Saturday, January 31, 2009

Metal Clad Hoop Drum




The "nib" of a Montblanc fountain pen


Well, this is somewhat unusual -- full metal cladding on both counterhoops. You don't see that every day. Actually, I can't remember ever seeing it.

eBay item no. 320335057972 comes with little description to help us determine its provenance. So, we're going to have to use a little detective approach from what we can see.

The following factors point to late 19th to early 20th century:

a. full length metal screw on the snare mechanism (appears to be a relatively late development in the evolution of snare mechanisms -- facilitates easier tightening when the drum is strapped onto the player);

b. relatively large vent hole reminiscent of the Thompson & O'Dell (Boston) drums of 1872-1905 (see, e.g., "Thompson & Odell Co. Drums", this blog, March 21, 2008);c. visible seam sans tacking;

d. hooks instead of drilled holes (the hooks look similar to those on the turn-of-the-century Thompson & O'Dell drum pictured in that article);

e. wire-wrapped cloth snares (I've seen them on several drums but have not yet been able to put a date range on them);

f. leather ears with fountain pen nib-like connectors (not sure about dating these).

The size is reported to be 16" (diameter) x 10" (height).

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Prof. Sounds' Drum Tuning Bible

If you haven't seen this yet, you're in for a treat. J. Scott Johnson of Indianapolis (aka Professor Sound) has assembled a major collection of information about everything that affects the sound of a drum: wood type, construction, tuning and seating, head type, drum size, bearing edges, shell interior -- more information than most may have though possible. And it's all available at his website Prof.Sound's Drum Tuning Bible v3. Check it out.

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Friday, January 30, 2009

A.D. Stevens Drum and Sticks


Offered for sale by Shakybone Collectibles and desribed as follows:

MANUFACTURED BY THE PITTSFIELD DRUM FACTORY OF MASSACHUSETTS AND HAVING A BUBBLED BUT INTACT AND CLEAR PAPER LABEL ON THE INSIDE WHICH SHOWS AN AMERICAN EAGLE AND HAS A HANDWRITTEN INKED DATE OF "SEPT 1864" ALONG THE BOTTOM BORDER. THE DRUM IS MISSING ONE DRUMHEAD AND SHOWS A GENERALLY WOODEN BODY WITH RED PAINTED END HOOPS. THE TENSION ROPE IS MOSTLY INTACT SAVE FOR TWO BREAKS AND FIVE OF THE ORIGINAL LEATHER SLIDERS ARE INCLUDED, AS WELL AS A SINGLE NON MATCHING REPLACEMENT. INCLUDED WITH THE DRUM ARE A PAIR OF PERIOD ALL WOOD DRUM STICKS WHICH HAVE A LIGHTLY WORN OIL FINISH, MOSTLY ON THE ENDS. THESE WERE VERY POSSIBLY USED WITH THIS DRUM, AS THEY CAME TOGETHER. THIS IS A GOOD DRUM THAT COULD EASILY BE RESTORED, AND IS A GOOD OPPORTUNITY TO OWN A AUTHENTIC CIVIL WAR ERA INSTRUMENT. THIS ONE BEARS A CIVIL WAR DATE AND LABEL NOT SEEN ON MOST DRUMS ON THE MARKET.

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Silent Auction of Unique Modern Rope Drum


The Company of Fifers and Drummers Museum in Ivoryton, Connecticut will sell by silent auction tomorrow, Saturday, January 31, 2009, a new drum made by George Kubicek. The auction will benefit the Erin Long Medical Fund. To bid or contribute contact Sara Brown at 860-575-3875 or SaraBrown5801@yahoo.com.

16" diameter
17" deep shell- 2 ply Luan/birch
SWISS MATRIX Black Kevlar/Polyester batter, SWISS snare head
Dual tension snare strainer, customized aftermarket.

The Company's website contains the following information:

Erin Long, a bass drummer for the Colonial Musketeers Jr. Fife and Drum Corps., has recently been diagnosed with testicular cancer and has begun an extensive and intense regimen of treatment. He lives with his mother and brother who are supporting him. His family is in dire straights struggling just to buy groceries. (I can't imagine the amount of money that is spent on commuting to NYC for treatments every week.) Close friends and the Colonial Musketeers have been donating money, groceries, gas and visa gift cards, but it is evident that there is a need for more.

