"Land of the Free" American Folk Eagle, Hand-Carved and Hand-Painted, 20th Century

This is a hand-carved and painted American folk eagle, presented in the style of renown carver John Bellamy.  The wood eagle is period painted with gilt, and red, white, and blue shield accents and dates to the early-mid 20th century. This particular example includes a waving banner on a staff, which reads "Land of the Free" in dramatic, hand-painted and bolded script. The eagle also supports a shield in one talon, as the head looks to its right. With detailed carved feathers and a painted eye, this stylized eagle is an interesting work of folk art.  

The relief carving is styled after John Bellamy, a well known folk artist made popular in the late 19th century for his stylized eagles and ship carvings. True to Bellamy’s style, this eagle has a flattened top beak, a curved neck to mimic the eagle in flight, and dramatic eyes.

The eagle motif in décor and folk art has widely been used throughout much of US history and is brimming with meaning. Eagles in decorative and folk art became wildly popular and could be found on ordinary household items from butter packages to furniture. This deeply-rooted symbol is still relevant today and is closely tied to the idea of strength, freedom, and wisdom.


Very good condition. Hand carved wood, with excellent detail. Period painted, with most of the original paint intact. Light areas of wear, fading, and several small areas of loss to paint, as to be expected due to age. 

Dimensions: 8 1/2" H x 27 1/2" W.

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