The Amistad’s Figurehead

Between 1998 and 2000, the Mystic Seaport in Mystic, CT built a replica of the slave ship La Amistad.  The modern ship was built using traditional techniques from the 19th century and named Freedom Schooner Amistad.  I was commissioned to make a gold-leafed figurehead of an eagle for the vessel.  Although the final product was made of  mahogany, the processing began with the wax and bronze models shown below.

The eagle had to fit an evolving bow - luckily I lived close enough to the Mystic Seaport to bring the figurehead for the occasional fitting.  Below you can see the bird become more and more defined with each stage.