The shipbuilder Daniel Dennis Kelly commissioned this sculpture of the late Andrew Jackson (1767–1845) from Rumney, his most talented figurehead carver, for his home in East Boston. Kelly was probably familiar with the two Jackson figureheads that adorned the United States frigate Constitution during and after Jackson’s presidency (1829–37); the ship’s name appears on the base of Rumney’s sculpture. Rumney carved the surface in broad planes, downplaying anatomical structure in favor of textural detail in areas such as the wavy hair and the ruffled shirt. The figure was painted white to simulate marble, aligning it with the classicizing garden sculptures popular at the time.
Inscription: [on marble base, in relief]: THE / CONSTITUTION.
Antony Ferrara, until 1958; Daniel Dennis Kelly, Boston, ca. 1860–d.1886, by descent in family until at least 1949; [Old Print Shop, New York, until 1957]; Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Center, Williamsburg, Virginia, 1957–1974; Private collection, Boston; [Jerome Blum, Lisbon, Connecticut, until 1978]