Jeff Bridgman Antique Flags
Home  /  Sold Antiques





  STERN BOARD STYLE EAGLE ATTRIBUTED TO WILLIAM RUSH OF PHILADELPHIA (1766-1833), CARVED & GILDED, WITH OUTSTANDING FORM, COLOR, AND SURFACE, CA 1810-30
Dimensions (inches): 36" w x 15" t x 3.25" d
Description:
STERN BOARD STYLE EAGLE ATTRIBUTED TO WILLIAM RUSH OF PHILADELPHIA (1766-1833), CARVED & GILDED, WITH OUTSTANDING FORM, COLOR, AND SURFACE, CA 1810-30:

Carved and gilded American eagle, found at an estate in Montgomery or Chester County, Pennsylvania and attributed to William Rush of Philadelphia (b. July 4th, 1766, d. Jan. 7th, 1833). Rush is considered the first great American sculptor and was one of the most famous carvers of eagles. He was trained in the carving of ship's figureheads and produced them for 4 of the 6 original frigates of the U.S. Navy.

This particular example is unusual in the fact that the pose, standing on a rocky outcropping, is more often seen on free-standing birds, but seldom on this stern board-style, wall-mounted variety. The work is comparable to documented examples by Rush, whose carvings vary a lot, not only in overall complexity, but stylistically; much more so than other notable makers of eagles, such as John Haley Bellamy (1836-1914), whose forms are easier to recognize. Rush passed away three years before Bellamy's birth, and so was at work two or three generations prior. This early date is important because there are so few carved eagles like this that survive today in the private marketplace.

One of my favorite things about this particular example is its rich, saturated color with chromatic overtones that are like a mixture of brass, bronze, and copper. I have long maintained that this is the most attractive shade among the wide spectrum of gold found in gilded American objects. Pieces of the hand-forged nails originally used to affix it to a structure are still contained in the body of the carving and can be viewed from the back and underside. The patina and craquelure of the surface are excellent, as-is the expert carving.

Condition: Repaired breaks are minor and not detrimental because of both their age [prob. 19th century] and the fact that they did not involve any measurable surface loss. The gilding is original, as-is the oxblood red paint on the reverse and edges. There is very minor, expected wear.
   
Primary Color: gold
Earliest Date: 1830
Latest Date: 1865
For Sale Status: Available
Price SOLD
E-mail: info@jeffbridgman.com
Page Views:... 3064