Eagle Sternboard

about 1850–1900


Object Place: Eastern United States

Dimensions

78.74 x 245.74 cm (31 x 96 3/4 in.)

Accession Number

58.1192

Medium or Technique

Pine

Not On View

Collections

Americas

Classifications

Sculpture

Eagles were popular stern-board ornaments on nineteenth-century American sailing vessels. This emblem of national strength and pride grasps a laurel wreath in its claws and holds a banner in its beak. The banner may have borne the popular nationalistic motto “E Pluribus Unum” (“out of many, one”) or the name of the ship or its master. Originally, the stern board probably was gilded and painted.

Provenance

Early history unknown; purchased from dealer Robert Carlen, 323 South 16th Street, Philadelphia, in 1958.

Credit Line

Gift of the Class of the Museum of Fine Arts in memory of Mrs. Francis B. Crowninshield