Thursday, February 26, 2009

Another Tompkins Drum Found via Internet


Will Chappell was kind enough to write recently pointing out yet another well-preserved gem from the shop of William S. Tompkins, which sold at Cowan's 2008, Spring Firearms & Militaria auction, Apr 30 - May 2, 2008 for $1,150 (including buyer's premium). The drum is described as 16" x 14" with rosewood sticks. Geometric marquetry design on the front.

That it is a Tompkins is clear from the inlay work and the red, white and blue painted counterhoops. The hooks are consistent with other Tompkins drums. The snare mechanism could be after-market as my 1862 Tompkins drum #22 (photo below) has none at all. (Or Tompkins could have begun using them on later drums).

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

From a Reader: "Help Me ID These Drums"

A reader of this blog wrote:

I have information to share with readers of the FieldDrums.com blog.

I own a drum that has no makers label inside, and indeed no identifying marks anywhere on the drum. The drum was restored in 1972 by Robert Atwell of Durham, Connecticut. I have enclosed photos of the drum. I would appreciate any help Field Drums could provide dating or identifying the drum.

Sincerely,
Richard Besciak

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Described as "Spanish Napoleonic Era Military Drum, ca. 1800"

Will Chappel, a contributor to this Blog, wrote to note eBay item no. 370128260245 described by seller rensword( 36) as follows:

Wood body painted a rich blue-green, with deep red floral decoration; the wooden head retaining bands and a central wood band also painted red. Old hemp tensioning ropes with leather tightening straps. Retains both original drum heads, marked with period ink design and writing (obscure). Leather strap for attaching the sling, mounted with a period brass button bearing a crown over "CARABINEROS". The drum appears to be totally untouched and original and likely dates to the time of the Napoleonic Wars or slightly earlier. Original paint, showing some fading and flaking. Very rare to find such an early drum in this untouched condition- possibly one-of-a-kind. Recently found in Switzerland. During the Peninsular War there were several Swiss companies in the service of the Spanish Carabineros.

We will be checking details here and reporting soon.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Pre-Civil War John Ashton Eagle Drum



Reportedly sold by Michael Simens.

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WHO WAS JOHN ASTON & CO.?

Publishing information: Booklet published and sold in Boston, Massachusetts by J. Ashton on 197 Washingto Street. The publisher by this firm name and address were in business only from 1824 to 1833, precisely dating the work to that time frame. In 1834 Eben H. Wade joined the firm which became known as John Ashton & Co at the same address with the firm going out of business in 1844 when Ashton died. Source: http://cgi.ebay.com/1822-34-Guitar-Instruction-Book-by-J-B-Coupa-ENRAVING_W0QQitemZ270340686076QQcmdZViewItemQQimsxZ20090206?IMSfp=TL090206165002r32105

Evidently John Ashton & Co. was a music publisher, and possibly also a musical instrument retailer.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Rope Drums in Boston's Museum of Fine Arts

Side drum
probably 1834

Distributed by: Henry H. Prentiss, American, 1801–1860
Boston, Massachusetts, United States
Height 35.5 cm, diameter 42 cm (Height 14 in., diameter 16 9/16 in.)
Maple

Inscriptions: Extensive printed label (see photo):
Classification: Musical instruments
On view in the: Musical Instruments Gallery

Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

Gift of the Reed Family, 1993
Accession number: 1993.900

Provenance/Ownership History: Donated by Donald W. Reed of Bridgewater, Massachusetts. Reed inherited the instrument from William A. Reed of North Abington, Massachusetts.

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Side drum
about 1800

Belgium
Height 44 cm, diameter 45.5 cm (Height 17 5/16 in., diameter 17 15/16 in.)
Brass

Classification: Musical instruments
Object is currently not on view

Brass barrel, two skin heads held by wooden loops laced with cord braces and tightened with leather tags. Two snares below.

Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

Leslie Lindsey Mason Collection, 1917
Accession number: 17.2020

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Bass drum
about 1815

England
Height 80 cm, diameter 72 cm (Height 31 1/2 in., diameter 28 3/8 in.)
Wood

Inscriptions: Painted on shell (on large red square): DARTMOUTH INDEPENDENT HARMONY BAND / (on a small scroll: Unity is strength)

Classification: Musical instruments

Object is currently not on view

Wooden barrel built up with two shells of equal height. Two wooden hoops, braced and tightened with cord and tags. Below inscription are white and blue ensigns with the flagstaffs crossed.

Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

Leslie Lindsey Mason Collection, 1917
Accession number: 17.2022

Provenance/Ownership History: Ex. coll. Francis W. Galpin

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Bass drum and mallet
1813–19
Frederick Lane, American, 1791–1865

Boston, Massachusetts, United States
Height 60 cm, diameter 62 cm (Height 23 5/8 in., diameter 24 7/16 in.)
Ash

Classification: Musical instruments

On view in the: Musical Instruments Gallery

Ash (?) shell with painted decoration consisting of an American eagle with "E Pluribus Unum" on a fluttering banner over a shield. Skin heads held on by red-painted wood hoops laced with rope and leather tensioners. Includes old wooden mallet.

Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

Gift of the Family of Charles E. Black and Gale L. Perron, including Karen A. Black, Diane L. (Black) Conners, Emmie Perron Black and Katrina Perron-Black, 1986
Accession number: 1986.937a-b

Provenance/Ownership History: Donated by Charles E. Black of Hingham, Massachusetts. Black apparently inherited the instrument from his father, Clarence Edgar Black, originally from Waldoboro, Maine. It was supposedly handed down through several generations of the family, and is believed to have been used in the War of 1812 by Joseph Jewett (1780-1852) of Alna, Maine.

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Bass drum and two mallets
about 1810

England
Height 73.5 cm, diameter 65 cm (Height 28 15/16 in., diameter 25 9/16 in.)
Wood

Classification: Musical instruments

Object is currently not on view

Wooden barrel, overlapped and riveted with three rows of flat- headed brass rivets. Painted white scroll, decorations, no inscriptions. Two painted wooden hoops held with cord braces and tightened with leather tags. One hoop braces with sheet iron patches (riveted on). Two drumsticks.

Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

Leslie Lindsey Mason Collection, 1917
Accession number: 17.2021a-c

Provenance/Ownership History: Ex. coll. Francis W. Galpin Ex. coll. Francis W. Galpin Ex. coll. Francis W. Galpin

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Nicely Tacked Drum by J.H. Phillips

eBay item no. 260355206037, a nicely tacked oldie with a partial label located in Waterford, CT and offered by pak-itshipping( 82) is described as follows:
Up for auction [with a starting price of $1,800 (it did not sell) was] a Civil War drum in great condition. It does show its age though, both drum heads are the original heads, one head has a small round hole in the middle of it and the other has a slash in it (see pictures). Other than those two things it is superb. There is a label in the drum [that] says "Made at J.H. Phillips Norwich CT" [probably the retailer, not the manufacturer.] The white thing [grommet] around the [vent] hole is intact and could be made of ivory. None of the rivets are missing and are all in good shape for their age. This drum is unrestored [and] measures 16 x 17 in size.

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