Whirligigs, Weathervanes, and Windmill Weights

Folk art, antiques, and outsider art

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Uncle Billy whirligig
"Uncle Billy" metal and wood whirligig
Horse weathervane
Wooden horse weathervane
Metal whirligig
Folky metal whirligig
Cast iron Hummer rooster windmill weight
Hummer rooster windmill weight
Whirligig of man and woman
Primitive whirligig of man chopping, woman washing
Drummer whirligig
Drummer whirligig
Woodcutter whirligig
Folky wood cutter whirligig from NH
Folky whirligig
Folky painted whirligig of man sawing wood
John Henry whirligig
John Henry railroad whirligig
Metal rooster
Large metal
rooster weathervane
Wood cutter whirligig
Bearded man sawing wood whirligig
Pair of carvingsPair of carvings
Pair of carved figures with knives
Doorknob weathervane
Doorknob weathervane

Wood cutter whirligigThis is a nicely painted whirligig of a bearded man sawing wood. It is made of wood with four yellow blades and a pine tree for a tail. From the second half of the 20th c., it is in very good, weathered condition. It has been mounted on a newer wood base. The whirligig itself is 26" long. The blade is 18" across and the man stands just over 8" tall. As mounted it is 29" long by 21" high overall. The price is $275.00. Inventory Code: CTAT.   Wood cutter whirligig ... The other side ... Another angle ... Front view ... Closeup ... Closer view of man ... Closeup, sawing ... From above ... With a soda can for scale ... Video of the action.
Some much larger photos:   Wood cutter whirligig ... The other side ... Another angle ... Front view ... Closeup ... Closer view of man ... Closeup, sawing ... From above ... With a soda can for scale ... Video of the action.

Uncle Billy whirligigThis is a very folky wood and metal whirligig of a man driving a horse and buggy, followed by a dog. It has "Uncle Billy" painted on both sides. The colors are rich, deep, red, pumpkin, yellow, brown, and silver. Some of the paint is finely crazed. The figures are sheet metal, except for the man's arm, which is wood. The propeller is wood with metal vanes. It is mounted on a turned wooden finial. It is in very good, used and weathered condition, with minor paint wear, some bends in the propeller blades, and a chip off the base of the finial. Age is from the first half of the 20th century, likely 1930's or 40's. It stands 18" high by 17" long. The propeller is 13" across. The price is $895.00. Inventory Code: CWWC.   "Uncle Billy whirligig" ... The other side ... Another angle ... A fourth view ... Closeup ... Closeup, figures moved ... Closeup other side ... Front view ... Back view ... From above ... With a soda can for scale ... Video of the action.
Some much larger photos:   "Uncle Billy whirligig" ... The other side ... Another angle ... A fourth view ... Closeup ... Closeup, figures moved ... Closeup other side ... Front view ... Back view ... From above ... With a soda can for scale ... Video of the action.

Woodcutter whirligigThis is a woodchopper whirligig found in a barn in New Hampshire. The man, tree, and axe are made from pine, with plywood arms. The paint has good color with 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. Otherwise the condition is very good. It was likely made in the 1960's or 70's, mounted on a newer base. The length 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.   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.

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.   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.
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.

Pair of carvingsPair of carvingsThis is a very strong pair of carvings. The man and woman have jointed arms and are each holding knives. They have incised details, small nails for eyes, and are weathered from outdoor use. These may have been made as whirligigs, however, though the arms can be moved, they do not now spin freely. "Maria" is written on the base of the woman. The man has an inscription on his belt: "Och Jubla Som Barnen Jubla", which Google translates as Swedish for "and rejoice as the children rejoice". The figures were found in Missouri and are from the first half of the 20th century. They are in good, weathered condition with minor surface wear as seen in the photos. The woman has chips missing from the back of her head and her left shoulder. With the arms positioned as they show in the photos, the man is 14 1/2" high by 5 3/4" wide by 10" deep. The woman is 12 1/4" high by 5 1/2" wide by 8 1/2" deep. The price for the pair is $1750.00. Inventory Code: COHT.   Folk art carvings ... Front view ... Closeup of the woman ... Closeup of the man ... Another overall angle ... Fourth view of both ... Side view ... The other side ... Back view ... Another closeup of the woman ... Closeup, from the back ... Closeup from the side ... The woman, from above ... Her feet from above ... Another closeup of the man ... Third closeup of the man ... Closeup from the back ... Closeup of the belt ... Another closeup of the belt ... Closeup of the feet ... The man, from above ... Both, from below ... With a soda can for scale.

Doorknob weathervaneThis whimsical metal weather vane 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.

Horse weathervaneA nice wooden horse weather vane 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.   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.

Metal whirligigThis is a very folky metal whirligig made from found objects. It has several layers of really worn and weathered paint, mainly white and red with black and yellow highlights and a fair amount of bare metal showing through. It is mounted on a newer metal display base. It stands 25 3/4" high by 18" long. From the 20th century, it is in good, sturdy, very weathered condition. The action works. The price is $950.00. Inventory Code: CWWH.   Metal whirligig ... The other side ... End views ... From above ... With a soda can for scale ... Video of the action.
Some much larger photos:   Metal whirligig ... The other side ... End views ... From above ... With a soda can for scale ... Video of the action.

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.   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.
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.

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.   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.

Folky whirligigThis is a good sized whirligig of a man sawing wood with a stylized tree supporting the blade. It has very folky construction. Likely from the 1940's, the mechanism works. The man's arms move and the saw cuts as the front blade turns. It is an old repaint in dark green, yellow, and a muted orange over dark red. The man has interesting and unusual metal pieces added on the sides for strength. The condition is excellent with one old break on the front of the man's cap. This piece is about 28" long and stands about 34" high on the newer metal base and rod. The blades are 18" across. The price is $425.00. Inventory Code: CWWT.   Folky whirligig ... The other side ... The figure moved ... With the base ... Another view ... Front view ... Back view ... Another view from back ... From above ... With a soda can for scale ... Animation of the motion [4 Mb].
Some much larger photos:   Folky whirligig ... The other side ... The figure moved ... With the base ... Another view ... Front view ... Back view ... Another view from back ... From above ... With a soda can for scale ... Animation of the motion [4 Mb].

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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