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The History List

Carved wooden eagle — "Live and Let Live" — 36" wide


This carved eagle is magnificent. It came from a collection assembled over a period of 30 years, and I'm proud that we have the opportunity to offer it.

It is large—36" wide and 14" high—and very dramatic, with claws gripping a shield, a fierce look in its eyes, and a banner carried aloft in its beak with the words "Live and let live." 

The carving is in the style of John Haley Bellamy, a famous wood carver whose eagles are well-known. We've included a bio of Bellamy below. This eagle, while not carved by him, displays many of his hallmarks. And the color is wonderful—not bright and vey beautiful. (The bottom tip of the banner on the left side is missing. This is probably at most ½" and given the way it's carved you won't notice it unless you look very carefully.)

This will be a prized possession, with a place of honor in a home or office, passed down from generation to generation.

— Lee Wright | Founder

About the carver who set the style for this and many other carved eagles

"John Haley Bellamy (April 5, 1836 – April 6, 1914) was a New England folk artist known for his highly stylized carved wooden eagles and other decorative items for ships and homes. Bellamy was born in Kittery, Maine in 1836, and stayed there for much of his career. Later in his life he lived and worked elsewhere in New England. Although carving was his primary means of supporting himself, he never considered himself to be an "artist," and he is not known to have signed any of his pieces. His eagles are highly desired in the collectors' market, with some selling in 2007 for over $100,000, and a large piece setting an artist-record price of $660,000 at an August 2005 auction. Bellamy died in Portsmouth, New Hampshire in 1914.

"Bellamy was apprenticed to Samuel Dockham, a furniture maker in Portsmouth, New Hampshire in his youth. In 1857, at the age of 21, Bellamy worked with the well known ship's carver Laban Beecher in Boston. . . .

"Not much is known about Bellamy's career after his term at New Hampton Institute until the mid-1860s, when it was clear that he was carving for money in Boston. In the late 1860s, he entered into a partnership with D.A. Titcomb, a patent agent in Boston who managed to help sell and ship a large number of Bellamy's carvings throughout the country. Between the years of 1867–1871, six styles of clock cases were patented by Bellamy. . . .

"In 1872, Bellamy spent a short period as a first class carpenter, which he quickly quit when he realized it paid less than carving did. That winter Bellamy set up shop in Portsmouth, New Hampshire and began carving again. Many of the carvings he made there were eagles and many have since been lost. Bellamy was commissioned in 1880 to build a figurehead for USS Lancaster, which previously had not had a figurehead. For this he was paid two dollars and thirty-two cents a day. This piece, referred to as the USS Lancaster Eagle, is the only known surviving figurehead carved by Bellamy and is considered to be his masterpiece. It is currently owned by and displayed at The Mariners' Museum in Newport News, Virginia."

Source: Wikipedia

Size: 14" x 36"

Shipping:  Free delivery within a four hour drive of Boston. Outside of that area, this will be shipped via UPS, signature required, for a charge of $95.


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