Small Weathervanes

Written by Patty Yu
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Large and small weathervanes alike often adorn rooftops throughout the world. These, along with cupolas and finials, are functional, yet decorative ornaments that have held a long history through many architectural periods. They are so popular, that many people today collect contemporary and antique weathervanes. Old weathervanes are sometimes quite valuable, and new ones often increase in value.

Getting to Know Cupolas, Finials, and Small Weathervanes

For a long time, I did not know what the word "cupola" described, although I've seen many cupolas in imagery and on many buildings. Cupolas are most recognized on church, school, and barn rooftops as the small dome structure with its own little roof. Sometimes designed with a bell underneath, cupolas are intended to allow light into the structure, or provide a release for hot air.

Sometimes you'll see finials attached to the apex of a cupola's rooftop. Finials, which are ornamental caps in various designs, are made specifically to cover the apex of a structure in order to weatherproof that point. Towers, gazebos, fencing, and turrets commonly display finials decoratively, while the finials keep water from absorbing into the apex. Finial styles can be very simple or intricate.

Most of us have probably seen large and small weathervanes affixed to rooftops or displayed in a yard. The way weathervanes are designed; the ornament rotates on a ball bearing to point in the direction of the wind. Weathervanes have been around since ancient Greek times, and are available in countless designs. Small weathervanes can be a cute addition to your garden.

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