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  PRESSED BRASS EAGLE, AN EARLY PARADE FLAG HOLDER & BUNTING TIE-BACK, AN ESPECIALLY ATTRACTIVE EXAMPLE, circa 1880-1895
Dimensions (inches): 14.5" t x 28.34" w x 2.75" d
Description:
Pressed brass eagles decorated the interiors of Civil War veterans' halls, armories, and government buildings. They typically have rectangular brackets on the reverse, into which patriotic bunting could be tucked, and/or open tubes, into which the wooden staffs of parade flags could be affixed to fan out above the eagle's wings. I find, however, that they were almost never-endingly customized.

This example once had a bracket, though it is no longer present. This appears to have been purposefully removed so that heavy wires, bent downward, could allow the eagle to be hooked over the top edge of something—probably a sign or a length of wood, to be carried above a banner in parades. Two rings, also on the reverse, allow the sculpture to be hung on the wall, as well as placement of flags and bunting. Eagles like this began to appear during the last quarter of the 19th century and production probably persisted until around 1900. The surface was gilded in gold leaf, and though this has largely worn away, the resulting surface has great patina and is pleasant to the eye.

The structure is hollow-bodied and three-dimensional. This is a particularly nice, because of the profile of the bird and the beautiful detailing in the feathers, some of which curl around into circular swirls.

Condition: There are some dings and dents at the ends of the wing tips and there is some oxidation and loss of the gold leaf, but these are to be expected and the bird has a beautiful presentation. A wire bracket, that possibly included open tubes, is absent from the back.
   
Primary Color: brass
Earliest Date: 1880
Latest Date: 1895
For Sale Status: Available
Price $4,650
E-mail: info@jeffbridgman.com
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