irony in all of this is that we mounted this Garden Weathervane on the goat barn before the goat madness went down, and now it’s out there, proudly presiding over an empty goat pen. BUT!! There is a VERY STRONG LIKELIHOOD that goat barn won’t be empty for long. I’d fill you folks in on the latest, but I’ve decided that in an effort to NOT flood my Domestic Geek Girl readers with post after post after post of goat related activism, I’ve started a new website, www.improgoat.com (CLICK HERE TO VISIT!) Go check it out to stay up to date on our efforts in the community!
But enough of THAT!! Let’s get on with this review, yeah?!
So, for those of you who have been following my blog for awhile, you’ll remember when I was excited to find that the previous owners of the house we bought left a wrought iron pig weathervane in the back yard. Then how I got frustrated with it because it was broken, banged up, missing a cardinal point, and just generally not in keeping with my backyard theme which is: goats, rabbits and chickens.
You guys all know how much work and effort I put into my little pen, and the only two things left on my list of “things to upgrade”, was wiring up some lighting / heat lamps on the inside and replacing the broken pig weathervane on the outside. So when I saw the Rabbit Weathervane in Blue Verde from Good Directions, I was crazy eager to put that beauty on my goat barn!
I may have done a little happy dance. Maybe. *cough*
A Brief History of Weathervanes
A weathervane is an architectural ornament used for showing the direction of the wind, typically added to the highest point of a building.
Although partly functional, weathervanes are generally decorative, often featuring letters indicating the points of the compass.
The earliest recorded weathervane honored the Greek god Triton, and adorned the Tower of the Winds in Athens which was built by the astronomer Andronicus in 48 B.C.
Archaeologists have discovered weathervanes in all areas of the globe. Vikings used bronze weathervanes from the 9th century featuring animals or Norse fable characters. They have been found on ships and on Scandinavian churches in Sweden and Norway.
In the ninth century A.D., the pope reportedly decreed that every church in Europe should show a cock on its dome or steeple, as a reminder of Jesus’ prophecy that the cock would not crow the morning after the Last Supper, until the disciple Peter had denounced Him three times (Luke 22:34). Because of this story, “weather cocks” have topped church steeples for centuries, both in Europe and in America.
But it is the banners which flew from medieval towers in Britain, Normandy and Germany which are the precursors to our modern weathervanes. The word “vane” actually comes from the Anglo-Saxon word “fane”, meaning “flag”. Originally, fabric pennants would show the archers the direction of the wind. Later, the cloth flags were replaced by metal ones, decorated with the insignia or coat of arms of the lord or nobleman, and balanced to turn in the wind. From these antecedents come the banners which the early American colonists favored for their meeting halls and public buildings.
Modern day weathervanes have a special history rooted in early American colonial art. America’s first documented weathervane maker, Deacon Shem Drowne, created the famous grasshopper vane atop Boston’s Faneuil Hall (1742), as well as the banner for Boston’s Old North Church (1740), the rooster now on First Church in Cambridge (orig. 1721), and the large copper Indian for Boston’s Province House (1716).
Our founding fathers made weathervanes an estate staple. Thomas Jefferson attached the weathervane on Monticello to a pointer in the ceiling of the room directly below, so he could read the direction of the wind from inside his home. And George Washington commemorated the end of the Revolutionary War by commissioning a “Dove of Peace“ weathervane from Joseph Rakestraw in 1787, for his estate at Mount Vernon.
In the early 1800’s, Americans favored weathervanes in patriotic designs, including the Goddess of Liberty, and of course, the Federal Eagle. By the middle of the century, vanes of famous racing horses like “Black Hawk”, “Smuggler” and “George M. Patchen” were being modeled after the popular Currier and Ives prints.
In the last decades of the 19th century, Victorian buildings had fancy weather vanes and elaborate metalwork embellishing almost every inch of roof space.
Weathervanes enjoy a rich world history and are a large part of early Americana art. Whether for function or for art, weathervanes add a unique and refined touch to the modern garden!
About Good Directions
Good Directions offers fresh, unique and classic outdoor living décor from a growing roster of artisans. From weathervanes to birdhouses to fire pits, all of their heavy-gauge, high quality products are designed to last for generations.
From the president of Good Directions:
Outdoor living is booming. Today’s homeowners are bringing the same attention to beautifying their outdoor living spaces as they do their interiors. Good Directions is passionate about providing our customers with unique items that combine stylish form with durable function; elements that meet the high standards of house-proud homeowners. At Good Directions we believe excellent quality and service should be a given. We think you deserve more. We hope you’ll always look to Good Directions for outdoor living products that are unique and innovative.
My Thoughts on my Good Directions Weathervane
This garden sized Rabbit Weathervane in Blue Verde Copper (CLICK HERE to view the product page) was designed by American craftsmen and handcrafted using Old World techniques in sculptural detail.
This is a maintenance-free garden weathervane that actually works – none of this immovable in the wind garbage you see with cheaper models like my pig weathervane. (It’s actually EXTREMELY windy as I’m typing this!) It moves smoothly, but isn’t so loose as to fling around at every breeze, and it’s sturdy enough to allay any fears of breakage. Every aspect of this product is thoughtfully and artfully designed. Good Directions cuts no corners in quality – the figures, directionals and spacer balls are made of copper and brass for beauty and longevity.