Friday, March 20, 2009

Horstmann Eagle Drum Raises Questions

Horstman eagle drum sold recently for $2,350:

Compare with another Horstmann eagle drum sold in 2005 for $13,225:

Blog reader ANONYMOUS wrote drawing our attention to the above (top) very attractive Horstmann eagle drum that has obviously seen some refurbishment. However, why did it sell for only $2,350 when another Horstmann Eagle drum (immediately above) sold four years ago for $13,225? Is it the market or are the drums different? It could be a bit of both.

James D. Julia auctioneers described the top drum above as follows in its Gun Spring 2009 catalog:

CIVIL WAR-ERA U.S. INFANTRY DECORATED EAGLE DRUM. This Civil War period labeled drum has a paper label affixed on the interior from Horstmann Brothers & Company of Philadelphia. The drum, with hand-painted eagle decoration on the side, depicts an American eagle with outstretched wings having a shield belly and a banner in its mouth reading “U.S. INFANTRY”. The drum features its original decoration on the side of the drum and much of the original paint decoration on the bands. Both the drum heads and the roping recently replaced in the appropriate and authentic style of the original. SIZE: 16-3/4” dia. X 15”h. CONDITION: Red paint on bands worn and overall wear to decoration on side; most of image still present and strong. 8-87531 JJ (3,000-4,000)

Catalog no. 2392J
Gun Spring 09

Will's correspondence with me follows:


Hi Ellis,

I have never seen a Horstmann like this one. The eagle has a yellow head, and the banner reads "U.S. Infantry" instead of "Reg. U.S. Infantry" and is also painted yellow instead of white. A nice drum for a good price.




Cf. price for the other Horstmann drum sold in 2005 -- much different. The new sales involved a refurbished drum, with possibly some overpainting as well. That might account for the difference. And the economy might account for some of the difference also.




Hmmm...If it was repainted, they did a good job matching the yellow to the original paint. I wonder if Jim Smith has seen a Horstmann eagle with a yellow head before. The "U.S. Infantry" is definitely suspicous.



The other Horstmann drum sold by James D. Julia in 2005 for $13,225 was described as follows:

CIVIL WAR REGULATION REGIMENTAL EAGLE DRUM. 15-1/2” tall with 16-1/2” diameter. Painted ribbon reads “__ REG. U.S. INFANTRY” held in beak of painted eagle with patriotic shield. Maker’s label inside reads “MANUFACTURED BY HORSTMANN & BROTHERS & CO. MILITARY FURNISHERS. FIFTH & CHERRY STREETS, PHILADELPHIA”. This is a fine, untouched drum and it would be hard to find a better one. CONDITION: Drum overall very good, all parts appear original. Painting is very good with some crazing. 4-56226 JS179 (4,000-8,000)

Catalog No. 2371
GUN Fall 05

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