VERY RARE AND SPECTACULAR MARINE CORPS CIVIL WAR OR EARLIER EAGLE SNARE DRUM

$27,500.00

Quantity Available: 1

Item Code: 344-1831

Shipping: Determined by Method & Location of buyer

To Order:
Call 717-334-0347,
Fax 717-334-5016, or E-mail

This rare drum has had the tension ropes and ears as well as the heads replaced but the body and hoops are original and the interior has a fantastic maker’s label from a known early maker. There are only two or three of these early Marine Corps drums known.

The body of the drum is in excellent museum quality condition. The original finish remains on the entire surface with only some minor wear. There are no cracks or chips and the light wear mentioned is made up mostly of rubbing of the finish, minor scratches and other marks associated with age, storage and use.

The hand painted eagle on the front is done on a square red field that meas. approx. 18.00 inches wide. The spread-winged eagle holds five arrows in his left talon and an olive branch in his right. The white raised head of the eagle is looking to its right while in the eagle’s yellow beak is a blue riband that flies back over each of the bird’s brown wings. As the riband emerges from behind each wing it widens and is marked in yellow lettering on the right with “U.S.” and on the left with “MARINES.” The eagle’s head is surrounded by ten six-pointed white stars and is surmounted by the red and gold rays of the sun bursting out of dark clouds. On the eagle’s chest is a gold bordered shield with red, white and blue stripes with a plain blue canton at top. The painting is 98% intact with just minor scattered paint loss from age. Colors are still strong.

To the right of the eagle is a wonderful tack pattern made up of three circles stacked vertically. The top circle has a single tack at center surrounded by ten others. The next circle down has the label view-hole at center surrounded by an inner circle of ten tacks and an outer one of eighteen. The bottom circle mirrors the one at top with a single tack at center surrounded by ten others. All three circles are enclosed by a large oval of forty-four tacks. All the tacks are firmly anchored and have a wonderful dark patina showing no replacements.

A look through the view-hole reveals an excellent condition paper maker’s label that reads “DRUMS, FIFES, REGIMENTAL COLOURS, TAMBORINES & C. MADE AND REPAIRED BY WILLIAM ENT, GERMANTOWN, PHILADELPHIA COUNTY, PA.” The top of the label is decorated with a spread-winged eagle on a US shield while the left side has a militia shoulder standing at “SHOULDER ARMS.”  William Ent was a coach, carriage and drum maker located at Queen & Green Streets in Germantown, Philadelphia in that cities 1859 directory. It is known that he had contracts with the Army for drums in 1834, 1835, 1837, 1839, 1840, 1844 and 1846. The firm lasted through the Civil War and a number of period drums are found with his maker’s mark.

As stated above, the tension ropes and ears are replacements but the rope has been attached using the original holes present in the hoops. The knotted rope at bottom for carrying the drum is also present. Both the beater head and the snare head are replacements as well. The hoops look to have been repainted at some point and show hardly any wear. There are also six snares that run across the face of the snare head. These look to be original and are anchored on one side by a strip of leather and on the other by a white metal adjusting anchor with a decorative top turn screw.

The drum meas. approx. 14.50 inches tall x 15.00 inches wide.  [ad]

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