Saturday, May 31, 2008

Abner Stevens Civil War Drum

Information from Cowan's Auctions Website:

Price Realized Including Buyer's Premium:
$660.00 Auction: 2004 Spring Historical Americana, May 20, 21

474. LABELED CIVIL WAR ERA DRUM, with interior label Abner Stevens...Springfield Mass.; in original red and cream paint with skin heads, older replaced cordage and leather slide tighteners; 14.5" high x 24" diameter.

As above with minor flaking paint, VG.

(EST $300-$500)
Price Realized: $660.00
Price includes buyer's premium.


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

Labels: , , , ,

126th Ohio Volunteer Infantry


Information from Cowan's Auctions Website:

Price Realized Including Buyer's Premium: $780.00
Auction: 2004, Fall Historic Americana / Dec 2-3

473. ID'D CIVIL WAR 126TH OVI SNARE DRUM, belonging to Joseph Harper. Bent wood snare drum with original band in red wash, skin heads and rope strapping with sinew snares bands on bottom and cut leather tighteners and original turned hickory sticks; no label on interior; 8" high x 15.5" diameter. Includes a copy photograph of the extended Harper family in which Joseph is identified in 1910, letter from the heir who consigned the drum to us and printed soldier's and unit history.

The 126th O.V.I. saw considerable action during the war including at their 1st encounter with the enemy at Martinsburg, W.V. in 1862 losing an entire company captured, Bristoe Station, Spotsylvania, and at Cold Harbor, at which Joseph, our drummer was severely wounded and later discharged for disability. The unit lost 9 officers and 111 men KIA. Untouched, EXC.

(EST $400-$600)
Price Realized: $780.00
Price includes buyer's premium.


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

Labels: , , , ,

John C. Haynes (Boston) Eagle Drum

Information from Cowan's Auctions Website:

Price Realized Including Buyer's Premium: $4,887.50
Auction: 2004 Spring Historical Americana, May 20, 21

473. CIVIL WAR ERA DRUM WITH EAGLE AND SHIELD, interior printed label from John C. Haynes & Co. Boston, beautifully hand painted with patinated blue ground with eagle in flight clutching ribbon banner in beak with E. Pluribus Unum and red, white and blue U.S. shield and cannon below with crescent of 27 gold 5-pointed stars surrounding; with original heads and leather wrapped hemp or jute cordage bindings; snare bands across bottom head intact; 17" diameter x 14" high. Fine patina with light crazing.

A few slight scratches and very slight paint loss to blue ground; paint is
98%; top head with short 4" split, bottom head with crack 3" long, VG+.

(EST $4000-$6000)
Price Realized: $4,887.50
Price includes buyer's premium.


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

Labels: , , , ,

Marietta, Ohio GAR Drum Corps Archival Property


Information from Cowan's Auction Website:

Price Realized Including Buyer's Premium: $690.00
Auction: 2003 Americana May 8-9.

408. ARCHIVE OF MARIETTA, OHIO GAR DRUM CORPS,lot of 8, includes illustrated broadside with printed photograph of the "Jewel Juvenile Drum Corps" performance at "J.C. Holdren's Lawn 207 Sacra Via", (a street address in Marietta), 12.5" x 19.2", (illustration clearly shows an older gentleman in GAR uniform in back row);

PLUS a printed handbill for same but at Riverside Park (probably also in Marietta), dated June 15th, 1904, 3.8" x 9.2";

PLUS a silver print of two child members of this drum corps in uniform and with drums, 2.2" x 3.3";

PLUS a bronze medal with pin-back hanger with "Marietta/Ohio" attached by chain to figural drum shaped medal with "Jewel Juveniles Drum Corps Organized, 1903" and reverse with presentation inscription "Presented / by / Thos. H. Sugden / Drummer / 63rd O.V.V.I.", 1.25" wide x 1.75" long;

PLUS a child's kepi with purple felt, black leather bill, gilt front braid mounted with harp embossed brass buttons, embroidered front with "J.J.D.C" above crossed batons, silk liner marked Pettibone Bros. Mfg. Co. / Cincinnati, O. / U.S.A.";

PLUS two wool jackets, child's is purple with red & white linen piping which covers buttons, the adults is army blue with piping to match child's and woven gilt metal oak leaves at collar, both are marked Pettibone Bros. Mfg. Co. Cincinnati, O.;

PLUS a snare drum, wood metal and hide, with snare attachment marked on interior "Lyon Healy Chicago"; AND a Childs sword modeled after M1872 cavalry saber, marked on ricasso "A Jacob & Sons Baltimore Md." with nickel plated scabbard, brass hilt with lacquered wood grip, total length 37". Lot also includes Sugden's soldier’s history & 63 O.V.I. histories from Civil War Research and Genealogical Database.

