Wednesday, April 15, 2009

1865 NY Excelsior NGSNY Drum by William Kilbourn of Albany, New York

1996 Restoration by Bill Reamer

Described as follows:

Civil War Drum, ID’d – Excelsior, Regt. Co. N.G.S.N.Y.
$7450 A wonderful restored drum that belonged to Pvt. William Linde who had transferred into “G’ Co, NY 10th Infantry on June 5, 1865 and mustered out on June 30, 1865. He had previously served in “M” Co. NY 8th Light Artillery. The 10th was originally formed in Albany New York. This rare drum, restored by William Reamer in July 1995, a very famous restorer of drums lived in Fetterville, PA. The drum has Bill’s hand written label and also the original manufacturer label of William Kilbourn of Albany, New York. The drum was meticulously restored by Reamer and is all original except for replacement rope of the period and reproduction leather ears. An extraordinary opportunity for the Civil War drum specialist.

For comparison: The below described drum, similar to the one above and also restored by Bill Reamer sold on November 21, 2008 for $10,157.50 including the buyer premium. Although it does have a Gettysburg connection, it does not have original heads as does our and is not specifically ID’d to a soldier.

Great Civil War Paint Decorated New York State Infantry Snare Drum with Gettysburg Association. The drum was fully restored with new heads, ropes, tighteners snares and snare tighteners in 1989 by noted drum authority W. H. Reamer. 14" high, 15" diameter. The 12" diameter paint decorated panel depicts a variation of the new York state seal. Large "Excelsior" riband at the top, underneath which in bright yellow paint is "Gettysburg 1863". An eagle on globe is perched atop an American shield, diagonally bisected by a red, white and blue band. The shield is flanked on both sides by American flags. The drum also exhibits "Gettysburg July 2d 1863" in the same yellow paint on the bottom hoop (now protected by a Lucite plaque. Additionally, carved on the upper hoop is "T. E. 129 NY". Ironically the 129th new York was not at Gettysburg and was redesignated the 8th new York Hvy. Arty. Oct 3, 1862, at which time they doubtless turned in their infantry drums resulting in their issue to another regiment, thus finding its way to Gettysburg. The 129th was also heavily fought losing 361 men killed and mortally wounded. A gorgeous drum and especially desirable with this Gettysburg association.

Confirming Information: See Heritage Auction Galleries' 2008 November Signature Civil War Auction, lot no. 57783.

Sale Number: 6015
Location: Gettysburg, PA
Auction Date: November 20-21, 2008

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1 comment:

  1. Hello....My name is Peter Alexander. I'm the Period Music Coordinator for Fort George National Historic Site of Canada. I'm doing some basic upkeep on a William Kilbourn c. 1860's Albany, NY snare drum for a family in Williamsville, NY. They purchased it in a antique shop in Upstate NY in the 1950's.The shell and hoops are original, but the strainer was added sometime after. There are fourteen 'hooks'for the ropes. There is an inscription inside the shell in pencil that reads

    Geo. F. Payne
    Snare Head Put on
    Sept. 12th, 1879

    I'm only retucking the heads and replacing the rope with Cooperman linen and ears. I'm wondering if anyone has experience with straightening the wound metal snares? Is there a resource that has any other general history on the Kilbourn drums? Thanks....Peter


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