Wednesday, July 23, 2008

From the Drum Collection of Howard Reiff

A number of drums from the collection of Howard Reiff are pictured below. More information on Mr. Reiff is being sought and, when received, will be posted here. In the interim, we have the following photos, courtesy of Jim Ellis at Cooperman Fife & Drum Company. (See Worldly, Yes, but Marching To the Beat of a Local Company, by Carolyn Battista, New York Times, July 11, 2004).

Veteran Corps of Artillery Drum (1920s, maker unknown).
The symbol of the VCA:

A drum bearing the symbol of the VCA:

Couesnon & Company (Paris, France), post-1900, brass shell.

The Couesnon company was started in 1827, in Ch√Ęteau Thierry, a small city on the Marne River, 50 miles east of Paris, an area traditionally associated with the making of brass instruments, according to Richard Dundas, in his book, Twentieth Century Brass Musical Instruments in the Twentieth Century (third edition). The company was purchased by the Couesnon family in 1883 and already had an outstanding reputation as a maker of fine instruments. The production included percussion, woodwinds (including double reeds), small and large brasses, and military bugles. Under the personal direction of Amedee Couesnon for 48 years, the company won many medals and awards for quality production and technical innovation.

They made many horns which were imported into the United States, including many that were sold under the names of music stores and other private labels.

By 1911, Couesnon had expanded to eleven factories and more than 1000 workers, meeting the needs of many performing groups and military bands. During this time the products were highly sought after and were played by many of the virtuosos at the time. Although they made virtually any musical instrument, during the 1930s they began catering to "Fanfare bands" (marching brass bands very popular at the time), and gradually became almost the only supplier of marching brass instruments in France. At this same time, prior to the war, the Couesnon trumpet factory in Paris was located right next door to the F. Besson trumpet factory, where the premiere trumpets prior to World War II were made. Curiously, the Couesnon trumpets of the time look virtually identical to the F. Besson models.


John Stratton (1860-1862 est.), 16" x 11" shell, star inlay, bone vent hole grommet.

G.W. Quick 1909, 14" x 9" shell, 2 ply, birds eye maple shell.

Abner Stevens 1840, 16" x 13" shell, painted star, tack design, original label, press-fit gut.

Abner Stevens 1811, 15" x 11" shell, single row of copper tacks at seam overlap.

1 comment:

  1. Very impressive,so where are they I wonder.because I know they sound much prettier than they look.


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P.R. Winn, Drummaker

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