J. Howard Gilt Cast Zinc and Molded Copper "Index" Horse Weathervane, J. Howard & Co., West Bridgewater, Massachusetts, c. 1860, cast zinc head and frontal portion of the body with molded sheet copper mid- and hind sections, applied copper ears and corrugated tail, mounted on an iron strap base fastened with copper clips, weathered gilt and verdigris surface, with Lucite stand (minor imperfections), overall ht. 23, lg. 25 in.
Note: This weathervane model, amongst those made by the J. Howard & Co. firm, is called an "Index" horse, because its design was among the many objects documented in an early 20th century comprehensive source record to determine what is 'American' in decorative arts. The country-wide compilation was sponsored by the WPA Federal Art Project. A selection of those objects are illustrated in Erwin O. Christensen, The Index of American Design (Washington, D.C.: National Gallery of Art, 1950), the horse weathervane example on p. 81.
The sides with minor dents, separation where tail joins body on one side, minor seam separation on back.
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