ANTIQUE CARVED & GILDED FLYING EAGLE
Century is unique in this form.
Presented is a rarely seen form
of a stylized antique gilded carved wood eagle in flight. The 19th Century workmanship is done with precision with
the accentuated features of the eagle’s head with polychrome eyes and red tongue. The feathers are individually
incised and deeply struck. The wood carving is a coated with Gesso over which is high quality deep gold gilding which
is burnished on the head and the leading edge of the wings that provides an interesting contrast. The patina is rich and golden.
Top & bottom showing carefully incised feathers
DEALER’S COMMENTS: This
highly stylized carved eagle is hard to categorize artistically. Its deeply incised body feathers and unusual body style
in-flight configuration have an almost impressionistic quality, which would have been quite avant-garde at the time this
was carved in the late 19th Century. We have never come across any eagle carvings in this distinctive style.
As such, it is a very unique sculpture on its own, and would add a dramatic touch to any decor. It was meant to be displayed
as a full bodied mobile with a small metal eye at the top center of gravity. In our pictures, it is shown on a small Lucite stand
which is included.
long by 21“ wing tip to wing tip with 4“ body width WEIGHT 3 lbs 6 oz
Gilt loss at wing
Minor gilt loss
brow & polychrome eyes
Carved from three blocks of wood, the two wings join the body with a thin seam on each side. There is a crack on
the wings leading edge on the right side with no loss of gilding and a 3/8 x 1/2“ loss of gilding at the same place
on the left. There also is a small loss of gilding on the feet, all adding to the age of the piece. There is nothing
of consequence to distract from it interesting good looks.
from the rear on small plastic stand
EAGLE’S HERITAGE: Eagle carving
was done by sailors and craftsman, the most noted of which was John Bellamy, and were an expression of the patriotic feeling
in the country during the mid 19th Century. The eagle was frequently used as decoration on the transom of American
sailing ships. It is rare to find an eagle in flight.