This is 10 inches tall gilded bronze finial of an eagle meant to be attached to a staff on top of a flagpole and carried into battle. This particular eagle finial was the insignia of the First Regiment of Napoleon’s Imperial Guard. The eagle’s full-feathered body faces front, and its proud majestic head is turned to our right. It has a long beak which is slightly closed, and its wings are unfurled and outstretched with one talon resting on Jupiter’s thunderbolt, an object that resembles a bundle of crossed sticks. It is mounted on a small plinth with the number 1, indicating the regiment. There is a silk flag tied to the plinth with golden fringe and stars.
Isabella Stewart Gardner kept meticulous records of many of her acquisitions. In keeping with this legacy, object information is continually being reviewed, updated, and enriched in order to give greater access to the collection.