Gettysburg Bass Drum
AN EAGLE-PAINTED "GETTYSBURG BRASS DRUM" FROM THE ARTHUR OTT SHIELDS MUSEUM OF GETTYSBURG, PA
From the life-long collection of Ott Shields started in 1918, the museum opened in 1925 on the first day's battlefield, Route 30 West next to the Buford monument. Shields, a native of Gettysburg whose family dates back to the early settlers of Gettysburg, began to acquire relics from a variety of sources - from "eyeballing" relics on the fields and from contributions from friends and family. Over time the collection grew in size and quality, much of the material having been picked up by local townspeople soon after the fighting stopped.
In 1985 the family decided to close the museum with the National Park Service buying the land and building. The collection was sold at the Redding Auction Companyin the 16th November 1985.
This bass drum measures two feet in height and has a two foot diameter drumhead. It still has its faded wingspread American Eagle design on the side of the drum, measuring 16" x 10". The drum's wood shell body has a varnish that has turned darker over time. No maker's label. The drum is in untouched condition, having never been cleaned or repaired. Comes with a copy of the auction catalog along with a copy of a North South Trader magazine article about the auction.
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And this from The Horse Soldier Archives:
The Shield museum collection was begun in 1918 by Arthur H. Shields, one of a number of Gettysburg family collections - Rosensteel, Zeigler, Wert, Mumper, Danner & others - that consisted primarily of "battlefield pickups" by locals after the Battle of Gettysburg in the summer of 1863. This collection was sold at a famous public auction in Gettysburg in November of 1985, to an assemblage collectors, dealers & buyers. Among the items was this bass drum, which still retains its auction tag. One of three known Gettysburg drums!
The drum measures 2' in height, and the drumhead is 2' in diameter. Dark varnished shell with faded original spread eagle (16" in width, 10" in height) over "peep" hole. 10 hoop eyelets. No makers mark. Original shell, hoops, & ears-head & ropes date from the 1880s.