1st with folds at margins & light even toning, VG; 2nd short tear at top, not in text & light even toning, VG; 3rd EXC.; 4th EXC.; 5th leather liner band worn with some missing a few tiny moth holes and heat damage to finish of bill, still supple and VG; 6th & 7th, some fading and very slight soil, else VG.; 8th one head loose and finish scratched & worn; 9th very slight rust, else VG.

(EST $500-$700)
Provenance: found in Marietta, Ohio
Price includes buyer's premium.


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

Sempf Drum with Eagle Decal, Stenciled Hoops and Leather Sling



Information from Cowan's Auctions website:

Price Realized Including Buyer's Premium: $862.50
Auction: 2007, Winter Firearms Auction, Nov 7 & 8

272. CIVIL WAR DECORATED DRUM BY WILLIAM SEMPF, NY, ca. 1860. Worn decal with image of patriotic eagle and flag. 14 hooks with rope attached to drum, some with leather percussion mounts. Both top and bottom rims with ornate scrollwork in the wood. 8.75" height x 16" diameter. Interior with label that reads William Sempf Manufacturer of Base and Snare Drums 209 and 211 Grand Street New York. Complete with leather strap and one drumstick. Drum was allegedly owned by Frank George Horton. Mr. Horton was born in Cattaraugus County, New York ca. 1840 and settled in Illinois. He enlisted June 2, 1862 and was discharged September 27, 1862 at the age of 21. He was in the 57th Co. Regiment of Illinois Vols. Infantry. Ropes are a replacement. Decal is mostly faded. One 3.5" split in the drum head.

(EST $300-$500)
Price Realized: $862.50
Price includes buyer's premium.


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

J&H Meacham Drum with Drumsticks

Information from Cowan's Auctions website:

Price Realized Including Buyer's Premium: $1,035.00
Auction: 2007, Winter Firearms Auction, Nov 7 & 8

271. PERCUSSION DRUM WITH HAND PAINTED INSIGNIA PLUS PAIR OF DRUMSTICKS, 15.75" height x 16.25" diameter. Stylized red painted floral ornamentation with green background. Steel domed tacks enhance the floral image. Ten ropes with related leather percussion mounts. Inside of drum with paper label that reads New Military Store J&H Meacham No. 84 State Street Albany. Complete with 17.75" pair of drumsticks. Both drumheads are intact.

(EST $400-$600)
Price Realized: $1,035.00
Price includes buyer's premium.


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

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

U.S. Ordnance Marked Drumsticks and Belt Holder

Information from Cowan's Auction Website:

Price Realized Including Buyer's Premium: $1,380.00
Auction: 2006, Firearms and Early Militaria Auction, Dec 7

242. U.S. ORDNANCE MARKED DRUMSTICKS AND BELT HOLDER, both drumsticks stamped U.S. 1861 at the base. Tapered wood with two carved grooves encompassing the base of each drumstick. Complete with brass breastplate holder with two affixed reeded carrying tubes. 17.25" overall length. Drumstick's wood has some dings and mars especially due to removal from the socket. Brass plate and sockets with a light aged look.

(EST $600-$800)
Provenance: Ex Pete and Jackie Kersten Collection
Price Realized: $1,380.00
Price includes buyer's premium.


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

A.J. Ake Militia Drum

Information from Cowan's Auction Website:

Price Realized Including Buyer's Premium: $920.00
Auction: 2006, Firearms and Early Militaria Auction, Dec 7

241. CIVIL WAR ERA STATE MILITIA SNARE DRUM, front with dark brown paint with gold lettering A. J. AKE with five-pointed gold star in center with tacks forming two concentric circles as well as other designs. Remainder of the drum painted brick red with brown top and bottom edges. Seven brown leather sliding percussion braces (ears) attached to ropes.

