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Curle's Neck Plantation, Virginia

Posted 1/16/2023


Finial Style: Brass Flagstaff Eagle Finial

Location Housed: Private Collection of Eugene Cooley Family

Measurements: 4.50" high X 5.75" wide, at the widest part of the wings

Recovery Location: Curle's Neck Plantation, Virginia

Finial Attribution: Unknown

Photograph Accreditation: Eugene Cooley Family

Additional Information:   This beautiful solid brass eagle was recovered by detectorist, the late Eugene Cooley in August 1982 at the plantation grounds of Curle's Neck Plantation, Virginia. Mr. Cooley was relic hunting with friends Trueman Jones, and John Prokopis at the time of the find. The eagle was first seen  publicly in a 1999 issue of North South Traders Magazine and reported on by Steve Sylvia. Since that time, the author has been able to obtain the following images of the eagle through the valued assistance of Plez Bagby of Virginia Relics.

Curle's Neck Plantation appears to have its early existence in 1625 when Wilson Roscoe Curle made the first purchase of acreage for the plantation. The property was eventually purchased by the William Randolph family who built a Georgian style plantation house on the property which eventually grew to 5500 acres. During the Civil War, it is believed the residence was destroyed by Union troops who had made their way to Henrico County, Virginia.

There are at least two other eagles of this style know of by the author that have a direct link to the Civil War. Granted, it is very possible this style eagle was continually manufactured well after the war. One such eagle was reported to have been recovered on the Monocacy, Maryland battlefield in the 1990's, while the other on the Antietam battlefield, which was in the collection of Don Troiani, and now is located in the U.S. Army Museum. 

The Troiani eagle is believed to have been struck by a projectile. That particular piece has great detail. The piece found in Monocacy doesn't appear to have the same quality detailed finish as seen with this particular eagle. This may be explained by worn molds used in manufacture or even different manufacturers using different molds for the eagles. 

Cooley 3.jpg
Cooley 6.jpg

Sources: 1999 North South Traders Magazine, Steve Sylvia

                 Eugene Cooley Family, Virginia

                 Plez Bagby, Virginia Relics

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