This is a hand-carved, hand-painted, and gilded American eagle from the mid 20th century. This striking Belamy style eagle is depicted with wings spread. The claws of the eagle clutch a Union shield in one talon and a banner in the other.
The clutched shield has a blue chief, with gold stars. Red and gold stripes complete the shield design. The banner flies above the eagle, with the script carved “Don’t Give Up the Ship”.
On June 1813, Captain James Lawrence, commander of the USS Chesapeake, engaged the blockading Royal Navy frigate Shannon in a fierce battle. Although slightly smaller, the British ship disabled Chesapeake with gunfire within the first few minutes. Captain Lawrence, mortally wounded by small arms fire, ordered his officers, "Don't give up the ship. Fight her till she sinks.” After Lawrence's death was reported to his friend and fellow officer Oliver Hazard Perry, he ordered a large blue battle ensign, stitched with the phrase “Don't Give Up The Ship" in bold white letters. The Perry Flag was displayed on his flagship during a victorious engagement against the British on Lake Erie in September 1813.
This is an extremely unique piece of Americana.