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Dimensions (inches): 7" tall x 9" diameter
PATRIOTIC TOY DRUM WITH OVAL SHIELDS AND AMERICAN FLAGS, SIGNED "CONVERSE," WINCHENDON, MASSACHUSETTS, CA 1890-1900: This patriotic child's toy snare drum was made CA 1890-1900 by Morton Converse in Winchendon, Massachusetts. A Civil War veteran, Converse was a woodenwares maker who began making toys in 1878. When his daughter was ill, he desired to buy her a toy, but when he went to the local stores, there were none available. He made her tea cups so that she could serve tea to her doll. Within 20 years he had 1,000 employees and had become one of the nation's premier manufacturers. Converse's first large exhibition was at the Chicago World's Fair in 1893, where he won a gold metal. Held in celebration of the 400th anniversary of Columbus's landing, this was a patriotic event requiring souvenir's that would appeal to the fair's massive attendance. Soon afterward came the Spanish-American War (1898), which drove American patriotism well beyond its normal level. Either of these events would serve as ample reason for the former Union soldier, Converse, to produce patriotic toys. Prior to the Chicago World's Fair he had acquired a failed metal manufactory and began to produce tin pails, drums, and other tin toys. This particular drum is especially attractive, with a color-litographed and painted, brass plated shell, paper heads with paper snares, and black-painted rims with a silver stripe. There is a twill tape rope, to wrap around the child's waist, with a white metal hook. The braided cotton ropes and leather ears are original. The primary imagery consists of 4 oval patriotic shields with fancifully scrolling frames that resemble carousel art. Below the largest shield is a spread-winged figure that resembles a cross between a man and an eagle. To the left and right of this, as well as on the reverse, Stars & Stripes flags on staffs with billowing red and blue streamers. On the side that features a vent hole, below the shield device, is the maker's mark in the form of a script signature that simply reads "Converse." The midnight blue pigment in particular has excellent, crazed surface, and the black painted rims are excellent in that respect. Each lend strong contrast with the brass color, the yellow lithographed decoration, and the paper heads, so that the overall presentation is especially strong when compared to other toy drums of this era. Condition: There is some loss in the brass plating and lithographed color. The parchment is stained and there are two small holes on one drumhead. There is other wear throughout, but all of it contributes to the drum's attractive appearance.
Primary Color: gold, black, red, blue
Earliest Date: 1890
Latest Date: 1900
For Sale Status: Sold
Price SOLD
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