On January 31st at the Company of Fifers and Drummers Hall, we are asking for the support of the fife and drum community. From 12 noon to 6 p.m. there will be a performance of fife and drum music and jam session to raise funds. There are many ways to help; donations of gas cards, visa gift cards, or just having your corps show up to play can make a big difference. Help support a fellow fife and drum friend in need.

For more information, to help organize or volunteer to play call Kate Bolcar at 973-769-8829 or email at k.bolcar@gmail.com

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Thursday, January 29, 2009

Caveat Emptor -- "Civil War" Drum Questioned by Reader

eBay item no. 320332676205, recently sold for $1,350, was described by the Seller kristimforet( 10) as "CIVIL WAR DRUM 1st QUARTERMASTER FORCES Union RARE". But one reader of this blog wrote to question the authenticity of this drum.

Also, see a virtually identical paint pattern at I.R. SHAHID ENTERPRISES' website selling rope drums made in Pakistan. And, see the side drum (item no. 2098) offered by J. Arthur Pvt Ltd.

The Seller described the drum as follows:

This is truly a RARE item! This is a drum of the 1st Infantry Regiment of the U.S. QUARTERMASTER FORCES. The 1st Infantry Reg. eas composed of civilians organized to defend the quartermaster's depots in the Nashville garrison. A picture of their flag and colors is attached. It's regimental colors were manufactured by the contractor John Shilleto of Cincinatti.

This beautiful drum appears to be all handpainted. The sash around the eagle head reads "1st REGT INFANTRY". The shield appears to have had "QM" on it at one time. The drum stands 15" tall and has a 15" diameter. This is a very large drum. The top drum head also has some writing on it. It reads: "1st REGT. QM. FORCES" and around the edge of the top of the drum head it reads: "JOHNSONVILLE TENN. 1864 NASHVILLE TENN. 1864" Both drum heads are in excellent condition. There is no major damage on the drum.

The National Flag pictures boasts the honors the reiment garnered for helping in the defense of Johnsonville and Nashville in Novemebr and December of 1864.

I have not had this item appraised but I have seen similar drums sell for $5000.00 - $10,000.00.


POSSIBLE WARNING SIGNS:

First, let us say we don't know for sure that this drum is not authentic. But we have questions. Further, eBay reports the Seller has been a member since January, 2006, but the Seller has only 10 ratings -- indicating that the Seller has not been an active eBayer.

1. the drum is very dirty -- nothing we've seen ever has been this dirty -- the condition almost suggests it was deliberately dirtied to cover the relative newness of the drum and its painting;
2. the lettering on the banner is of unusually poor quality and in a font that did not exist in 1864; it looks to have been over-painted, too white;
3. the stars in the field above eagle's head are not stars but dots;
4. the union shield should have 13 stripes -- this one has about 10;
5. the blue background appears to go all the way around the drum -- it should cover only about 180 degrees;
6. the counterhoops look too wide;
7. the ears look as if they could be washed to reveal a white color -- characteristic of Pakistan manufactured drums;
8. the banner is non-standard, too long and flowing far too much;
9. the drum just does not look authentic.

Compare what a real Regimental Eagle Drum looks like:
http://www.fielddrums.com/uploaded_images/ec34_1-798883.jpg

If you have an opinion about this drum, or anything else on this blog, we will be happy to hear from you.

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Wednesday, January 28, 2009

1814 Abner D. Stevens Drum

We are writing to you on the recommendation of Jim Ellis (Cooperman) of Vermont .... We have a drum which descended in our family which has a paper label inside reading "Abner Stevens, 1814, Pittsfield, Mass Fifes Tamboreens & Bass & Military Drums, All sizes and prices made at his American Drum & Factory"; also written in pencil on the inside is a note saying "New heads put on by Albert H. Fruman (or Truman), Sept. 7th 1891".

It is in otherwise original condition with red painted rims, approximately 16" tall with tackhead design of a spokestar surrounded by a circle with diamond design above and below and banded by two vertical tackhead borders. It was taken apart for a move and the rope is no longer usable. There are 3-4 leather ears?

