CARVED GILDED AMERICAN EAGLE
This fine carving of an American Spread Eagle is distinctive
in that it is almost a reverse image of the ubiquitous eagles by John Bellamy and copied by the Artistic Carving Co.
It is refreshing to find a fine carving that is very much the work of a skilled artisan
whose attention to detail is exceptional, and does not appear to be the work of John Bellamy or the Artistic Carving Co. of
Boston. In the same context the shield of the United States is shown on the viewer’s left, rather than the
more prevalent right with three arrows clutched in his left talon. There is only one star showing in the upper left
of the shield, the others covered by feathers and the talon holding it. The eagle has a rather fierce expression and the manner
in which the shield and arrows are gripped is protective. The feathers are carefully detailed and incised. There is a hole
drilled through them on both sides for mounting in addition to the eyes and wire. An old auction label is at the center top
of the back.
Much of the
paint has weathered with a significant loss showing that it was displayed outside for many years, perhaps on a boat. The original
gilding on the entire eagle and much of the underlying gesso was lost over time and gold paint was later used that also had
mostly worn away so that the entire upper section was re gilded and glazed.
Fierce expression of protectionism
grasping American shield & arrows HERITAGE: This type of carving was done by sailors, and
craftsman such as Bellamy and were an expression of the patriotic feeling in the country during the mid 19th Century.
The eagle in this form was frequently used as decoration on the transom of American sailing ships.
DIMENSIONS: 25 3/8
L x 9 3/4” H x 4” D WEIGHT
Right wing showing carefully
incised feathers recreations made by the Artistic
Carving Company of Boston have been selling over the years in the $2000 to $8000 price range which is affordable
considering the prices that a documented John Bellamy eagle will bring many thousands of dollars.
Three arrows tightly gripped next to American