Ocean Home

February/March 2016

Ocean Home magazine is for people who love the luxury oceanfront lifestyle, from home design and decor to world-class beach resorts, villas, hotels, and destinations.

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52 O C E A N H O M E M A G . C O M | F e b r u a r y + M a r c h 2 0 1 6 A SECOND WIND words by Debbie Weisberg You're so vane Handcrafted copper weathervanes, like this clipper ship and sperm whale, below, are becoming more popular as interior design elements in American homes. THE ICONIC AMERICAN WEATHERVANE IS COMING DOWN FROM ROOFTOPS AND INTO LIVING ROOMS PHOTOGRAPHS COURTESY OF NEW ENGLAND WEATHERVANE SHOP T he classic and much-loved American weathervane is flying high these days, but not necessarily blowing in the wind. New England Weathervane Shop (NEWS), one of America's leading weathervane purveyors located in Hampton, N.H., reports a marked shift in the way coastal homeowners are displaying their cherished weathervanes. As company owner Lee Webber says: "Traditional weathervanes are coming down from the roof and into the home and garden." Dating back to the 1800s, America's first weathervanes were designed to measure the wind's speed and direction. Today, this iconic artifact serves as a design focal point in kitchens, living rooms and outdoor areas. Specializing in the finest handcrafted copper weathervanes and sculptures, NEWS is a merger of three former companies: E.G. Washburne & Co. (1853), New England Weathervane & Lantern Co. (1955) and Golden Eagle Coppersmiths (1963). All three entities combined in 2011 when Jonathan Webber, the grandson of New England Weathervane & Lantern Co. founder Max Webber, purchased the entire collection of molds, patterns and tools and handed the business to his wife, Lee, to manage. NEWS now possesses the largest selection of original and still working antique weathervane molds and bronze patterns in the United States. "Weathervanes are considered good luck charms by their owners, and people take them from one house to the next," explains Lee Webber. "Weathervanes have become so elaborate that they are frequently regarded as pieces of modern American folk art," she adds. "To me, these pieces represent an irreplaceable piece of our history." Using historic molds, patterns and the highest quality materials sourced solely in the United States, NEWS applies the age-old method of hand-hammering copper to create exceptional quality pieces. e process is often time-consuming due to the intricate detailing. For example, a racy 1967 Corvette weathervane took more than 300 hours to complete. Today, NEWS sells its products online to clients around the world. Popular designs include horses, dogs, eagles, marine life and farm animals. Coastal-themed weathervanes also rank high on the popularity list, especially whales, lobsters and clipper ships. Prices range from $550 for a whale sculpture to $15,000 for the custom-designed Corvette. On the home front, Lee reveals that her husband, Jonathan, wants to put a dragon weathervane over their fireplace to make it appear as if smoke is coming from its mouth. "Now that," notes Lee, "will be a real conversation starter." Design 2016 W E AT H E R V A N E S THE DETAILS For more information, visit newenglandweathervaneshop.com.

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