Label on inside of drum reads Drums, Fifes, Regimental Colours and Tambourine Repaired by Bringhurs Germantown, Philadelphia. Paper label also has image of a patriotic eagle with a coiled snake. Batter head is soiled and has a 2" incision. Bottom head missing, as is part of the paper label on inside. Drum retains ca. 95% of original paint.

(EST $450-$550)
Price Realized: $920.00

Price includes buyer's premium.

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

Chicago Made Civil War Drum

Information from Cowan's Auction Website:

Price Realized Including Buyer's Premium: $690.00
Auction: 2006, Firearms and Early Militaria Auction, Dec 7

CIVIL WAR ROPE AND TENSION DRUM, with roping for 8 leather tension braces (ears). Vestige of original white label inside suggesting the drum was made in Chicago, Illinois. Complete with braided carrying rope. 12" height, 16" diameter. Both batter head and snare heads are partially worn and lightly torn. Wood has nominal, expected abrasions evenly throughout. Two of the tension mounts are severed and missing.

(EST $400-$600)
Price Realized: $690.00
Price includes buyer's premium.


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

Marked George Kilbourn Civil War era drum

Information from Cowan's Auction Website:

Price Realized Including Buyer's Premium: $1,495.00
Auction: 2006, Firearms and Early Militaria Auction, Dec 7

Marked George Kilbourn Civil War era drum, brown wood body with brass tacks forming geometric patterns. Eight brown leather tension braces (ears) affixed to ropes. Paper label on inside of drum reads Bass and Snare Drums Tambourines & Banjos Made and Repaired by George Kilbourn at His Premium Drum Factory 119 Orange Street Albany. Top and bottom bands around drum painted brick red. Snare drum head stamped Amrawco. 15.75" height, 16.25" diameter. Two of the leather tension mounts are severed in half. Snare drum head with 4.75" tear. Brick red paint ca 70%. Bottom edges of wood rim with some chips in the wood. Ropes are a replacement.

(EST $800-$1000)
Price Realized: $1,495.00
Price includes buyer's premium.


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

53rd Pennsylvania Volunteers Drum with Inlaid Venthole

Information from Cowan's Auction Website:

Price Realized Including Buyer's Premium: $1,265.00
Auction: 2006, Firearms and Early Militaria Auction, Dec 7

Civil War 53 Pennsylvania Volunteers rope tension drum with roping for 8 leather tension braces (ears). Marquetry design rendered in brown, gold, green and yellow of a cross inside an octagon. Original label Manufactured by Lyon & Healy Manufacturers and Dealers of Musical Instruments Chicago Canal and Monroe Sts.

Eight white strings (snares) run across center of bottom end of drum, fastened to a snare strainer. Batter head with black stenciled 53 Penna Vols. Snare head with vestige of green-stenciled lettering. 12" height, 17.5" diameter. The 53rd Pennsylvania was organized in Harrisburg and saw heavy action in a number of Eastern Theatre campaigns including Fair Oaks where it lost 96 in killed and wounded, Antietam where they lost 26 killed and wounded.

Entering Fredericksburg with a complement of 283 men, the unit suffered the devastating loss of 158 killed and wounded including 9 commissioned officers. The unit was active on the second day of Gettysburg, where they entered the fray with only one company, the other three being on detached duty. Of the 124 men who saw action, 6 were killed, 67 were wounded and 6 were listed as missing in action.

After Gettysburg the unit participated in the Wilderness, and other actions before mustering out and participating in the Grand Review in 1865. Batter head in very good condition. Ca 5% of snare head present on drum. Three of the tension braces are severed. Wood has expected abrasions evenly throughout.

(EST $1000-$1500)
Price Realized: $1,265.00


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

121st Regiment New York Eagle Drum


Price Realized Including Buyer's Premium: $4,025.00
Auction: 2006, Firearms and Early Militaria Auction, Dec 7

