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Hippopotamus Weathervane

Hippo Weather Vane Walking


This Hippopotamus Weather Vane, Hippopotamus amphibius, is created entirely in copper, although a popular metal variation has the tusks in brass or with optional gold leaf. We typically give him/her brown glass eyes with black pupils to give it a lifelike appearance, but other eye choices are available.

In our design, we wanted to capture the hippopotamus’s yawning mouth, barrel-shaped torso, stubby legs, and feeling of immense power. They are the third-largest land mammal by weight (between 1½ and 3 tons): the only heavier species on average are the white and Indian rhinoceros and elephants.

You can see from the photos above, there is a variation portrayed with an upraised head and wider mouth. This alternate personalized version (same price) was created for the Cincinnati Zoo’s Hippo Grotto and portrays the world-famous, amazing survivor, Fiona the Hippo. Do read up on her; she has quite the story!

As with most of our weathervanes, this sculpture piece is constructed in a swell-bodied style, as is our giraffe weathervane. We employ different shaping techniques to create the slender, graceful stature of the giraffe and the heavy, powerful appearance of the hippo. It is the way one shapes a swell-bodied sculpture piece that conveys the delicacy or strength of the subject being portrayed.

Swell-bodied weather vanes have dimension, meaning they are made of two separate hand-shaped pieces of copper, which are shaped and soldered together, leaving a hollow interior. Most weathervanes are made in this style and not fully 3-D, as the ‘fatter’ the weathervane, the more it will resist the wind.

The hippopotamus, Hippopotamus amphibius, is from the Greek hippopotamus; hippos meaning ‘horse’ and potamos meaning ‘river.’ Often referred to as simply ‘hippo,’ it is a large, mostly plant-eating African mammal, one of only two extant species in the family Hippopotamidae (the other being the Pygmy Hippopotamus).

Other African animal weathervanes which might pique your interest include but are not limited to Lions, Elephants, Tigers, Giraffes, and Rhinoceros.