Themed Weathervane Collections
Weathervane History & FunctionMentioned as early as 3500 B.C., weather vanes can be found all over the world. With such a variety of cultures, it is not surprising that weathervane themes are also varied. Sometimes called a weathercock or wind vane, the word "vane" comes from the Old English "fane," which means flag or banner.
A weathervane usually includes an ornament or figure that revolves on a vertical rod. When mounted on a rooftop, cupola or garden post, this ornament indicates the direction of the wind. A traditionally designed and balanced weathervane will point into the wind, thereby showing the direction that the wind is coming from. This is achieved by placing the ornament so that there is equal mass but unequal area on either side of center. Knowing wind direction allows sailors to use wind vanes to help determine the best placement of their sails.
Weathervanes come in all shapes and sized, designed to complement the structure on which their placed. One of the oldest known themed weathervanes was erected in Greece in 48 B.C. It sat atop the Tower of the Winds in Athens, built by Andronicus, an astronomer. The god Triton was depicted as a large (4-8 ft long) combination of a man and a fish.