Brown wood drum with typical hand-painted patriotic eagle bearing a US shield and banner in its beak that reads 121st Reg. U.S. Infantry. Stylized sunrays with white painted stars scattered against the blue background. Red painted top and bottom wood rims. Nine brown leather tension mounts. Bottom drumhead with stenciled black letters D.C. Connely, Stewart's Run, PA. Green paper label on inside of drum reads Edward Baack No. 87 Fulton Street New York Manufacturers and Importers of Drums, Banjos and Tamborines and All Kinds of Brass and Wooden Instruments. Bands Supplied on the Most Reasonable Terms. 15" height, 16.5" diameter. Complete with pair of 17" black painted wood drumsticks. The generic eagle drum with regulation military symbols is not specifically identified to a particular state and the high-numbered 121st painted banner could pertain to a volunteer regiment from Pennsylvania, New York, Ohio, Illinois, Indiana, or USCT. The cryptic reference to Steward's Run, PA is a good starting point for further research.Rope is a replacement. Both drumheads are in good condition, but soiled and showing water stains. Hand-painted eagle with numerous regions of severe paint loss. Rims retain ca 90% original red paint.

(EST $1000-$1500)
Provenance: Property of the former First National Bank of Fremont, Indiana
Price Realized: $4,025.00
Price includes buyer's premium.


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

Regimental Drum from the Winfield Scott Volunteers, Co. K

Information from Cowan's Auction Website:

Price Realized Including Buyer's Premium: $805.00
Auction: 2006, Firearms and Early Militaria Auction, Dec 7

235. REGIMENTAL DRUM FROM THE WINFIELD SCOTT VOLUNTEERS, CO. K, brown painted wood body, intricate painted geometric configuration at keyhole. Twelve brown leather tension braces (ears) encompassing the drum. Black painted lettering on the drum reads 1st Regt. Vet. Vol. Co. K. Top and bottom wood rims are painted chocolate brown. Bottom of drum with ten burgundy snare cords traversing the snare head.

The 1st Regt. Vet. Vol. Co. K was part of Hancock's Veteran's Corps. Winfield Scott Hancock (1824-1886) commanded the 1st Veteran Volunteer Corps from November 27, 1864 - February 27, 1865. The unit was to be composed of 50,000 men. In 1864 the United States government offered a special bounty to veterans who would enlist in General Winfield Scott Hancock's Veteran Corps.

Two leather tension braces severed in half. The heads, rims, ropes and tensioners are all late 19th century replacements. Snare drum head is attached with clear tape 180o around rim. Drum's exterior wood is scuffed and has light dirt build-up.

(EST $1000-$1500)
Price Realized: $805.00
Price includes buyer's premium.


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

Civil War Regimental Drum and Rare Case

Information from Cowan's Auction Website:
Price Realized Including Buyer's Premium: $7,187.50
Auction: 2006, Firearms and Early Militaria Auction, Dec 7

234. CIVIL WAR REGIMENTAL DRUM AND RARE CASE, with hand painted patriotic eagle bearing a shield on its breast clutching an olive twig in his right talon and three arrows in his left talon and a red furled banner in its beak with white lettering Reg U.S. Infantry. The figure is rendered on a blue background with arched stylized sunrays and clouds. Top and bottom head bands are painted red. Drum body decorated with brass tack patterned design. With original leather percussion braces (ears) attached to the original tension cords. Original label is completely missing from the interior. 16.5" height x 16.5" diameter. Encased in a rare, original black painted wooden case, divided into two halves that swing open to reveal the interior space. Three steel bands surround the case with brass bolts throughout. Interior lined with a woven cotton plaid. 19.5" height x 19.5" diameter. Snare drum head is in good condition with some soiling and patination. Batter drum head has 2" tear, else very good. Painted image retains ca 90% of original paint. A couple of the brass bolts are missing on the drum's case. The case retains ca. 80% black paint and is tattered at the joint.

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

(EST $8000-$10000)
Provenance: Ex Pete and Jackie Kersten Collection
Price Realized: $7,187.50
Price includes buyer's premium.

Mexican War/Civil War Maple Snare Drum with Tacks

Information from Cowan's Auction Website:

Price Realized Including Buyer's Premium: $540.00
Auction: 2005, Historic Americana / Nov 16, 17 & 18

233. MEXICAN WAR/CIVIL WAR MAPLE SNARE DRUM W/TACKS, Original full size drum measuring 13" high and 15" in diameter. Plain maple body with an attractive, decorative brass tack design around ivory vent hole. Mellow red painted rims. Original heads with top head having 1.5" hole. Original leather snares and tightener. A label is visible through vent hole that reads, George Kilbourn, Albany. Many years ago, Craig Caba, author of U.S. Military Drums, suggested that this was probably a Mexican War period drum. Accompanying provenance indicates that this drum was purchased in September 1982 at a Hollywood auction from the personal memorabilia estate of famed director John Ford who directed so many classic John Wayne films.