We are interested in selling it and have been advised not to attempt to put it back together as a collector would prefer to do it him or herself.

...

With kindest regards,
K.A.


Notes:
1. Re Albert H. Fruman, there is such a name listed in the 1870 census born about 1868, residing 1870 in Buchanan, Iowa. See . Re Albert H. Truman, no similar information.
2. Note the substantial craquelure.

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Other Stevens Drums:

1811 Abner Stevens Drum
http://www.fielddrums.com/uploaded_images/Abner-Stevens-1811-HR2a-719377.jpg

1840 Abner Stevens Drum
http://www.fielddrums.com/uploaded_images/Abner-Stevens-1840-HR1a-714763.jpg

1820 Abner Stevens Drum
http://www.fielddrums.com/uploaded_images/609-781518.jpg

1822 War of Roses Drum
http://www.fielddrums.com/uploaded_images/608-781490.JPG

1813 Abner D. Stevens Drum
http://www.fielddrums.com/uploaded_images/Abner-Stevens-Drum-746878.jpg

1820 Abener D. Stevens Drum (probable)
http://www.fielddrums.com/uploaded_images/585_0-724738.jpg

1861 Abner D. Stevens Drum
http://www.fielddrums.com/uploaded_images/e322_12-731475.jpg

1861 Abner D. Stevens Drum
http://www.fielddrums.com/uploaded_images/drum6-761877.jpg

Stevens Bass Drum
http://www.fielddrums.com/uploaded_images/AbnerStevensCWDrum-c9564-703048.jpg

1822 Stevens Drum
http://www.fielddrums.com/uploaded_images/Abner-Stevens-Drum----1822-790100.jpg

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Red Diamond (Regiment?) Drum Sold for $1,200

The Red Diamond Regiment was the 17th Maine Infantry, 1862-1865 (See Red Diamond Regiment: The 17th Maine Infantry, 1862-1865 (Hardcover) by William B. Jordan (Author)).

Russ Hayes' website Volunteer Relics reports the sale for $1,200 of a nicely tacked rope drum with painted stars and what remains of a red diamond at the vent hole.

rhayes37043@charter.net
Phone: (270) 792-6894 before 10pm CST please.
Volunteer Relics c/o Russ Hayes
P.O. Box 30092 Clarksville, TN 37040

1861 Jacob Stewart (Pittsfield, Mass.) Brings $2,025

eBay Seller chainshot-nyv( 1359) describes this 1861 beauty (eBay item no. 190277745078) as follows:

A beautiful untouched Civil War drum measuring 13 3/4" tall and 15 1/4" in diameter with hoops on. In pristine untouched condition with original ropes, heads and leather keepers. Plain maple body with red painted hoops. Great label on the inside "Jacob Stewart- Military and Toy Drums- Banjoes-Tambourines, &c.Water St., Pittsfield, Mass. with large inked date "1861". Superb untouched maple patina, never cleaned or monkeyed with in anyway. I traded a Connecticut Historical Society out of this in 1983 and have kept it stashed ever since. Some tears on the bottom head as seen in the scans. Need the space for incoming stuff so regretfully this old friend must find a new place to live. Probably was for one of the Western Massachusetts regiments like the 52nd which was from that area.

1861 Haynes Drum Stolen on eBay for $78

Some lucky collector (8***8( 27)) just picked up a steal on eBay (item no. 170295227836) for $78: an 1861 Haynes drum (relabeled/over-stickered ca. 1881 with a Wm. E. Chandler label), 16 3/4" across and 9 7/8" tall.

Here is the evidence that it's a Haynes drum (see the word "Haynes" on the portion of the understicker visible beneath the oversticker):



More photos:



Compare with other examples of Haynes drums at:

J. C. Haynes & Co. Drum (Child Size)

John C. Haynes (Boston) Eagle Drum

Comparison of Unknown Drum with 1863 John Haynes Drum

9th Mass Infantry Drum by Haynes, Boston

Boy Size "John C. Haynes" Rope Drum Has Clean Label But Poor Artwork