Friday, March 6, 2009

Leo J. Brennan's Abner Stevens Drum (pre-1820)


Tim Brennan wrote about this drum from his father's, Leo J. Brennan, collection. Leo J. Brennan operates "Ye Old Colonial Sutler's Shoppe" of Madison, Connecticut:

Here we have a nice example of an Abner Stevens drum. It has the signature tack pattern and the 8 pointed blue star with gold trim. It is pre 1820 because Stevens began putting painted floral designs on his shells at that date and this one is conspicuous in its absence. The heads are 15 and a half inches across, composed of original calfskin with small tears.

The shell is maple, ropes are spun from hemp, and there are 6 ear remnants, only one of which is intact. There is some blistering on the shell surface from heat exposure during prolonged storage, probably in someone's attic. Overall height is 15 and a half inches. There is a nice strainer of the Civil War style. Unfortunately at some point over the last 180 years someone drilled 8 small holes on the top and bottom rims, perhaps to rig some rope or a carrying sling. That's a shame.

This one is on consignment at my dad's sutlery, someone asked him to sell it for them.

A nice drum, though.


Also, now on eBay as item 280327090946:

Up for auction is an original authentic Abner Stevens snare field drum. The maple shell bears the signature circular Stevens tack pattern around the vent hole. The date on this drum is pre-1820, that is the year Stevens began to adorn all his drums with a handpainted floral design, and that design is conspicuous in it's absence on this example. The interior label bears his name. The drum retains its original calfskin heads, 16 inches across, each has a several inch long gash. The overall height of the drum is 15 and a half inches. The shell is of the overlapped variety and not the butted one. There are eight drill through marks on the bottom rim and one on the top rim. Of the six original ears only one is left. There is some slight blistering on the shell due to exposure to heat during prolonged storage. The ropes are sprun from hemp and the strainer is of the civil war style. The vent hole is in the middle of a handpainted eight pointed star, bluish with gold trim. This historic museum quality drum is a fine example of the early work of an important American drum maker.

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