Weather vanes were indispensable to farmers as a tool to indicate wind directions. Originally, they were made in the shape of a simple arrow, balanced on a pivot that had the north-south directions indicated.

Weather vanes were typical field equipment often seen spinning over rural barn and village farms. Weather vanes were rarely made at home. Instead, local wood carpenters or local blacksmiths and tinsmiths used to make them. They played an important role in the life of the country people due to their dependence on the weather in their daily lives. Old wooden weather vanes were mainly made of carved wood and painted in natural colors. The true artistry of these palettes often went unnoticed due to this rural association. Weather vanes gradually evolved from a practical instrument to decorative folk art as artisans created intricate and innovative patterns.

Gradually, in the 1850s, weather vanes were produced in large numbers from molds, and craftsmen devised advanced techniques to produce unique pieces. Wooden pallets perished faster due to constant exposure to the elements. Iron and tin were a better alternative for making weather vanes, as these materials were durable. The oldest and most commonly used designs for weather vanes were the rooster or rooster. Apart from this, figurines of roosters, cows, pigs and goats were also quite popular. Now almost all forms of animals are used to design weather vanes, including human figures, birds, ships, vehicles, and even bugs and insects. These types of ornaments are used to represent cultural, religious, and patriotic themes through a variety of designs that could reflect country life.

Modern weather vanes are constructed from various other materials including copper, brass, steel, and cast aluminum to name a few. Modern weather vanes have found a place in home interiors, on walls and fireplace mantels as decorative features. Antique weather vanes are now considered treasured vintage pieces and have been a collector’s favorite for decades.

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