Painted 'eagle' snare-drum, attr. Horstmann, Philadelphia, Mexican War Period, c. 1840s.
Not marked, appears never to have had a label. Attribution and date are based on painting style and confirmed by Mark Elrod, co-author of the book A Pictorial History of Civil War Era Musical Instruments & Military Bands (1985, 116 pp).Philadelphia was a center of drum-making, c. 1820-1865. Drum is full size, not cut down as so many were for later service.Upper head, rope, and leather braces may be restorations, as is usually the case, but now have appropriate aged look.Upper rim considerably worn, perhaps from too many rim-shots, in which the drummer rests one stick on the rim while he strikes it with the other. Upper rim is separated where tacked at the original lap-joint, easily re-tacked; does not affect appearance.Unlike many surviving early drums, this one was never fitted with the “new fangled” metal snare holders.It still has period-appropriate gut snares.Body is of tiger-eye maple.An old coat of varnish has preserved the painting, but has darkened with age.Colors underneath are strikingly vivid; worthy of professional cleaning. 13 inches high by 17 inches diameter.Sold complete with a pair of antique rosewood drumsticks.Priced well below the common Civil War version.