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Rider on Prancing Horse Weathervane

late 19th century Unidentified carved and painted pine and glass 52 x 37 3/4 x 3 3/4 in. (132.1 x 95.9 x 9.5 cm.) Smithsonian American Art Museum Museum purchase from the folk art collection of David L. Davies 1992.2.2 Not currently on view


Luce Center Quote

"Wind from the east---bad for man and beast; Wind from the south is too hot for them both; Wind from the north is of very little worth; Wind from the west is the softest and the best." The Old Farmer's Almanac, 1851, quoted in Charles Klamkin, Weather Vanes, 1973

Luce Center Label

The first known weather vane sat on top of the Tower of the Winds in Athens during the first century BC. The rooster weather vane, or weathercock, appeared a thousand years later when a papal edict announced that every church must carry the symbol of a rooster. This was to remind the faithful of Peter's betrayal of Jesus, who said that the cock would not crow until Peter had denied him three times. In the nineteenth century, people made weather vanes showing everyday activities. Horses represented transportation, sport, and social status, and many craftsmen made weather vanes of record-winning racehorses. (Charles Klamkin, Weather Vanes, 1973)

Keywords

Animal - insect

Architecture - detail - weathervane

Equestrian

sculpture

folk art

glass

wood - pine