Thistlethwaite Americana | J. Howard and Company Index Horse Weathervane
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J. Howard and Company Index Horse Weathervane

J. Howard & Co.

West Bridgewater, Massachusetts

circa 1856

Copper and Cast Zinc

18″ x 24 3/4″


The most known weathervane form by J. Howard & Co. is the Index Horse. Early weathervanes attributed to Howard are the horses and oxen, with rear body portions made from flat copper sheets. The horses have tails decorated with rows of zigzag lines. Each tail of Index Horse weathervanes vary because they were hand cut. Index horse weathervanes are noted for their molded manes and tails and ears from flat copper sheets. Cast zinc was used so that the front of the weathervane is heavier than the rear so that the weathervane would turn in the direction of the wind. Zinc was also chosen, perhaps because it was more available and less expensive than other metals. This weathervane embodies all the qualities of a Howard Index Horse. Its tail and ears are made from flat copper sheets, the front head and body is modeled from cast zinc, and the rest of the horse is hollow cooper. The tail is absolutely wonderful and contains extra cutouts which give it a more decorative feel. This Index Horse, has a beautiful verdigris consummate of age and intended us. The tail has remnants of gold leaf, however, it is noted that zinc does not hold golf leaf very well, and it has completely flaked off the front. Present on the body is a bullet hole from when someone shot it to make it spin. This is  common occurrence.