Tuesday, June 29, 2010

1848 Zachary Taylor Campaign Eagle Drum on PBS' Antiques Roadshow

Appraised on: August 9, 2003
Appraised in: Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Appraised By: William Guthman, Musical Instruments

Appraisal Video: (2:06)

Category: Musical Instruments
Episode Info: Oklahoma City, Hour 3 (#809)
Politically Collect, Hour 3 (#1219)
Originally Aired: November 3, 2008

GUEST: I know that it came from the Kentucky-Tennessee area and that it was given to me by a friend, and it was given to him by an uncle around 1950. That's all I know.

APPRAISER: It was the presidential campaign drum. It's from the campaign of Zachary Taylor and Lewis Cass of 1848. It's really rare. It's 155 years old, and it's survived beautifully. And you can see the stars, 13 stars, and an American eagle. And Zachary Taylor was an officer, a hero, during the Mexican War. "Rough and ready" was his slogan then, and he ran a presidential campaign with that slogan.

GUEST: Oh, okay.

APPRAISER: Later drums had little iron attachments for the ropes, and a drum of this period has holes, and the ropes went through the holes. And these tightened the drum. These are leather tighteners, and these are the original hand-carved wooden drumsticks, and it's wonderful that they stayed with the drum.

GUEST: You know, actually, if you can see this paint right here, we actually have used those to stir paint with and then kind of thought about it and then cleaned them off.

APPRAISER: Well, don't stir paint with them anymore. It really survived in great shape. If I had this drum, I think I'd want between $10,000 and $15,000 for it.

GUEST: No!

APPRAISER: Yes.

GUEST: Well, it's a wonderful thing, 155...

APPRAISER: Well, you know, it's very historically important.

GUEST: Would these be original ropes on here?

APPRAISER: They could have been replaced.

GUEST: Could have been replaced, okay.

APPRAISER: But they're old. They've been there a long time.

GUEST: I saw you looking in this hole.

APPRAISER: That's a percussion hole. When they beat the drum--

GUEST: Okay.

APPRAISER: --the air came out that hole. But opposite that hole would have been the maker's label, and you can see where it was, but it's long gone. So even looking like this, this is great condition.

GUEST: Oh, it's wonderful.

APPRAISER: I wouldn't touch it.

GUEST: Okay.

APPRAISER: It's a wonderful, wonderful memento.

GUEST: Thank you so much.

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