We have carved a number of stern eagles over the years...ranging in size from a modest 16" mahogany one to grace an office wall to a 7'+ replacement stern eagle for a schooner. Traditionally they were carved of White Pine, but we often use Hondouras Mahogany or Poplar, especially when they are to be finished bright (varnished) or partially bright.
days eagles carved for outdoor display are often carved from sign foam
because it holds detail and finishes exceptionally well, does not warp
or check, and is impervious to bugs and decay. Don't be put off by the
word "foam," this is anything but foam-like. It is a high density
urethane that carves and holds detail like the finest White Pine. Once
completed, it's virtually impossible to tell an eagle or a sign carved
from sign foam from one carved from wood. Both of the eagles shown on this page are carved from mahogany.
This "St. Louis" Eagle measures 41" from wingtip to wingtip, and has a maximum thickness of about 4". He was carved from particularly dense Hondouras mahogany. It took four 23-page books of23K gold leaf by the time all of the carved details were covered. This was a commission piece.
This is an eagle of our own design.
Another finishing combination that is particularly striking is to finish the Bald Eagle reastically and use gold for an accent–the wings and body would be finished bright, the head would be white with a yellow eye and gold beak, and the shield and globe would be painted and gilded like you see here. You can also see what the judges thought of this piece at the Maine Coast Competition.
Contrary to popular opinion, over the long term, gold leaf is actually more economical than paint. Being metallic gold, it retains its sheen for years...many times longer than even the finest sign enamel or varnish, both of which degrade in the sunlight. Gold never tarnishes. The leaf on this eagle could still look this good in 2050. The eagle with the dark wings in the photo above features marine finishes, so will also withstand the weather.
range from $250-$4500, depending on the design,