Studio: international art — 28.1903

Page: 128
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SOME MODERN WEATHER- the name weather-cock is used by many people
VANES. BY O. MAXWELL indiscriminately. It is interesting to learn the
AYRTON meaning of this symbolism of the cock, the emblem

of watchfulness. Wulstan writes of the old cock
" As the bookplate to the volume, so the weather- on Winchester Cathedral, " A weather-cock caught
vane to the homestead," has been truly said. the morning sun, and filled the traveller with
On picking up a volume in the library of a man amazement, the golden weather-cock lording it
whose character is unknown to us, it is frequently over the city; up there he stands over the heads of
possible to read from the bookplate something the men of Winchester, and up in mid-air seems
which, with a little imagination, may lead us on nobly to rule the western world ; in the claw is the
to form an idea of the life, hobbies, or pastimes sceptre of command, and like the all-vigilant eye of
of the owner. the Ruler it turns in every way."

In the same way a vane clean cut against the We also read from Shakespeare that the cock
sky may give a hint of the use to which a was in his days regarded as the watchman-elect
building is put, or indicate the special sport over the country side: "The cock that is the
pursuit, or business of the inhabitant, thus giving at trumpet of the morn, doth, with his lofty and shrill-
once a personal point of interest, and stimulating sounding throat, awake the god of day." But the
a more careful study of the
building, and often laying
open some reason for pecu-
liarity of plan or construc-
tion which would otherwise
remain unnoticed.

The idea of illustrating
by means of the vane
some subject connected
with the life of the occu-
pier or the use of the
building is far from new,
but it has unfortunately
died out to a great extent,
the designers of the mo-
dern weather-vane showing
a tendency to go back to
its original and now rather
dull form of a pennant, the
meaning of which is no
longer applicable.

The origin of the vane,
interesting in itself, is little
known. In mediaeval times
the first knight to plant
his successful pennant up-
on the walls of a besieged
town or castle obtained the
royal right to fix upon the
highest part of his own
castle or stronghold pen-
nants emblazoned with his
bearing or crest.

Undoubtedly the com-
monest form of latter-day

vane is the cock; in fact, illuminated page by edmond j.

so often is it seen that (See article on the Arts and Crafts Exhibition)

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