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Flag pole toppers are one of the more overlooked areas related to collecting American Flags.  Interestingly, the highest quality flag pole toppers are beautiful representations of patriotic Americana on their own.  This is an extremely high quality example of cast bronze flag pole topper from the era of the American Civil War.  Although the actual foundry that manufactured this eagle is unknown, what is known is that this eagle topper was supplied by Tiffany & Company in New York City. The workmanship of the casting on this particular example is extraordinary even when compared to many others of the same era.  Every feather of the eagle is distinct and shows the individual barbs of the feathers. The talons of the eagle are sharp and precisely cast, with the ridges and claws very well defined. Often times, the gilt wash on these flag pole toppers has been lost due to weathering and use, but it remains intact on this example.  This topper, on the other hand, appears to have seen very light use, and displays no indications of outdoor weathering.  An interesting attribute of the eagle is a hole through the beak of the eagle. Often, a ring could be held in the eagle's beak from which battle streamers would hang on military flags to represent a unit's participation in important battles.  Overall, the eagle is a fine example of a little noted but very beautiful type of early Americana from the time of the American Civil War, supplied to the Union Army by one of America's finest and most iconic merchants.

 
An exceptionally high quality and well preserved Civil War era cast bronze and gilt American eagle flag pole topper, supplied by Tiffany & Co, New York.

Special thanks to Dennis Wynn of "The American Flag Staff Eagle Project" for information attributing the eagle as supplied by Tiffany & Company.

  Media:  Gilt Wash on Cast Bronze

Date:  c. 1862-1865

War:  Civil War Era

Type:  Bronze Casting

Catalog Number:  IAS-00080


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American Eagle
Painted Toleware Tray
20th Century

 


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