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  ENORMOUS 19TH CENTURY PATRIOTIC BASE DRUM, WITH AN AMERICAN FLAG AND A MARINER'S COMPASS, PROBABLY AROUND THE TIME OF THE 1876 CENTENNIAL OF AMERICAN INDEPENDENCE
Dimensions (inches): 22.5" tall x 29.5" diameter
Description:


See Jeff Bridgman present this object on YouTube:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Euv9ZMletU&t=32s

At 29.5" in diameter by 22.5" tall, this terrific, 19th century base drum is absolutely enormous among its counterparts and the largest of any that I have thus-far encountered. The style and decoration are of a general sort popular on very small, children's drums that I have occasionally encountered, produced during the last quarter of the 19th century. These feature a simple flag, in an upright position of some nature, hand-painted on a shell that is typically natural wood, though sometimes painted as well. On this gigantic example, the flag appears in a billowing rendition, on a staff with a spearhead finial and two red tassels. The stars, executed as simple crosshatches, are in a count of 35. Their number is probably not meaningful with regard to the date of manufacture. It's most likely window of production would coincide with celebrations surrounding the 1876 centennial of American independence, when there were either 37 or 38 states (depending on the exact point in time).

Made of maple, with ash rims, there is a raised vent hole of turned wood, around which a 12-pointed compass star (a.k.a., mariner's compass), painted in red. The paint surface on both the compass and flag are excellent, as-is the drum's overall patina. Around the rims, which have a great, dark, reddish-brown paint, is a series of oval, pressed brass adornments that are pleasantly tarnished and rather wonderful in appearance.

The seam of the shell is joined with wooden pegs. There are vertical red and white pin stripes here, followed by two more in red, to the right, around its circumference.

Most bass drums of this period were in a form similar to modern bass drums carried in marching bands, just as wide but perhaps 3/5 this height. Another type, called a long drum--a traditional British form--was about this height, but about 3/5 as wide. The difference from each is very significant visually.

The combination of scale, decoration, surface, and date result in a wonderful piece of 19th century, patriotic American folk art.

Note: Drums such as this make tremendous end and coffee tables. I would suggest a 1/2" glass top measuring 32 - 36 inches in diameter.

Condition: The heads and ropes have been replaced. The leather ears may be replacements, but if so, are simply exceptional. The heads are made of gut, as the originals likewise would have been, and are also extremely well done. There is no label, though there may have been at one time. There is some warping of the shell and very minor splitting, as to be expected, and some separation at the seam, but the drum is very much intact and sturdy.
   
Primary Color: red, white, blue, natural wood
Earliest Date: 1870
Latest Date: 1880
For Sale Status: Sold
Price SOLD
E-mail: info@jeffbridgman.com
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