Musical Items -

Civil War Snare Drum
Item #: AA1024
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This is a Civil War Snare Drum made by A.W. White of Boston Massachusetts. This snare drum is 13 1/2" tall and 16 5/8" across the head. This one has been made it an end table with the addition of four 6" legs. The original top head is still on the drum, but does have one tear about 2" long. The bottom head is no longer with the drum. It has been removed and a piece of wood used to cover the bottom and provide an attachment point for the legs. A piece of glass covers the top head to complete the conversion of drum turned end table. The body of the drum is in very good condition. There is a painting of General George McClellan mounted on horseback galloping past Infantry. The American flag and more soldiers can be seen in the distance. At the bottom of the scene is printed McClellan at Antietam. The painting remains in great condition. The original reinforcement rings are still present and in good condition. It appears the tension rope and leather tugs are original to the drum. The air vent hole ring is securely in place. Looking through the vent hole finds the drum makers paper label. It reads "MADE BY A.W. WHITE,/manufacturer and dealer in/all kinds of musical instruments,/No. 86 TREMONT STREET,/BOSTON, MASS. There is also written in pencil beside the label two illegible letters, possibly initials, and the name KING DORCHESTER and the date MAY 1862. I don't know if this was the maker of the drum of the name of the drummer. Although there were over 32,000 regulation drums manufactured from 1861 to 1865 for the Union Army, these don't become available very often. Drums were made primarily in the industrialized centers of the Northeast: Boston, New York and Philadelphia. Though there were no governmental standards for drum construction, snare drums were generally 15″ to 16″ in diameter and 10″ to 12″ deep. Shells were made of ash, maple, white holly, or similar types of pliable wood. Like modern day drums, shells were strengthened with reinforcement rings at the top and bottom. However, glue not being what it is today, the lap or seam of the shell required nails. The nail pattern was sometimes very elaborate, utilizing circles, triangles, diamonds, and/or vertical and horizontal lines. Often a manufacturer can be identified by their particular nail pattern, though a company’s paper label was usually placed inside the shell, opposite the air vent hole. Calfskin or sheepskin heads were tensioned by rope, laced either through holes in the wood hoops or through cast hooks clasped over the hoops. Tension was applied by sliding the tugs or braces down. The decorative braid also provided an extra supply of rope should it break. Snares were usually made of catgut, though rawhide was sometimes used. The crowning glory of many of these drums was their handpainted decorations. Normally the drummer boy would receive his drum with the painting on the shell of the drum. Again, although there were no standards, a blue background was designated for an infantry unit, while a red background signified artillery. An American bald eagle most commonly emblazoned the Federal Army drums but sometimes the Confederates used it as well. Federal drums were also decorated with 13 stars for each of their 13 states. Confederate states were represented with 11 stars. With these beautiful decorations, it is no wonder that these drums were treasured long after the passionate sentiment of America’s bloodiest battle had abated. Here is an opportunity to own a rare but very iconic item from the American Civil War. If you have a dedicated war room, this piece will fit right in!

Shipping Weight: 6 lbs
Your Price $1,895.00 USD