Whirligigs, Weathervanes, and Windmill Weights

Folk art, antiques, and outsider art

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Ship weathervane
Large sheet iron weather vane
Horse and sulky whirligig
Horse and sulky whirligig
Cast iron Hummer rooster windmill weight
Hummer rooster windmill weight
Golfer whirligig
Copper golfer weather vane
Whirligig of man and woman
Primitive whirligig of man chopping, woman washing
Whirligig figures
Whirligig figures wrestling
Woodcutter whirligig
One of two whirligigs
by the same maker
Second woodcutter whirligig
Second woodcutter whirligig
John Henry whirligig
John Henry railroad whirligig
Hummer rooster windmill weight
Hummer E 184 rooster windmill weight
Metal rooster
Large metal
rooster weathervane
Drummer whirligig
Drummer whirligig
Doorknob weathervane
Doorknob weathervane
whirligig
Airplane whirligig
Horse weathervane
Wooden horse weathervane

Ship weathervaneThis is a large, detailed, and impressive sheet iron weathervane of a three-masted ship sailing into breaking waves. It measures 42" long by 20" high. The arrow at the front is hinged, and can fold upward. The unpainted surface is dark, oxidized, and heavily pitted, but still sturdy and strong, not flaking. There are some small marks from plant roots or ivy on the back. There is a small area of loss on one side of the pivot, as seen in the photos. It was made in the mid to late 1800's. The price is $975.00. Inventory Code: CAAT.   See a slideshow of several views [706k] ... Ship weathervane, with a yardstick for scale ... Closeup of arrow ... Closeup of front ... Closeup, back half ... Closeup of hinged area, from above ... The other side ... Other side, closeup of arrow ... Closeup of front ... Closeup, back half ... Closeup of hinged area, from below ... With arrow folded up ... Edge view ... From below.
Some much larger photos:   Ship weathervane, with a yardstick for scale ... Closeup of arrow ... Closeup of front ... Closeup, back half ... The other side ... Other side, closeup of arrow ... Closeup of front ... Closeup, back half ... Closeup of hinged area, from below ... With arrow folded up ... Edge view.

Horse and sulky whirligigThis is a fairly large whirligig with a man driving a sulky pulled by a horse. It has 2 blades representing the wheels. When the blades turn the action is of the horse trotting and the driver's arm going up and down. This section (horse, sulky, etc) is made perpendicular to the long crosspiece and tail. The piece is in very good condition and was made from pine and plywood, likely in the 1950's or '60's. It is mounted on a Lucite type base. The whirligig is 39" long from the tail. The sulky section is about 19" long by 7" wide by 12" high. The price is $475.00. Inventory Code: CTAA.   See a slideshow of several views [581k] ... Horse and sulky whirligig ... Front view ... Back view ... One side ... Closer view ... The other side ... Another back view ... From above ... Another overall angle ... With a soda can for scale ... Video of the action [3 Mb].
Some much larger photos:   Horse and sulky whirligig ... Front view ... Back view ... One side ... The other side ... Another back view ... Another overall angle ... Video of the action [3 Mb].

Whirligig figuresHere are two carved, jointed, and painted wrestlers. They raise, lower, and go back and forth. The men are made from pine, while their arms are galvanized lightweight metal. They are mounted on an old plywood base on which are the mechanical remnants of the rest of the whirligig. It appears that this is the original base, and what is missing is the blade and some of the linkage. This funky and folky piece is probably no more recent than the 1940's. The paint is partially worn, but what remains is still fairly strong and not flaking. The men are 10" high while "sitting", and are 10" long and about 4" wide. They are mounted on a metal base with slots to allow some travel. The overall size is 26" long, 7" wide, and 12" high. The price is $495.00. Inventory Code: AOPH.   Carved wrestlers ... Side view ... Same side, with figures moved ... Second closeup ... Third closeup.

Here are two amusing woodchopper whirligigs by the same maker. They were both found in a barn in New Hampshire. They are both about the same size. There are some small differences in the blades, thickness of the wood, and other elements. They were probably made around the same time, likely 1960's or 70's. They are now mounted on new bases and stands. Their paint is good and solid, and the colors are nice. Both work, and with the exception of a few little details, as noted below, are in extremely good condition. It is unusual to find a pair like this.

Woodcutter whirligigThis first whirligig has thicker wood for the man's body and tree. It is 5/8" pine. The arms, legs, and blade are thinner pine, about 1/4" thick. The overall length is 16" and the width across the blades is about 14". Standing, the man is 9 1/2" tall. The tree is 3" high. On the base this piece is about 21" high. The front of the right foot is broken off and one of the blades has a tiny split with a little nail in it to keep it solid. The axe was fashioned from pine. The price is $225.00. Inventory Code: TRPA.   Woodcutter whirligig ... The other side ... Axe raised ... Other side, axe raised ... Closeup of the man ... Closeup, other side ... From the front ... Closeup of the blade ... Another front view ... Back view ... From above ... With a soda can for scale.
Both whirligigs ... Both, axes lowered ... Another view of both.

