This amazing artifact
is an authentic Federal Period American Eagle, and dates back to shortly after the America Revolution, i.e. 1784
Presented is an exquisitely made brass stamping
with extreme detailing. It is a symbol of the county’s quest for independence and freedom from the foreign domination of England.
America’s leaders decided that the eagle should be our national symbol. The American eagle was officially adopted by an act
of the Continental Congress in June of 1782. It has endured throughout our history as a symbol of Unity, Freedom and Strength.
As officially adopted on the Great Seal of the United States, the American
eagle had outspread wings and clutched arrows in one claw while holding an olive branch in the other. It also originally had
a crest with 13 stars representing the 13 then existing states. All these symbols are quite evident in this example. When
two new States were admitted to the Union (Kentucky and Vermont), a resolution was adopted in January of 1794, expanding the
our flag to 15 stars and 15 stripes. This means that this eagle plaque was likely made between 1782 and 1794.
PROVENANCE: The relic was purchased in New
England in 2006. It was listed in the auction catalog as “GILDED AND PAINTED AMERICAN EAGLE TINWARE
WALL PLAQUE,” “The pressed molded eagle in gold paint gripping a red, white and blue shield. Height 24 inches, width
The company’s president stated that it was a deaccession
from the Boscobel Museum which is located on the east bank of the Hudson River, opposite the U.S. Military at West Point.
This is the museum that was the originally the Federal Period house conceived by States Dyckman, a British Loyalist during
the Revolution. It was completed by his wife, Elizabeth, in 1808. It remained in the Dyckman family unit 1888 and thereafter
was succeeded by a series of owners.
Years later, Mrs. Lila Acheson Wallace, who, with her husband,
Dewitt, founded the Reader’s Digest Magazine, was instrumental in saving Boscobel from demolition. Mrs. Wallace provided financial
assistance for the reconstruction and furnishing of the house and for the landscaping, and in the relocation to a new site.
Boscobel was formally dedicated and first opened to the public on May 21, 1961.
In 1975, it was determined by historical research that the interiors
of Boscobel did not accurately reflect the originals as planned by Elizabeth Dyckman. Mrs. Wallace’s efforts led to the acquisition
of a collection of New York Federal furnishings and also provided the basis for interior and exterior paint colors, floor
coverings, and wall papers . The mansion was closed for six months while the refurnishing was in progress, and reopened to
the public in June of 1977.
Boscobel was originally saved because of its architecture, but
has since been a museum showing a collection of the decorative arts of the Federal period. Both the architecture and the furnishings
reflect the neo-classical style, popular in the early 1800s.
If you are a serious
collector of eagles, American history or have an interest in the Federal Period, don’t miss this opportunity to buy this newly
CONDITION: As discovered this eagle had layer
and layers of gold paint covering it which hid all the details. The shield was the only thing that showed a polychrome finish.
Our shop spent days removing the paint, and in doing so discovered the under painting of the vine leaves and grapes, and the
cluster of three arrows. A decision was made to paint them in their original colors. We also added some brass strengthening
pieces to the back where the metal was either weak or had broken. There is one age crack on the left claw. The soldering of
the wings which shows as silver in the pictures appears to be original. There is also evidence of solder at a few other
places which likely is how the eagle was pieced together and assembled. Overall it is in excellent restored condition, and
as close to original as we could achieve.
Detail of left wing. Silver is solder at joint
Exquisitely formed head and beak
Detail of right wing
Polychrome shield, leafs and fruit. Arrows in black
Ca 1784 Federal Eagle 38” L x 24” H x 4” D WEIGHT 5 1/2 lbs
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