(EST $800-$1000)
Provenance: Barry Auction Company, Los Angeles, Richard K. Tibbals
Price Realized: $540.00
Price includes buyer's premium.


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

Civil War Eagle Bass Drum (attrib. 7th Wisconsin Iron Brigade)

Information from Cowan's Auction Website:

Price Realized Including Buyer's Premium: $1,320.00
Auction: 2005, Historic Americana / Nov 16, 17 & 18

231. CIVIL WAR EAGLE PAINTED BASS DRUM ATTRIBUTED TO 7TH WISCONSIN, IRON BRIGADE,
regulation 25.5" diameter, 19.25" wide. Maple shell drum with beautifully hand-painted, spread-winged eagle over shield and scroll with "E Pluribus Unum" still clear and showy. The rims are painted with red, white and blue stripes. Original ropes are a bit threadbare, but present. Complete with most, but not all, original leather tighteners. The original heads were missing when acquired and have been skillfully restored/replaced with appropriate natural skins. A few small flakes to the painted eagle have been professionally touched up/restored and are only detectable with an ultraviolet test light. An iron eye hook is still firmly attached back for carrier snap. The vent hole is likewise cast iron.

A handwritten label pasted inside reads, "Noble & Cooley, East Granville, Mass." with perhaps other writing that is difficult to make out. Verbal history relates that the drum was brought home by Sgt. Thomas Eubanks, 7th Wisconsin Infantry, Iron Brigade. Sgt. Eubanks is not listed as a musician. He enlisted as a corporal in May 1861, was wounded and captured at Gaines Mill, and mustered out in July 1865. The drum was said to have been purchased directly from Eubanks descendants by a Ripon, Wisconsin antique dealer early in 1983 but, of course, no written documentation was acquired at the time and one must decide how much of this verbal history can be believed. The drum has remained in the same Chicago collection since being acquired in March 1983. In any case, this is an exceptional example of a painted Civil War eagle drum. Sold with an original Civil War drum beater that was added for display.

Auction: 2005, Historic Americana / Nov 16, 17 & 18
Drum in overall VG condition with restorations/replacements as noted above.
EST $1000-$1500)
Provenance: Richard K. Tibbals Collection
Price Realized: $1,320.00


Cowan's Auctions, Inc.
6270 Este Ave
513-871-1670
Price includes buyer's premium.

Yet Another Wm. S. Tompkins Drum?

I came across this drum which is unmistakably in the Wm. S. Tompkins tradition (see Tompkins 1860-1863 Masterpiece Drums -- Where Are They Now?). It was part of Cowans' Auctions "Spring Firearms & Militaria", April 30 - May 2, 2008 and described only as "Indian War Era Drum", 16" x 14" with rosewood sticks, geometric marquetry design on the front. Excellent. (EST $200-$500) Price Realized:$1,150.00. Price includes buyer's premium.

Points of Interest:
The familiar Tompkins design is not, in this drum, centered about a vent hole. And, the drum sports a wingbolt-type compression-pull snare mechanism affixed to the bottom hoop, also not always characteristic of Tompkins' work (some of the Tompkins drums shown in Tompkins 1860-1863 Masterpiece Drums -- Where Are They Now? lack metal snare hardware). So, is this a Tompkins drum? Maybe. The hooks look right. But what about the leather ears?. Could the the snare mechanism and the leather ears be after-market additions?

Information on Cowan's Auctions Website:
Price Realized Including Buyer's Premium: $1,150.00
Auction: 2008, Spring Firearms & Militaria, Apr 30 - May 2,

228. INDIAN WAR ERA DRUM, 16" x 14" with rosewood sticks. Geometric marquetry design on the front. Excellent.

(EST $300-$500)
Price Realized: $1,150.00
Price includes buyer's premium.

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

Eagle Decorated Militia Snare Drum

Information from Cowan's Auction Website:
Price Realized Including Buyer's Premium: $1,725.00
Auction: 2005, Historic Americana / Nov 16, 17 & 18

132. EAGLE DECORATED MILITIA SNARE DRUM, unlabeled Mexican War period or slightly earlier, bentwood construction with hemp roping and leather tighteners, all in original varnish with folksy polychrome painted spread-winged eagle standing atop a hemisphere with yellow scroll surround and 2 blue stars with yellow centers, with drum heads and snare; 16" diameter x 14" high. Snare & bottom head damaged, else VG+.