Second woodcutter whirligigThe man and tree of the second whirligig are made from thinner pine, with plywood arms. The axe on this one was also cut and carved from pine, but is a little thinner. The paint on this piece has a bit of wear and has one or two small flakes present. This man stands 9 3/4" when upright, and the tree is 2 7/8" high. The pine blade is painted with horizontal stripes. The front of the woodcutter's cap is missing, and the front of his right foot was replaced some time ago. The length of this whirligig is about 15 1/2" while the blades are about 14" across. It is 20 1/2" high when the man stands up. The price is $225.00. Inventory Code: TRPT.   Second woodcutter whirligig ... The other side ... Axe raised ... Closeup of the wood cutter ... Closeup, other side ... Closeup from front ... Front view ... Closeup of the blade ... Back view ... From above ... With a soda can for scale.
Both whirligigs ... Both, axes lowered ... Another view of both.

John Henry whirligigThis is a whirligig of John Henry working on the railroad. It was made by Ed Smith of Conover, NC. The carved, jointed figure goes up and down, hammering on the track as the blades turn. There is a plastic model box car on the track, and the blades are Conover license plates from 1978. The tail is a somewhat battered piece of sheet metal painted white on one side. The whirligig is 45" long by 27" across the blades. The man is 10 1/4" tall. As mounted on the wooden display base, it is about 28" high to the top of his head, or 33" to the top of the blade. It was made c. 1985, and is in very good, weathered condition. The price is $425.00. Inventory Code: CAKH.   See a slideshow of several views [1 Mb] ... John Henry whirligig ... With blades turned ... Closeup of the figure ... The other side ... Front view ... Back view ... Another closeup of the man ... Closeup, one side ... Closeup, other side ... Closeup from behind ... Closeup of blades ... Closeup of the boxcar ... Closeup of the tail ... Other side of the tail ... With a yardstick and soda can for scale ... Video of the action [5.7 Mb].
Some much larger photos:   John Henry whirligig ... With blades turned ... Closeup of the figure ... The other side ... Front view ... Back view ... Another closeup of the man ... Closeup, one side ... Closeup, other side ... Closeup from behind ... Closeup of blades ... Closeup of the boxcar ... Other side of the tail ... With a yardstick and soda can for scale ... Video of the action [5.7 Mb].

Hummer rooster windmill weightThis is a cast iron short stem Hummer windmill weight in great old paint. It is in excellent condition, mounted in a custom made wooden display base. From the early 1900's, it was made in Illinois by the Elgin Wind Power and Pump Company. It is the E 184 model. The size is 9 1/2" long by 10" high by about 1 1/2" thick. As mounted, it is 12" high by 14" long by 6 1/2" wide. The price is $750.00. Inventory Code: CCWS. We have second Hummer rooster here.   Hummer rooster windmill weight ... The other side ... Off the base ... Other side, off base ... Front view ... From above and below ... With a soda can for scale.
Some much larger photos:   Hummer rooster windmill weight ... The other side ... Off the base ... Other side, off base ... Front view ... From above and below ... With a soda can for scale.

Doorknob weathervaneThis whimsical metal weathervane arrow was hand made on a doorknob base. It is 24" long by 5" high, the point is 2" wide. It was most likely made in the 1940's or 50's. It has weathered green paint over remnants of red, and is in excellent condition. The price is $175.00. Inventory Code: AWTT.   Doorknob weathervane ... The other side, upside down ... Closeup of point ... Closeup of tail.

photoThis airplane whirligig has wonderful colors and form. It has a wood body, metal found objects for the blade, wings, and tail, and plastic wheels and pilot. The wood base was added more recently. The plane itself is 26" long, 15 1/2" wide, and 13 1/2" high; with the base it is 24 1/2" high. There may once have been something else attached over the tail. Probably about 40 years old, it is in very good, weathered condition. The price is $325.00. Inventory Code: ATAT.   Image ... From behind/side ... Front ... The colors don't show as well in the rest of the photos, but they will show you other angles. The other side ... Back view ... From above ... Overall, including base.

Horse weathervaneA nice wooden horse weathervane in weathered gray and black paint on both sides. An old spark plug was added to the front of the arrow to make it balance. It is 44 1/2" long by 16" high. The horse is cut from 1/2" plywood; the arrow is solid wood 1 1/2" thick. There is a metal plate with a hole for the pivot underneath. From Indiana, c. 1940's, it is in very good condition with a few very minor chips. The price is $295.00. Inventory Code: ASHS.   Horse weathervane ... The other side ... Closeup of the horse ... Closeup of the horse, other side ... Closeup of the arrow and sparkplug ... Closeup of the arrow, other side ... From above ... From below.

