Gable ornaments are most commonly associated with the Queen Anne and Folk Victorian architectural styles. Widely available in the late 19th and early 20th centuries at lumber yards or through mail-order catalogs, these ornaments still add interest to historic houses across the country. The catalog pages below show just a few variants possible. The following photos show the removal of such ornaments from a house slated for demolition:
A few of the many variations widely available around 1900. The ones shown here, like those on the house below, were adjustable so as to fit various roof pitches.
Gable ornaments after 111 years of weathering.
A small gable ornament close to the ground was removed to start with. A pry bar and a little coaxing were all it took. The larger ornament above had already fallen to the porch roof and ground below. Enough pieces survived to make restoration possible.
The south-facing gable’s ornament was in the best shape.
The porch required that the ladder be placed at a rather awkward pitch. The porch roof itself was too questionable to hold a ladder.
The left-hand side had broken previously and was held together with wire. The right hand side was removed first and lowered to the ground.
The center section is relieved of its wire and removed separately from the remaining portion attached to the eave. All the pieces await restoration and re-assembly for installation elsewhere.