(EST $2000-$3000)
Price Realized: $1,725.00
Price includes buyer's premium.


Historic Americana Auction, Nov. 16-18, 2005
Cowan's Auctions, Inc.
6270 Este Ave
Cincinnati, OH United States 45232
513-871-1670

Civil War Ambrotype of a Drummer Boy

[Note: Contrast increased from original to improve visibility.]

Fall Americana Auction, Nov. 16 and 17, 2006

Information from Cowan's Auction Website:
Unidentified teenage subject in Illinois-style short jacket with epaulettes "beats to" on a regulation military drum having painted spread-eagle device beneath banner reading "(blank) Reg. Infantry." in reverse. He wears a white heavy canvas drum sling with brass drumstick holders attached. Not published in Keese's fine study of boy soldiers in the Civil War, Too Young to Die. This quarter-plate is a study of any authentic military drummer, not the hyped five-year old drummer dressed up for play found online!

Plate is slightly dark, improving dramatically in artificial light. The center shows a patch of halo-like oxidation without any scratches or abrasions, VG. Housed in a fine gutta percha case, General Marion's Invitation to Dinner (Berg 1-24).

(EST $1500-$2000)


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

CDV of Indian War Period Drummer

[Note the two-finger claws on the rods of the short drum in this photo (contrast increased from original to improve visibility).]

Information from Cowan's Auction Website:
Estimated auction price US $150.00 - US $250.00, Historic Americana Online Auction, July 11, 2008

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

Civil War Albumen Photograph of Two Drummer Boys

Information from Cowan's Auctions Website:

523: Civil War Albumen Photograph of Two Drummer Boys
Civil War Albumen Photograph of Two Drummer Boys, an oval mounted view of an anonymous teenager and younger boy dressed in military hat and uniform, drumsticks in hand, the older boy with a large snare drum, 8.5" x 10.5".

Even toning throughout, some foxing, predominantly on the left margin, a few crease marks on the right margin, else VG.

Estimated auction price US $600.00 - US $800.00, Spring Historic Americana Auction, June 5, 2008

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

Snare drum - maker Steven Emory

[Ed. Note: This article was contributed by Mike Sorenson of West Coast Civil War Collectors and appears here with Mike's permission in furtherance of our goal of assembling information concerning important rope drums.]


Circa 1840's dated eagle snare drum made by Steven Emory, Rindge, New Hampshire. Body of drum is maple with lapped seam, 13.5" high and 16" diameter. Both rims with rich patina, the body of the drum is painted with New England style feather-painting simulated burl wood typical of furniture from the same era. The face of the drum displays a complete American Eagle motif with shield, green stippled background with red/gold sunburst surrounding a hand painted eagle design as seen on other Emory drums of the same period. Outstanding color and patina remaining on the drum and skins. Skins & some of the tugs are original and excellent, ropes likely replaced.

Excellent maker's label, "S.EMERY, RINDGE, N.H." which is visible through the percussion hole. An original stencil appears on the top skins, presumably the drummer’s name, "Chas. N. Paige", possibly Charles N. Paige who served in the 4th Massachusetts Heavy Artillery. Original brass tensioner and tension strings still present on bottom head, not commonly intact on military drums. The maker "S. Emory" is found on pages 41 and 26 (supplement) of American Military Goods, Dealers, and Makers by Bazelon & McGuinn. In addition, this actual drum is pictured in the book “United States Military Drums 1845 – 1865” by G. Craig Caba, plate #15.

Member - Mike Sorenson
Item #: CIV-150

Regimental Drum - Ernest Vogt maker

[Ed. Note: This article was contributed by Mike Sorenson of West Coast Civil War Collectors and appears here with Mike's permission in furtherance of our goal of assembling information concerning important rope drums.]


