Saturday, September 6, 2008

1861 Dated Snare Drum by A.D. Stevens



Not sold (apparently overpriced for the market at the time with starting bid of $875) on eBay (item no. 260274394477) by jerseyrebel( 1247), and described as follows:

Civil War period snare drum made by famed maker A.D. Stevens of Pittsfield, Massachusetts.

There is a wonderful label in very nice condtion inside the drum. What makes it even better is at the bottom of the label in period ink we find, "Sept 1861" I've never seen a snare with a dated label. I was able to get 2 photos thru the peephole to give you an idea of how it looks.

The drum itself measures 15 3/4" in diameter and is 14" high. The red hoops are great. The rope is not original and has one period ear remaining. The top head has a slit as you can see from my photo. Bottom is fine and has some pencil swirls.

FYI I photographed the page from Directory of American Maker by Bazelon & McGuin showing the history of the A.D. Stevens Co.


What's good about this drum?

A clear, intact readable interior paper label with an handwritten ink inscription indicating a date of manufacture in September, 1861. Hello? That is outstanding. Although Abner Stevens reportedly died in 1842 (see attached image of entry in "Directory of American Maker by Bazelon & McGuin", this nevertheless could have been, and appears to have been made in or by his shop.

Nails (possibly copper but cannot tell from photograph) indicating possible early to mid-1800's construction (according to another collection nails and tacks became less frequently used when glue with sufficient bonding strength became more available in the 1860s and later).

Rope looks handmade, not machine-made clothesline rope.

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