Ship figurehead

Object Number: 
1937.753
Date: 
ca. 1850
Medium: 
Painted and carved wood, Red pine (by microanalysis)
Dimensions: 
Overall: 25 1/2 x 13 x 23 in. ( 64.8 x 33 x 58.4 cm )
Marks: 
Incised under scroll: "J. Bowers 1861".
Description: 
Carved wooden eagle in striding position with wings drawn back, mounted on ornate scrolling base, with traces of gold paint on wings and body.
Gallery Label: 
The inscription "J. Bowers 1861" on the underside of the scroll was previously believed to relate to a ship carver of that name. It is more likely the name of a former owner, Jonathan Bowers (1825-1894), of Lowell, Massachusetts. In 1857, Bowers developed Willow Dale Park near Lowell, a lakeside retreat for boating, picnicking, and other pleasure activities. Bowers was a collector of ship carvings, which he displayed throughout the park. He is known to have purchased the figurehead of Andrew Jackson that once adorned the "Constitution" in 1861.
Credit Line: 
Purchased from Elie Nadelman
Provenance: 
Possibly collection of Jonathan Bowers (1825-1894), Willow Dale Park, Lowell, Mass; probably purchased at auction by collector/dealer Max Williams, 1925; acquired by Elie Nadelman (1882-1946) prior to 1929; purchased by N-YHS 1937.
Due to ongoing research, information about this object is subject to change.
Creative: Tronvig Group