John Haley Bellamy, Carved Mahogany Gangway Board, USS Enterprise - Antique Associated At West Townsend

John Haley Bellamy, Carved Mahogany Gangway Board, USS Enterprise

A Rare Woodcarving Executed by Bellamy [1836-1914] for the US Navy

John Haley Bellamy, Carved Mahogany Gangway Board, USS Enterprise

The attribution to John Haley Bellamy was determined based on comparison of the subject gangway board and four known and documented examples crafted by Bellamy for decorative purposes abord the bark-rigged screw sloop-of-war USS Enterprise launched at the Portsmouth Navy Yard in 1874. Numerous stylistic attributes exist between this piece and the other Bellamy gangway boards crafted for the Enterprise, particularly the shield surmounted with eagle, construction of eagle’s body and its posture/attitude. The manner with which the eagle’s talons are rendered atop the shield’s rim perfectly relate to other known examples. Stylistically the way the eagle’s feathers are rendered, and the symmetry and thickness of the piece are congruent with the other known USS Enterprise gangway boards. Further testimony to the pieces’ authenticity is the proper oxidation being extant upon the untreated back of the carving; the metalwork is authentic to the later nineteenth century. Analysis of this piece and comparison between it and the four known documented examples of USS Enterprise gangway boards crafted by Bellamy reveal that the piece was personally carved by John Haley Bellamy, with no other hands at work. In conclusion, this USS Enterprise gangway board stands as a truly rare and important surviving piece of woodworking that the celebrated Bellamy executed for the United States Navy.

1.”Exceedingly rare, today only four are known to still exist. Indeed, all four gangway boards appear to hail from the bark-rigged screw sloop-of-war USS Enterprise”, [fig. 5.4] See “American Eagle – The Bold Art & Brash Life of John Haley Bellamy” by James A. Craig, pp. 69, 70, 71 and 72. (1. As quoted from James Craig’s book.) Mr. Craig has examined and documented the carving; notarized three-page letter of authenticity accompanied the piece.

Item Date: 1874

Measurement: Overall height: 27"; width: 15.5"; depth: 3"

Material: Mahogany and brass

Item Condition: Excellent, superlative original condition

Price: $34,500

SKU 1411-2

For More Information, Please Contact David Hillier at 978-597-8084 or email

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