Portsmouth, New Hampshire, Late 19th/Early 20th Century


A very rare example of a pair of period carved and painted American eagles. Well-articulated heads on elegantly curved necks, detailed with pronounced beaks, carved eyes and red painted tongues. The "War" eagle's head faces right and the "Peace" eagle's faces left, and both clutch a green painted olive branch and three gold leaf arrows in their talons. Carved and gilded wings taper in thickness toward the tips. Feathers executed in typical Spinney style. Both signed on back of head "Ivah W. Spinney".
Heights approx. 17". Widths 58".
Condition: Some minor wear to finish. The backs of the eagles show overpaint and gilding.

The absence of a condition report does not imply an object is free of defects. All items may have normal signs of age and wear commensurate with their age; these issues will likely not be mentioned in the condition report. Please contact Eldred's before the auction with any condition questions. Questions about condition will not be answered after purchase. Condition reports are provided as a courtesy, and we are not responsible for any errors or omissions. Important note on frames: Frames are not guaranteed to be in the same condition as they are in the item photograph. Due to handling and shipping, many frames, especially antique ones, are prone to losses. If you have questions about the condition of a frame, please contact us prior to the auction. 

  • Provenance: Reference:
    The Bold Art & Brash Life of John Haley Bellamy by James Craig (Portsmouth, N.H.: Portsmouth Historical Society, 2014) p. 89, 123, 124-125. A pair of "War and Peace" eagles by John Hale Bellamy that are very similar in design and size are illustrated on p. 89. Two examples of signed Ivah Spinney eagles are illustrated on p. 124 and Spinney's signature at the top edge of an eagle's wing is illustrated on p. 125.

    According to James Craig's The Bold Art & Brash Life of John Haley Bellamy, Ivah W. Spinney was a carver in Portsmouth, New Hampshire and was working at the same period and across the river from where John Hale Bellamy worked in Kittery, Maine. Craig writes "the carving of the feathers in Spinney eagles are generally of a softer, shallower cut" and that while Bellamy typically did not sign his eagles, Spinney usually did, in a location where the signature would not interfere with the viewing of the carving. Bellamy and Spinney eagles graced the homes in the Portsmouth and Kittery areas, including the doorway of Kittery Point resident Windam Mayo, as illustrated in a circa 1900 photograph. Craig notes it is strikingly similar to another eagle illustrated in the book, and although their heads face in different directions and one is painted and the other gilded, it hints that Spinney possibly used similar production methods as Bellamy.

Accepted Forms of Payment:

American Express, Discover, MasterCard, Money Order / Cashiers Check, Personal Check, Visa, Wire Transfer


We require prompt payment and removal of your purchases as stated in Paragraph 12 of the Conditions of Sale. If you plan to pick up your purchases, please call ahead and we'll make every effort to have your items ready. Our physical address is 1483 Route 6A, East Dennis, MA. Pick up of smaller items at our Mystic, CT location is also available with advance notice.
Unfortunately, it is not possible to provide shipping quotes until the invoice had been paid in full.
In house shipping is offered exclusively though UPS. All items are shipped with UPS insurance (max. $50,000). UPS insurance is billed at $2.70 for the first $100 and at $0.90 per hundred afterwards. Eldred's charges a minium $15 handling fee per package plus actual UPS shipping charges.
COLLECTION OF PURCHASES: Delivery or shipping arrangements must be made within seven (7) days from the close of the auction for all purchases. All items must be removed from Eldred's facilities within fourteen (14) days of the end of the auction. All items remaining after fourteen days may be subject to a $5/per item/per day storage fee. No items will be released unless storage fees are paid in full. Items remaining over thirty (30) days from the close of the auction may be sold for the buyer's account minus auction and storage fees.

November 15, 2023 9:30 AM EST
East Dennis, MA, US


You agree to pay a buyer's premium of up to 26% and any applicable taxes and shipping.

View full terms and conditions

Bid Increments
From: To: Increments:
$0 $49 $5
$50 $99 $10
$100 $499 $25
$500 $999 $50
$1,000 $2,999 $100
$3,000 $4,999 $250
$5,000 $9,999 $500
$10,000 $29,999 $1,000
$30,000 $49,999 $2,500
$50,000 $99,999 $5,000
$100,000 + $10,000