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Weathervane: Scroll

1800-1850 (possibly)
Origin: America, New England (probably)
Overall: 8 1/4 x 30 1/2 x 1 1/4in. (21 x 77.5 x 3.2cm)
Museum Purchase
Acc. No. 1960.800.3
A flat, sheet iron weathervane in the form of a stylized, open-work arrow or pointer.
Artist unidentified.
Label:Scroll weather vanes descended from banner or pennant vanes that, in turn, descended from the cloth banners that knights and noblemen once hoisted over their castles and keeps. Thus, the general form has an ancient lineage. It retained its popularity through the late nineteenth century, however, and scrolls were the commonest types of vanes to be used on New England churches in the nineteenth century. The vanes' abstract designs vary enormously, often incorporating lyre shapes (although manufacturers and retailers sometimes differentiated between "scrolls" that lacked lyre shapes and "church vanes" that included them).
This hand-forged example combines C-scrolls with stylized arrow and heart motifs to create a pleasing pattern and a vibrant sense of movement. In Christian theology, a heart pierced by an arrow traditionally symbolized repentance.
Provenance:Stony Point Folk Art Gallery, Stony Point, NY