Figure of an Eagle


On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 700

The American bald eagle was adopted by the United States Congress for the national seal in 1782. It soon became the most popular of patriotic decorative motifs. This carved-and-gilded eagle, with its wings proudly spread, is posed on a rocklike base. One of the largest of its type, it may have been the work of a carver of ship figureheads; however, it does not appear to have been used as a ship’s ornament or placed on the outside of a building, as it shows no signs of weathering.

Figure of an Eagle, Pine, oil gilding, iron, American

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