American Eagle and Shield: E Pluribus Unum

Accession number:


Historical period:
ca. 1891


H x W: 25 in. / 94 in.

Acquisition date:
ca. 1891

Credit line:
The Army and Navy Club Library Trust Fund



From ca. 1891: The Army and Navy Club


One of the surviving decorative items from the original 1891 Army and Navy Club clubhouse is a fine example of an increasingly rare American art form—a hand-carved eagle with a wingspread of about six feet. It was mounted on a panel and hung over a fireplace as a mantelpiece on the second floor. The noble bird was a proud inhabitant of the Club building for some 20 years, until the present-day clubhouse was built across the street. In the Club’s relocation to the elegant new quarters, the eagle was left behind. It hung there, forgotten, until the building was about to be razed. Thankfully, David Lester of Chanin Realty Corporation recognized its value, had it restored, and presented it to the Club. It has since been professionally restored a second time and placed in the Eagle Grille, which is named to honor the splendid old bird.