Sunday, June 22, 2008

20th Century Brand Drums

We're always looking for ways to tie different drums together, whether by outward appearance, design feature, or label. Here we bring together in one article several drums, the first two of which are linked by label, the second and third of which are linked by a design feature -- an eight-point inlay.

The thought being identities: if A=B and B=C, then A=C (something remaining from my math studies). Does it? Maybe, maybe not.

First, Drum "A", a Drum with a "20th Century Drums and Drummers Traps" Label:

According to eBayer vintagebetti concerning eBay item #170227088358:

It measures 14" in diameter x 10" high. The drum heads are most likely calf or some other type of animal skin. Both are nice and tight, without any holes or other damage. I'm not sure what the snares are made of but they appear to be all there an in excellent condition. The wood is Birdseye maple. The leather tension braces are all present and seem to be in good shape. I'm not sure why there is so much extra rope.. The strap has a leather heart shaped piece sewn in. This looks like a perfect candidate for restoration. It wouldn't take much to bring back the original beauty of this antique drum.

Next, Drum "B", another Drum with a "20th Century Drums and Drummers Traps" Label:

Previously mentioned in "Drums with Inlaid Stars" in this blog, is this example of a drum apparently by the same maker/distributor/retailer with what remains of its interior pasted paper label (exterior refurbished by Cooperman Drum Company).

Here's the label that ties this drum (B) to the first drum (A):


And here's the design feature on drum B linking this drum with the next drum (C) that lacks a label:


And Here's Drum "C" -- Same Inlay, but Different Snare Strainer and No Label:

Compare this drum with the same inlay (well, almost the same -- the inlay is reversed; an easy mistake to make during manufacture) but a different snare strainer design:

From the collection of Ellis Mirsky (purchased on eBay #260234897749)

In another posting on this blog ("Marquetry in Drums of the Past", posted April 11, 2008) we explored marquetry and inlay in drums, and discussed the fact that marquetry inlay motifs are available for purchase separately and can be inlaid complete in a waiting veneer. So, it's possible that the inlay was made elsewhere and inserted by the manufacturer. Separating the manufacture of the inlay from the manufacture of the drum introduces the possibility that the two drums could be of different manufacture. Add the different snare strainers into the analysis and the probability of the two drums having been made by the same company is further reduced.

So, in this case, even though A=B and B=C, C may not equal A.

Note: We're working on a posting with a related subject -- a different 20th Century label, in metal. Coming soon.

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