Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Field Drums: Clayton Holmes Drum, 1937

This comment (below) was received today from "Susan" (last name not provided) concerning a previous article on this blog (Susan please write directly to the Blogmaster): Field Drums: Clayton Holmes Drum, 1937

Susan's comment is considered important by the Blogmaster for a number of reasons, including for the reason that it contains information that may enable one to distinguish between an Eli Brown original and a Clayton Holmes and other copy.
Susan wrote: A fabulous find! Old Clayt Holmes was like many other CT Valley drummers of the early 20th c who sought to replicate the increasingly harder-to-find drums made by Eli Brown in Bloomfield, CT. However, he deviated somewhat from the more or less "square" dimensions utilized by Brown in the 1830s and 40s; I suspect the increased height was Holmes' tribute to the "long" drums popularized in the 1930s by such eminent makers as Sanford "Gus" Moeller.

In any event, Holmes's trademark, so to speak, is the romantic figure (never ribald, always tasteful)
[see above] carved in bas relief [bas-relief - A French term meaning "low-raised work." This art, along with high relief, is known collectively as relief sculpture -- meant to be seen primarily from one direction -- as opposed to sculpture which is in the round or full round. (pr. bah'ruh-leef')] opposite the vent hole of most of his drums (I have seen only one without such a figure).

The creative and constructive license Holmes took was much unlike the methods of [NAME WITHHELD FROM PUBLICATION BY BLOGMASTER AS NOT YET CORROBORATED BY BLOGMASTER], whose attempts to replicate the Brown drum construction were so meticulous they required an accomplice, printer-friend [DITTO], who replicated the very labels used by Eli Brown. I have found that the only sure way to tell a [DITTO] drum from an original Brown is the hand-written notation [DITTO] sometimes (!) left inside the shell. ;-) Susan

Anyone with additional information concerning copies of Brown drums is encouraged to share that information with our readers by writing to the Blogmaster.

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