Monday, October 31, 2011

Wm. S. Tompkins Drum, July 4th, 1865

Historic 19th Century American Snare Drum. Very attractive drum in superb overall untouched condition, accompanied by a 4 7/8" X 6 3/4" period ink script note bearing the following information, headed "Green (Unable to decipher) Island / May 30, 1870, This drum was used by me (Wm Denice) in the first Memorial Day observation May 30th 1869, by order of J. A .Logan Commander G. A. R. I was Drummer boy in State of New York 1st Vol, in the Army of the Potomac '61 - '63. Wm Denice".

The drum itself is of a form normally encountered C. 1865 1870. 17 1/2" diameter, 14 1/2" high. Overall wonderful untouched condition. The heavy hoops, which utilize iron hooks for the ropes to pass through, are decorated with alternating painted red and black stripes. The body of the drum actually appears to be of veneered mahogany, with a few hairlines in the veneering but no loss and very sound. The area around the ivory air hole is decorated with inlaid light colored wood stars, diamonds and leaves. Visible through the air hole is the following in period ink script, "Wm. S. Tompkins & Sons / Makers / Yonkers, N. Y. / Drums of all Sizes Made to Order / July 4th / 1865." Most unusual as an ink script 'lable' but absolutely authentic. Retains what appears to be the original rope including decorative woven section. Also retains all of the original leather tighteners, although three are missing the bottom portions. Both heads also appear to be original with a small hole, with no loss, in the top, and an old repaired crack in the bottom. Retains the original snares. The first Memorial Day was observed at Arlington National Cemetery by Logan's order in 1868, however beginning in 1869 the observance began to spread throughout the northern states. A great drum with a superb history. Estimate: $6,000 - $8,000.

Heritage Auctions
Lot no. 52105.

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