Antique Folk Art Gilt Molded Copper. Attributed to Harris & Co. O ffered is an antique weathervane figure of a trotting horse with an erect, muscular neck and flowing mane and tail modelled after the 19th century trotting horse Black Hawk. The weathervane has a hollow copper body with sheet copper mane and tail and cast zinc ears.
It is in excellent antique condition with fine untouched original worn gilt surfaces with verdigris. It is mounted on its original copper rod and has two or three minor buckshot or "bb" dents no holes!
It measures 20 inches high and 26 inches long. This Black Hawk weathervane is attributed to Harris & Co. An identical weathervane is shown in a copy of the Harris & Co. Catalog, circa 1880, in The Art of the Weathervane by Steve Miller, Schiffer Publishing Ltd. Steve Miller speculates on page 8 of the aforementioned book: It is interesting to speculate why the (factory weathervane) makers signed some but not all of their output.The grandson of Justin Morgan, he was sired in April 1833 by Sherman Morgan and out of a handsome thoroughbred mare, jet black except for a stripe in the face. Black Hawk was bred by Benjamin Kelly of Durham, New Hampshire. Black Hawk was a solid black stallion with no white markings, standing 15 hands high and weighing 1000 pounds at maturity. He was an exceptionally beautiful animal, a smoothly balanced horse with large eyes and noticeable nostrils, and his disposition, though spirited, was always kind. Black Hawk was trained to harness and had a natural, pure square trotting gate. According to his various owners, he was often driven 50 miles in one day.
His career left him unbeaten in trotting exhibitions. During his years with Hill, from 1844 to 1856, Black Hawk sired 1,772 foals.
At a time when transportation was challenging, owners of quality mares brought them on the long journey to Vermont--to Black Hawk--in droves. It cannot be overstated what a prominent figure in popular culture Black Hawk was during his lifetime, comparable in fame to today's star athletes.
By 1850 he had been featured in lithographs by Currier & Ives that were distributed widely, and was also immortalized in oil paintings and lithographs by Theodore Marsden, to name just two. So famous was Black Hawk that, when he died on December 1, 1856, his death was widely reported in many prominent journals and newspapers of the day.The New York Daily Tribune reported on December 3, 1856: He possessed the character of the Morgan family of horses in an eminent degree. He was symmetrical, muscular and compact in his form, and his elastic style of action, speed, and endurance, which qualities he imparted in a remarkable degree to his progeny, rendered him one of the most valuable stock horses ever owned in this country. He was named Champion Trotting Stallion of the World when only four years old. The pattern was made of carved and painted wood and is now part of the collection of the Smithsonian American Art Museum. Leach's pattern was likely made from one of the early lithographic portraits of Black Hawk.
Several manufacturers created iron molds of Black Hawk's likeness from which many copper weathervanes were produced. I have run out of space!
I hope the new owner will enjoy this Black Hawk weathervane as much as I have. The item "Antique Folk Art Gilt Molded Copper BLACK HAWK Trotting Horse Weathervane, 1880" is in sale since Thursday, September 17, 2020. This item is in the category "Antiques\Architectural & Garden\Weathervanes & Lightning Rods".
The seller is "brt356" and is located in Georgia. This item can be shipped to United States.