Sunday, November 23, 2008

Early NYS Militia Drum (1812-1848)

Offered for sale by Jeff R. Bridgeman Antiques:


New York State militia drum, manufactured sometime between the War of 1812 and the Mexican American War (1846-48), though it could have potentially been carried into the Civil War (1861-65) by the existing militia unit to whom it belonged. The primitive eagle has great folk style and is indicative of pre-Civil War imagery. When shown standing on this half globe it allows easy attribution of the drum to a New York State unit, as the same symbolism can be found on many early New York State items.

The eagle may not be elaborate, but it has strong folk qualities and canted to one side, it speaks of a time approaching 200 years ago, when America was a much different place and military forces were primarily comprised of unorganized volunteer men. The globe is shaded with blue graduating toward white and the whimsical yellow crescents, accompanied by 8-pointed stars, adds a great deal to the overall presentation.

Construction & Condition: The drum is constructed of an ash shell with white oak rims. Painted with an oxblood red stain, the shell is fastened with decorative brass tacks and a row of tiny, tightly spaced, cut copper tacks. The hemp rope is early but not original. Rim wear indicates extended play and the drum would have had to have been well-maintained to have sustained suc use, which would have required rope replacement. The leather ears are great. All are early, some in-use replacements and some original. The skins are also early, though period replacements. The bottom one is split. Though cracked an broken, the original snares are present, which is a great feature.

Inv. Number pat-112

Width (inches): 13.5"
Height (inches): 16"
Depth: 13.5"
Primary Color: brown
Earliest Date: 1812
Latest Date: 1848
Available: Available
Price $2,850

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