Cast iron Hummer rooster windmill weightThis is a cast iron windmill weight in the form of a rooster. It is a short stem Hummer, made in the early 1900's by the Elgin Wind Power and Pump Company, in Elgin, IL. It has an old repaint of black, red, and white and is in excellent condition. It comes with a custom made wooden display base. The size is 9 3/4" long by 8 3/4" high by about 1 3/4" thick. As mounted on the base, it is 11" high by 13" by 6 1/2". The price is $650.00. Inventory Code: CTRP.   See a slideshow of several views [424k] ... Cast iron Hummer rooster windmill weight ... The other side ... Another angle ... Front view ... From above ... Removed from the base ... From below ... With a soda can for scale.
Some much larger photos:   Cast iron Hummer rooster windmill weight ... The other side ... Another angle ... Front view ... Removed from the base ... From below ... With a soda can for scale.

Golfer whirligigThis is a golfer weather vane made of copper. It has good form and surface with mottled verdigris and has been mounted on a metal display base. The vane is 26" high by 21 1/2" long by about 3/4" thick; the base is 22" by 5". It is in excellent condition, probably from the 1930's or 40's. The price is $1175.00. Inventory Code: CTRA.   See a slideshow of several views [627k] ... Golfer whirligig ... The other side ... Front views ... Back views ... Closeup ... Closeup, other side ... Closeup of feet ... Closeup of bag ... Bag, other side ... From above ... With a soda can for scale.
Some much larger photos:   Golfer whirligig ... The other side ... Front views ... Back views ... Closeup ... Closeup, other side ... Closeup of feet ... Closeup of bag ... Bag, other side ... From above ... With a soda can for scale.

Whirligig of man and womanThis is a primitive whirligig with a man chopping wood and a woman scrubbing laundry. The people are cut from boards, with metal arms and legs. The laundry tub is a metal can, filled with tar or pitch to hold the wooden washboard in place. There is a rusted wire "picket fence" around the base. The whirligig has been mounted on a more recent wooden stand. The overall size is 38" long by 22" high as mounted; the blade is 16" across. From the first half of the 20th century, it is in very good, weathered condition with minor loss to the wire fence. The price is $475.00. Inventory Code: CTAH.   See a slideshow of several views [752k] ... Whirligig of man chopping, woman washing ... With the figures moved ... The other side ... Another angle ... Closeup of woman ... Woman, other side ... Closeup of man ... Man, other side ... Front view ... Back view ... Closeup from above ... Another view from above ... With a soda can for scale ... Video of the action [5.9 Mb].
Some much larger photos:   Whirligig of man chopping, woman washing ... With the figures moved ... The other side ... Another angle ... Closeup of woman ... Woman, other side ... Closeup of man ... Man, other side ... Front view ... Back view ... Closeup from above ... Another view from above ... With a soda can for scale ... Video of the action [5.9 Mb].

Metal roosterThis is a very folky one-of-a-kind rooster weathervane made from galvanized sheet metal. The rooster was hand cut from two pieces and put together. It then was bolted with supports to part of a ventilator from a silo or barn, which had a shaft with a hole put inside so the entire piece could rotate in the wind. The word "Rock" is painted on one side of the tail in subtle, silver-gray paint. This unusual piece came from the Midwest, likely Iowa, and was probably made in the 1940's or 50's. Being metal, there is some little rust, oxidation, and outside wear, but it is in generally very good condition. The body of the rooster is 23" long by 19" high. As mounted, it is 26 1/2" long by 28 1/4" high by 13 1/2" wide. We still have the ventilator, and it can be easily reassembled if you prefer it mounted that way. The price is $475.00. Inventory Code: AKOT.   See a slideshow of several views [518k] ... Metal rooster ... The other side ... Another angle ... Closeup ... Closeup, other side ... Closeup of head ... Closeup of tail, with "Rock" ... Closeup of body ... Closeup of head, other side ... Tail, other side ... Body, other side ... Front and back views ... Closeup from the front ... Closeup of the base ... Mounted on the ventilator ... Front view, on ventilator ... With a soda can for scale.

Drummer whirligigThis is a good looking and colorful whirligig of a uniformed drummer. As the vividly striped blade turns, the drummer's arms alternate up and down, beating the sticks on the drum. The whirligig is made from 1/2" pine, mounted on a metal base. It is 11 1/2" long by 20 1/2" high as mounted. The man is 8 1/2" tall and the blade is 12" across. From the second half of the 20th c., it is in very good, slightly weathered condition. The price is $325.00. Inventory Code: CCWP.   Drummer whirligig ... The other side ... Arms moved ... With the base ... Another angle ... Front view ... The blade ... From above ... With a soda can for scale ... Animation of the motion [1.2 Mb].
Some much larger photos:   Drummer whirligig ... The other side ... Arms moved ... With the base ... Another angle ... Front view ... The blade ... From above ... With a soda can for scale ... Animation of the motion [1.2 Mb].

 

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