Saturday, May 31, 2008

12th Indiana Infantry Civil War Drum

Information from Noble & Cooley's Website:
In January of 1854, Silas Noble and James P. Cooley started making Drums in the Noble farmhouse kitchen. Their drum was an immediate success. In a few weeks they moved into a small building and after two years built their first factory.

In 1860 Noble & Cooley Co. made a Drum of a rail split by Abraham Lincoln which was used in political rallies in Massachusetts and Connecticut. This Drum was presented to the 10th Massachusetts Regiment and finally found a resting place in the United States Patent Office.

During the Civil War the Company boomed making Drums for the Northern Regiments. At this time, many changes occurred with expansion to a larger factory and change from Water Power to Steam Engine, all influencing the continued growth of the Company.

A few years later they made the Largest Drum on record, it being Eight Feet in Diameter. This Drum was made especially for use in Boston in 1869 at Gilmore's National Peace Jubilee, and later used in the 1876 Centennial.

Noble & Cooley Co. made not only Military Drums of all sizes, but also Toy Drums. In 1854, the Company produced 631 Drums; by 1873 they were manufacturing 100,000 Drums a year! Special machinery was designed and built to aid in the difficult process of Steam Bending, Decorating and Fabricating the Drum parts. Many of these machines have been restored for use on this line of reproductions.

Granville, our home, is a typical small New England Village in the foothills of the Berkshires. The business is still owned and operated by the descendants of James P. Cooley and retains the original firm name. Through the years, improvements in buildings and manufacturing processes have been made, but the company has retained much of its antiquity and charm.


Information from Cowan's Auctions Website:
Price Realized Including Buyer's Premium: $2,875.00
Auction: 2002 Americana & Decorative Arts. November 20.

254. CIVIL WAR SNARE DRUM FROM THE 12TH INDIANA INFANTRY, presented to Alfred Barker, on May 5, 1861. A 16" snare drum, manufactured by Noble and Cooley, East Granville, Mass. Body painted red, with a well-executed American eagle on the side with a banner its beak with portions of Barker's name and "snare drummer" visible. The head bands black, over an original red wash.

The perimeter of the bottom head is pricked and painted with the following inscription, portions of which are unreadable becuase of a large split: "Presented to A.L. Barker by Capt___ Camp Sullivan May 5th, 1861." In the center of the head is: "Capt___ O'Brien." Barker was the drummer for Co. D, of the 12th Indiana. He mustered into service on May 14, served a one year term, and was out on May 19, 1862. Barker was present at Williamsport and Sharpsburg, Maryland, the advance on Winchester, Virginia, participated in a skirmish at Stephenson's Station, the Shenandoah Valley campaign, and a skirmish at Rappahannock Crossing.

This drum was presented by Barker by Captain William O'Brien of Company D. O'Brien mustered out with Barker, and then re-enlisted, serving as Lt. Colonel of the 75th Indiana. The drum is accompanied by a 1958 newspaper clipping from the Chicago Tribune in which it, and several other Civil War relics are illustrated.

According to the article, it was part of a collection assembled by Brigadier Charles S. Bently, an Iowan. His collection was sold in 1922 to two Chicagoans, Mrs. Denise Henredeen and Agnes See. The collection was exhibited at the Century of Progress Exhibition in Chicago and 1934 and then was placed in storage, where it remained until the time of its sale in 1958.

The eagle darkened from an original layer of varnish, and suffering from paint loss in its face, and the banner. Minor paint loss elsewhere. Bottom head split, with some loss. The painting well-worth cleaning and restoring.

(EST $2500-$3500)
Price includes buyer's premium.


Cowan's Auctions, Inc.
6270 Este Ave
Cincinnati, OH United States 45232
513-871-1670

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