This gilded carving of a bald eagle is a unique piece of 20th century Americana. The eagle is depicted with its wings fully spread, in dramatic fashion. One talon holds a spear-tipped flag. The other talon clutches a shield, decorated with a blue ensign with white stars and hand-painted red and white stripes. The head of the eagle is curled over the top of the shield.
It is entirely hand-carved with a single glass eye by Victor Taglieri.
The bald eagle is both the national bird and the national animal of the United States. The eagle motif 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.