Made in 1864, this eagle snare drum was constructed by Ernest Vogt of Philadelphia. Vogt received a government contract on December 29, 1864 for 2,000 regimental drums. A stenciled winged eagle is painted on infantry blue background on the drum's face. The eagle bears a red riband marked “Reg. U.S. Infantry” but is without regimental designation on the left banner. On the eagle’s breast is a traditional American shield. Surrounding his head are thirty-two six-pointed stars, and above him the fiery arched clouds are capped with a sunburst pattern of rays. The ash shell is decorated with Vogt’s personal tack pattern, an arrow-circle-arrow design with vertical borders on each side.

Original and uncut, the drum stands 16” high and drum body is 16½” wide. Skins and ropes are original, with top skin bearing stencil initials (presumably the drummer’s) "G. D." Counter hoops are original red color and drilled for ropes. The drum bears excellent maker’s label “Ernest Vogt, manufacturer of Drums, Banjos, Tambourines, &c. No. 225 Beaver Street, Philadelphia, Contract, December 29, 1864.”

Member - Mike Sorenson
Item #: CIV-148

Eagle Regimental Drum - 10th Mass Infantry

[Ed. Note: This article was contributed by Mike Sorenson of West Coast Civil War Collectors and appears here with Mike's permission in furtherance of our goal of assembling information concerning important rope drums.]


This is a regulation Civil War field drum identified to the 10th Massachusetts Infantry. Label inside drum identifies its maker as John Pollard / Manufacturer of all kinds of / DRUMS / and other / MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS / 209 Fulton Street, New York N.Y. Pollard is not listed in any of the reference texts now available and further research may be required. (A 19th century bass drum is held in the Heritage Military Music Foundation Antique Musical Instrument Collection, also made by Pollard, with a maker's label attributing the same address.)

The drum’s maple body is uncut and in fine condition with its original paint, somewhat worn but still clearly visible. The drum body stands 16½” tall and 16½” in diameter. The federal eagle motif is clear, the riband bearing the notation “10th Reg Infantry”. The ropes, skins and tugs are all original. One leather tug is missing and a tear exists on the bottom skin. The counter hoops are original with red paint and the diamond tac design is fully intact. At the center of the bottom tac diamond pattern is a regimental brass insignia fastened to the drum body, “10.”

Of particular interest are notations in original period ink on the area where the top skin overlaps the flesh hoop. Commencing above and to the right of the tac design is the following notation with battle honors: 10th Massachusetts Infantry - Fair Oaks - Richmond - White Oak Swamp - Malvern Hill - Antietam - Fredericksburg - Chancellorsville - Salem Heights - Gettysburg - Hatcher’s Run - Wilderness - Spotsylvania Court House - Totopotomy - Cold Harbor.

Member - Mike Sorenson
Item #: CIV-181

Antietam Battlefield Drum

Regulation Horstmann Eagle Drum with 1915 affidavit

[All information and photos from Stephen B. Rogers, Antique Arms and Historic Americana.]

ANTIETAM BATTLEFIELD RECOVERED INFANTRY EAGLE DRUM US Regulation Horstmann drum with ca 1915 affidavit of recovery in 1862. A wonderful piece with a great history: a nicely painted eagle drum shell recovered on the battlefield of Antietam soon after the battle in 1862! Relics of Antietam are hard to come by. Gettysburg relics are almost common by comparison. Here is a chance to acquire not only a desirable Civil War piece to begin with, a regulation painted eagle drum by a major contractor to the government, but also a relic of the bloodiest day of the Civil War.

The drum shell itself is full height and not cut down: 13 inches tall, and 16 3/8 inches in exterior diameter. There are no heads, rims, hoops, or ropes, but good original paint, bright, with only minor losses. The paint is the regulation eagle holding arrows and wreath, with a spray of clouds and sunrays above, along with a red ribband with white lettering reading “Reg. US Infantry” with space for the numeral to be filled in as they were all meant to be and seldom are. The ground panel is the regulation light blue that has shifted in places to a slight green tone, as most have, because of the varnish. The pattern of the eagle and the pattern of the brass tacks around the vent hole on the side pinpoint the drum as a product of the Horstmann firm of Philadelphia. Pasted on the exterior bottom edge is an old star pattern paper label with an inscription in old ink reading:

8 T[e]nor [d]rum Battle of Antietam Civil War

This was obviously placed on the drum for identification in a display of war relics. Matching this is a metal bordered circular cardboard tag reading: “Tenor / drum shell / picked up on the / battleground of / Antietam after/ Battle of Antietam / in 1862” with the number “8” on the reverse. Whether this was placed on display in a local GAR hall or in a private museum is not known at the moment, but the number “8” is obviously an inventory number for a collection or keyed to a catalog of a display.

