Saturday, May 31, 2008

Civil War Eagle Bass Drum (attrib. 7th Wisconsin Iron Brigade)

Information from Cowan's Auction Website:

Price Realized Including Buyer's Premium: $1,320.00
Auction: 2005, Historic Americana / Nov 16, 17 & 18

regulation 25.5" diameter, 19.25" wide. Maple shell drum with beautifully hand-painted, spread-winged eagle over shield and scroll with "E Pluribus Unum" still clear and showy. The rims are painted with red, white and blue stripes. Original ropes are a bit threadbare, but present. Complete with most, but not all, original leather tighteners. The original heads were missing when acquired and have been skillfully restored/replaced with appropriate natural skins. A few small flakes to the painted eagle have been professionally touched up/restored and are only detectable with an ultraviolet test light. An iron eye hook is still firmly attached back for carrier snap. The vent hole is likewise cast iron.

A handwritten label pasted inside reads, "Noble & Cooley, East Granville, Mass." with perhaps other writing that is difficult to make out. Verbal history relates that the drum was brought home by Sgt. Thomas Eubanks, 7th Wisconsin Infantry, Iron Brigade. Sgt. Eubanks is not listed as a musician. He enlisted as a corporal in May 1861, was wounded and captured at Gaines Mill, and mustered out in July 1865. The drum was said to have been purchased directly from Eubanks descendants by a Ripon, Wisconsin antique dealer early in 1983 but, of course, no written documentation was acquired at the time and one must decide how much of this verbal history can be believed. The drum has remained in the same Chicago collection since being acquired in March 1983. In any case, this is an exceptional example of a painted Civil War eagle drum. Sold with an original Civil War drum beater that was added for display.

Auction: 2005, Historic Americana / Nov 16, 17 & 18
Drum in overall VG condition with restorations/replacements as noted above.
EST $1000-$1500)
Provenance: Richard K. Tibbals Collection
Price Realized: $1,320.00

Cowan's Auctions, Inc.
6270 Este Ave
Price includes buyer's premium.


  1. Hello,
    Can anyone out there tell me if this drum is available for sale?
    Thank you,
    Steve Victor

  2. Drum is currently for sale on E-bay.


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