National Gallery of Art - THE COLLECTION
image of Figurehead Figurehead
Rendered by Jerome Hoxie (artist), 1938
watercolor, colored pencil, and graphite on paperboard
overall: 27.9 x 38 cm (11 x 14 15/16 in.)
Index of American Design
1943.8.9901
Not on View
From the Tour: Woodcarving from the Index of American Design
Object 3 of 26

Some small vessels had only an eagle as a bow decoration. In this eagle head, the carving terminates at the neck. Aside from patriotic associations, the eagle, with its sharp eyes, was especially appropriate to symbolize a lookout or guide. This particular example served as a figurehead on the Great Republic, which was launched at Boston in 1853. The piece was carved by either S.W. or William B. Gleason. Eagles were also popular decorations for sternpieces and the top of a ship's pilothouse.

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