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  CIVIL WAR PERIOD PAINTING OF AN EAGLE ON A NEST, WRAPPED WITH AN AMERICAN FLAG, WITH EGGS TO REPRESENT THE STATES, PORTRAYING LINCOLN’S ATTEMPT TO KEEP THE UNION TOGETHER; PENNSYLVANIA ORIGIN, OIL ON CANVAS, CIRCA 1863-1864
Dimensions (inches): Frame - 20.75" x 26.75", Work - 14" x 20"
Description:
Oil on canvas painting of an American eagle, in a war-like pose, typical of Civil War imagery, standing on a rocky ledge, over a nest, wrapped in an American flag. Within are eggs that represent the states, both Confederate and Union, each cracked, reflecting that all parts of the nation were broken by the war fact that it was part of the eagle and thus part of America itself, as the federal bird attempted to keep the Union together. The eggs are labeled with names, lending no apparent preference to any particular state. A billowing, red streamer in the eagle’s beak reads: “Union is Our Strength.” I owned another work, either by the same artist, or derived from the same source, but in oil on board, smaller in scale, and with an oval frame. The board had a datable manufacturer’s label from the Boston firm of Wadsworth, Howland, & Co., founded in 1864. In the smaller version, several differences were present. None of the eggs in that work had legible names (purposeful), save Pennsylvania, which was certainly the origin of the artist or image. In addition, one talon was gripping a snake beneath the eggs, in an obvious attempt to quell the rebellion. In the larger work, which is the focus of this narrative, no snake is present. Instead the eagle stands upon South Carolina, the first state to secede, the first to throw a stone, so-to-speak, and generally blamed for igniting the war. Note that West Virginia is present, which means that the painting can be no earlier than mid-1863. West Virginia broke off from Virginia to become a Free State on June 20th, just prior to the Battle of Gettysburg. Although just 27 states are depicted, other eggs are present. None of the labeled examples, however, represent a state that post-dates WV. Nor are there enough eggs illustrated to suggest that there are more than 35, the total number in the respective year. I married these two frames together. The liner is a portion of an 1830’s, mahogany veneered, American pier mirror. The outer is a hand-gilded, American, rippled profile molding of the 1820-1850 era. A tremendous Patriotic image in all respects. Condition: Inquire for a full report.
   
Primary Color: red, white, blue, brown
Earliest Date: 1863
Latest Date: 1864
For Sale Status: Available
Price $32,000
E-mail: info@jeffbridgman.com
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