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  CAST BRASS OR BRONZE FIREHOUSE EAGLE WITH GREAT FORM, SURFACE, AND A GREAT SLOGAN, AMERICAN, circa 1850-1880
Dimensions (inches): 23.25" long x 13" tall x 2" deep
Description:
Variant of the Federal arms, cast in bronze or brass, made to adorn a firehouse. Made circa 1850 - 1880, the form of the eagle is spread-winged and fierce, with its head towards the sky and tongue curling upward, from a partially open beak, like a lick of flame. The graphically compelling pose is both dramatic and slightly different from the many others I have seen in wall-mounted, architectural eagles. The billowing streamer, instead of displaying the usual Latin phrase: “E Pluribus Unum” (Out of Many, One), reads: “When Duty Calls Ti’s Ours to Obey.” This slogan appears on ribbons and other objects that identify its use within the firefighting community.

Note the lack of olive branches, which probably illustrates the need for constant vigilance, and that there is essentially no time of peace when it comes to fires.

The federal shield, paint-decorated in polychrome blue and red, bears a textured upper register, with a single, six-pointed star. The layout of pales (vertical bars) is correct, starting and ending on what would be white. The patinated surface is exceptional. Even with no known specific history, it’s great to see an example for which the intended use is known.

Note: What may appear to be notches in the wings are actually part of the brackets from which the eagle is hung. These disappear when the bird is above eye level, which is where it was intended to be displayed. Even when hung at eye level in a recent display, these were not visible.

Condition: Excellent, with extremely minor paint loss.
   
Primary Color: bronze, red, blue
Earliest Date: 1850
Latest Date: 1880
For Sale Status: Sold
Price SOLD
E-mail: info@jeffbridgman.com
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