Eagle Marks on American Silver

by Catherine B. Hollan

The changing image of the eagle as the national figure in the early federal period,  as seen in the marks of American silversmiths.

Categories of eagles include:
  • formal heraldic figures with national symbols and with none 
  • artistic curved body eagles with a symbol or with none
  •  eagles standing on mound or globe
  •  eagle heads
  •  name marks with an integrated eagle

  • ​why just eagle heads?
  • the goldsmiths' coats of arms
  • symbol for American-made rather than for coin quality
  • regional characteristics, wing tips up or down--is the eagle of New York or Baltimore
  • curved eagles with olive branch in circular reserve as regionally specific to area around new Capital of Washington, DC
  • ​eagle manufacturer marks in Philadelphia and Cincinnati
  • ​single artisan's use or retailer/manufacturer relationship

  • portable size, 6 x 9" 
  • 150 pages, softbound
  • over 500 photographs of 170 different eagles and 340 silversmith's marks with eagles.
  • rarely seen marks from Kentucky
  • Eagles from New York City, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Cincinnati, Albany, Pittsburgh and states of CT, MA, VT, ME, PA, VA, NC, OH, MS, MO, LA, TN, and KY