The best part, however, is on the inside. Pasted on the interior is an affidavit signed by a Justice of the Peace on behalf of Jacob B. Lightner, testifying that the drum was recovered from the Antietam battlefield shortly after the battle in 1862. The affidavit is torn on the upper left, but enough remains to be very clear:

]ND. AFFIDAVIT
WASHINGTON COUNTY SS

] that on this ..21st ..day of.. July ..A.D.
]re me the subscriber a Justice of the Peace of
]aryland in and for Washington county aforesaid
]ed… Jacob B. Lightner…
] due form of law that ..this Tenor
] was picked up after
]attle of Antietam in
]ptember Eighteen Hundred
and Sixty Two (1862) on
said Battlefield.

John Hu…. J.P.
My commission expires May 5th 1916

Obviously, with the JP’s commission expiring in May, 1916, and the affidavit being dated July, the document must date to 1915 or earlier. We might suppose that the drum was to be displayed in conjunction with the fiftieth anniversary of Antietam in 1912, but Maryland Justices of the Peace seem to have served two-year terms, so we are probably dealing with July 21, 1915, or July 21, 1914 as the date for the affidavit.

Next to the affidavit is pasted a 1926 dated newspaper column with a letter written about the Battle of Antietam apparently in response to an earlier letter or article about Gettysburg. The author is a woman from the midwest, the publication is not noted, and the letter seems to have no bearing on this particular drum, being simply pasted in as a testimony to the importance of the battle.

Identification of Owner: There are several Civil War soldiers named Jacob Lightner with no middle initial, or with a different one. Since middle initials are often dropped or misrecorded in official records it is possible, pending further research, to assign the drum to one of them. The two strongest candidates are:

1) Jacob Lightner, Co. D, 133rd PA, is a strong candidate. His regiment arrived on the Antietam battlefield the day after the battle and remained camped near Sharpsburg until the end of October, and was involved in clean up operations on the field. He would have had the opportunity to recover the piece and the time to send it home.

2) Jacob D. Lightner, Co. E, 7th Maryland, which recruited in Frederick, Md., and was assigned to Williamsport, Md, from September 1862 to January, 1863. He would have been relatively close to the field and to home for a time after the battle.

A third candidate is not a soldier: Jacob B. Lightner, who was born in Washington County, Maryland, in 1862, and was the son of William Lightner, a Washington County resident. Jacob B. apparently lived his entire life in Washington County: married at the Zion Reformed Church in Hagerstown, Maryland, in 1885, resided on W. Church St. in Hagerstown at least between 1894 and 1917. By trade a butcher, he appears in city directories as late as 1935/36. It is possible the drum was recovered by a member of the family, probably Jacob’s father, preserved as a relic after the battle, and Jacob B. Lightner’s affidavit is a testimony of its history as personally known by him. His middle intial matches, he lived near the field, and resided in the county where the affidavit was sworn at the time if was made.

Condition: Stable and very displayable. The drum has a horizontal crack about 2/3 the way up the drum and running almost all the way around, but scarcely visible from the outside. The crack has been closed up and stabilized by two different repairs visible on the interior. The first repair is quite old. Three thin, wide strips of wood veneer were laid vertically across the crack and glued into place to stabilize it. The second repair is more modern and a bit more sloppy: three narrow, thicker pieces of wood were also glued over the crack, and other glue was applied to the interior along the crack, etc. These do not affect the affidavit or newspaper column pasted inside. The older stabilizing strips match the color of the interior of the drum. The newer pieces are much lighter in color.

The damage may or may not have occurred during the battle. Certainly, it would explain why the drum was abandoned by the musician and not salvaged by the army afterwards. It did not happen after the affidavit was pasted inside: although there is a partial tear in the document along the line of the crack, it is not torn in two. Indeed the repair looks old enough that it may have been done soon after the drum was retrieved from the field. In any case, it was done before 1915, perhaps in preparation for placing it on display. From the phrasing of the metal rimmed tag, “tenor drum shell,” and the placement of the exterior label along the bottom edge of the body, it seems clear that heads, ropes, etc., were missing even then, and perhaps damaged and discarded on the battlefield.