Saturday, January 2, 2010

Firth, Pond, & Co. Free Hand Eagle (ca. 1861)

Here is a beautiful regimental snare drum by Firth, Pond & Co. of New York City. The company dated to 1847 and was principally known as a publisher of sheet music. The firm's most famous client was Stephen Foster. One of its biggest sellers was the unattributed "The Yellow Rose of Texas" which they published in the 1850s. Later, they made instruments--guitars, pianos, drums, and fifes. John Firth died in 1863 and company name was changed.

This drum, which bears their label, Firth, Pond, & Co., is one of their early drums, likely from the company's first US Army contract dating to 1861. The eagle is not from a stencil, but was painted free hand. It is all original and unretouched. The top head is also original. The bottom head may be original or replaced long ago. The original sling was married to the drum at some point in time and is identified to G.L. Richey, Co. G, 153rd New York Volunteers according to an old tag affixed to the sling. The drum came from the collection of author and collector Chris Nelson.

Source: J.S. Mosby, Antiques & Artifacts

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