IMPRESSIVE CIVIL WAR REGIMENTAL BASS DRUM BY HORSTMANN

$6,500.00 SOLD

Quantity Available: None

Item Code: M25839

Even after regimental bands were reduced bass drums were often retained as part of a regimental drum corps composed of the field musicians. Bass drums show up in a tall narrow style or shorter and broader like this one.  Drum measures approx. 19” high and 26” in diameter. This one still has its regulation regimental paint in remarkable condition with vibrant color. The eagle represents the Arms of the United States, with an American shield on its chest, and olive branch and arrows clutched in its talons. The red ribbon has been left blank for a regimental designation to be painted in or the national motto to be added. Underneath the rays of the sun and arc of clouds are 34 white stars that date it pretty securely to the first two years of the war.

The drum has some vertical cracks, but is stable and the paint is very, very good. The color of the eagle decoration is bright and really stands out on the regulation blue ground. There are small areas of chipping or paint loss, generally following the grain of the wood, through the feathers of the arrow in the eagle’s claw for instance. Other spots are scattered, but none are very large or close enough together to be very noticeable. The rims, heads and flesh hoops are present and very good. The heads show wear from use, but have no tears or holes. The tack decoration is complete and notably features a five-pointed star at its center. The star has a lined vent hole surrounded by a circle of tacks to its left and right, and the three elements are then bordered by a row of tacks top and bottom.  A manufacturer’s label is visible through the vent hole – “MANUFACTURED / BY / HORSTMANN, BROTHERS & CO. / Military Furnishers, / Fifth & Cherry Streets, / PHILADELPHIA.”  There is also a piece of tape with “Restored W. H. Reamer July 1998”.

The previous owner added a reproduction web and leather sling that looks good and is included with the drum. The rope on the drum is a correctly made replacement, but the collector seems to have been able to salvage the original tightener slides, which have been treated put back in place. Bass drums are scarce and painted ones in good condition are downright rare. This would be impressive in any collection.  [sr]

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