Wednesday, September 1, 2010

When It Comes to Faux

Faux (pronounced /ˈfoʊ/, like "foe") is a French word for false or fake. And that's what this is.

eBay seller maxwellstuxedo ( 1236) just sold item no. 290468616826 for $113.49 and it's about as faux as they come. Not that it's any kind of fraud. The faux nature was fully disclosed. It's a faux drum built by Noble & Cooley and sold under the "Old Drum Shop, Granville, Massachusetts" label.  (I confirmed the relationship between Old Drum Shop and Noble & Cooley today in a telephone conversation with Jay Jones, president of Noble & Cooley).  The item is described as "antique furniture" (well, maybe not really antique, but, well, faux antique). Old Drum Shop drum-like tables and other drum-like items (waste paper baskets, ice buckets, etc.) are readily found on the Internet and can be ordered directly from Noble & Cooley in Granville, Massachusetts.

Ordinarily we wouldn't mention this kind of item in this blog except that here we think that there might be a danger of confusion with the real thing (i.e., a real Civil War drum, which this item certainly is not nor is it intended to be).  In this case the table looks surprising close to the real deal, at least in the photos.

The Old Drum Shop, Granville, Massachusetts
Photo: eBay item no. 400083174207 (postcard)


The Old Drum Shop is the name of the retail store on premises at Noble & Cooley's manufacturing plant in Granville, Massachusetts.  It appears to have derived from the drum factory started by Silas Noble and James P. Cooley in 1854.  (Jay Jones, with whom I spoke today, is the great-great-great grandson of James P. Cooley.)

The drum-like table is described as follows:

A wood drum table made in the 1950s-60s to look like a civil war drum. It has a great look and has some nice details like the rope and the leather straps. The top of this has some faux marble contact paper that actually looks good. You could just peel it off and has just the wood underneath with a bit of cleaning. It is very heavy, well made, and sturdy. It measures 25 inches tall and 20 inches wide.

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For more information on Noble & Cooley, please see:

Field Drums: Noble & Cooley Center for Historic Preservation, this blog, August 4, 2009.

Field Drums: Scoping a Civil War Artifact, this blog, October 20, 2009.

Field Drums: Nobel & Cooley Civil War Drum, this blog, December 23, 2008.

Field Drums: Civil War Eagle Bass Drum (attrib. 7th Wisconsin Iron Brigade), this blog, May 31, 2008.

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