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Magnificent large 19th century carved eagle attributed to the master Pennsylvania carver Wilhelm Schimmel. My business mission is to bring the absolute best in Pennsylvania collectibles to global markets, and no single piece of merchandise I could offer fulfills that mission better than this one.
This eagle carving was purchased directly by me from the estate of Clyde Youtz on March 31, 2001. Mr Youtz had an extensive collection of Pennsylvania collectibles. The estate provided provenance for the item in the form of a typewritten statement which indicates that the eagle was carved for Mr. and Mrs. Alfred Byers in 1875, then it went to his stepson Milton Wenger, then to his son Ray Wenger of Shippensburg, PA; then to Clyde Youtz in 1979. This statement, along with a copy of the estate auction catalogue, will be included with the carving.
When Mr. Youtz acquired the piece, it had sustained some damage. The left wing was missing entirely and there was damage to the right wing. So he had the piece professionally restored. The existing left wing was carved by a local professional and looks very much like the right, except it does not have the patina. The right wing has a repair line, which is not obvious except by close inspection. I tried to photograph it from behind, but it does not show up too well. The torso, head and right wing are original Shimmel, while the left wing is a restoration. The piece measures 12 1/2" high with a wingspan of 22". There are not many Schimmel pieces around of this size, and it makes a dramatic statement as a display piece.
SOME ADDED INFORMATION:
On March 22, 2008 I received the following e-mail:
FYI, we have the brother to the Alfred Byers Schimmel eagle you have for
sale. When Schimmel stayed in the Byers family farm during a snowstorm, he also
carved one for William, Alfred's younger brother. (William is my great
grandfather.) My mother feels certain that Milton Wenger was not Alfred's step
son (as stated in your description), but his son-in-law.
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