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This very rare and beautiful weathervane illustrates the famous race horse �Hindoo� with Jockey.  It is in some places listed as Houdini, and I have called it so, but that attribution appears to be incorrect.  I discovered in one of my reference texts that the Shelburne Museum in Vermont owns the mold to what is basically the same horse, which was made by Cushing & White in Boston.  The Shelburne calls it Hindoo and �Hindoo's Year [of triumph]� was 1881.  But the Cushing & White horse has a different mane, a slightly different (though cropped) tail, and there is no rider on their horse, which was produced from the mold.  New York folk art dealer Edith Halpert (owner of Downtown Gallery, NYC) commissioned the horse in 1955 after acquiring a series of original Cushing & White patterns.


A new book was just released by Russack & Lotto (2009) on early weathervane catalogues.  It includes reproductions of 10 original catalogues.  In one of them, from Cushing & White, Hindoo is illustrated with a jockey.


The weathervane in question, however, appears to be one of two or possibly three known examples that still exists "in the flesh", so-to-speak.  The hammered copper, full-bodied form has extraordinary verdigris surface.  It also has some unusual details, which are not limited to the cast zinc head, breast, and feet of the rider, and the horse�s zinc ears, plus its cropped tail.  But the vane�s best characteristic is the dramatic pose of Hindoo, with his elongated, snake-like head, which has dramatic folk quality.

Inventory Number:


Jeff R. Bridgman American Antiques, llc
Contact   Jeff Bridgman Phone: (717) 502-1281
Period: 19th Century (1801-1900)
Date: 1881
Origin: American
Condition: Probable replacement of a portion of the vertical shaft. Probable repair to seam on rider's back.
Measurements: 32" x 19.5" x 3"
Inventory Other Inventory by this Dealer
Price: SOLD
E-mail: Inquire
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