American Hand-Carved Folk Eagle with Shield, Circa 1930-1950

This is a hand-carved and painted American folk eagle in the style of John Bellamy.  The eagle has spread wings and head turned to its right. The artist, unknown, carved the eagle with exceptional detail, especially in the eagle's wings.

The eagle supports a U.S. shield on its chest. The shield is comprised of a blue ensign with three stars, and alternating red and white vertical stripes. 

The eagle motif in décor and folk art has been widely used throughout our nation's history, most notably as part of our Great Seal. The founders of the United States were fond of comparing their new republic with the Roman Republic, in which eagle imagery, usually the golden eagle, was prominent. On June 20, 1782, the Continental Congress adopted the design for the Great Seal of the United States depicting a bald eagle grasping 13 arrows and an olive branch with its talons.

CONDITION: Both the eagle and shield are period hand-painted, with original gilt. The eagle dates from the early to mid-20th century. It is in very good condition, only minimal wear and some minor chipping of original paint on the shield. Size: 13 1/2" H x 33" W x 3 1/2" D.




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