John Hale Bellamy (American 1836-1914) Carved, and painted pine Bellamy eagle, American, circa 1890. This eagle is one of the most popular forms and size within Bellamy's body of work. It features a spread wing eagle. The head and neck are carved from a separate piece of wood and applied to a base between the wings. The neck sweeps upward and the carved head has all of Bellamy's stylistic features. Applied to the eagle and running diagonally in front of the right wing is a carved flagpole. Below the finial of the pole is an attached carved and painted banner that has a reverse curve with a swallowtail end over the wings. The eagle retains all of its original painted surface. The front of the banner has a carved five pointed star set into a blue ground. Below the neck and running along the bottom side of the left wing is a carved and painted American shield. The shield retains its red, white and blue paint decoration. The eye, tongue and interior of the eagle's mouth retain the original red polychrome. Near the top of the beak is a small red line decoration. The banner is beautifully painted with blue lettering and is embellished with red shadowing. The banner states: 'Don't Give Up The Ship'. The borders of the banner also have red pinstripe. (FA-632)
Condition: The eagle retains its original painted surface. There is some slight discoloration and age toning to the white paint. The blue and red paint is still strong except for minor tiny losses. There is a repair in the blue ground in the banner near the star. The end section of the right wing has been professionally replaced. The back of the eagle is untouched and has a natural oxidized surface.
Reference 1: Craig, James A., 'American Eagle The Bold Art & Brash Life of John Haley Bellamy,' Portsmouth Marine Society, No. 2014, 2014, p. 90. This eagle is illustrated full page and described.
Reference 2: Antiques And the Arts Weekly, August 8, 2014. This 3 page article discusses the Bellamy Exhibit at the Portsmouth Historical Society 2014. This article illustrates several of the more prominent objects in this exhibit and is illustrated on page 6C.
Reference 3: Smith Yvonne Brault, 'John Haley Bellamy Carver of Eagles,' Hampton, NH: Portsmouth Marine Society, 1982, pp.65-67. Several examples and some detail close-ups of similar eagles are illustrated on these pages.
Exhibition: An exhibition titled 'Bold and Brash: The Art of John Haley Bellamy' was presented during the spring, summer and fall of 2014 at the Portsmouth Historical Society. This major retrospective featured many of Bellamy's masterpieces as well as a general view of the range of work he produced. The eagle described above was included in the exhibition.
Dimensions: Length 25 1/2 inches; Height 9 inches.