Patriotic Wall Eagle Signs and Plaques
Wall eagle signs, a relief of a bald eagle with wings spread wide, have adorned exterior walls of American homes for generations. These wall eagle signs are a patriotic symbol of the American spirit and were generally popularized through the work of the 19th-century New England woodcarver John Haley Bellamy (1836-1914).
Bellamy was educated and trained in New York City and Boston, MA and spent most of his life in Kittery Point, Maine, and Portsmouth, New Hampshire, where he carved hundreds of wall eagle plaques.
The typical Bellamy eagle has spread wings about 2 feet wide, an upturned head, and carries a standard and banner lettered with a saying like "Don't Give Up the Ship" or "Happy New Year." These wall signs were generally made for exterior use as decoration on walls of buildings and homes.
Bellamy's wall eagle signs are usually carved from pine. Most of his wall eagle signs and plaques were finished with red, white and blue colors or sometimes gilded in gold. Bellamy did not sign or stamp his name into the finished wall eagle sign, but was believed to have secretively hid his mark inside glued pieces of the sign.
The condition of Bellamy's wall eagle signs is greatly determined by condition. Common damage to wall eagle signs includes chipped wings and paint and rotted wood. Bellamy's wall eagle signs are highly sought after museum pieces and have recently been appraised for up to $150,000 a piece.
Affordable reproductions of the wall eagle signs are currently available in more durable exterior grade materials including iron and aluminum. A selection of these patriotic, exterior-wall eagle signs are available at www.NewEnglandBirdhouse.com.