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Historic Drum, Boston Light Infantry
Attributed by Label and Association to Henry H. Prentiss
Possibly Decorated by Charles Hubbard
Made for the Boston Brigade Band
Probably Played by John G. Sylvester (Signed inside)
Circa 1825 (Used through 1879)
The Boston Light Infantry, formed in 1798, is one of the oldest militia organizations in the nation's history. It is speculated that Charles Hubbard, who is credited as the painter of two other surviving Boston Militia drums of similar design, and of the same period, and the Boston City Guards drum, (also made by Prentiss), may have decorated this drum.
Decorating one side of the shell is "Boston Lt. Infantry 1798," ornamenting the front is panoply of bugles, spear-tipped flags, and drums surmounted by an airborne eagle with a banner in its beak; the banner reading- "Death or an Honorable Life."
Found within the drum written in chalk is the name John Sylvester who was born in Massachusetts about 1790. He was a gifted musician and artist; in Boston he achieved a reputation for his wonderful skill in drumming. 1
The drums construction, fine workmanship; shaping and tapering of inner reinforcing rings, which are worked by hand, are associated with earlier efforts rather than the mass-produced drums of the Civil War.
This rare drum has been retrofitted with new skins, ropes, leather ears, and double-butt gut snares; the hoops are original. We note that an approximately 4" elongated, horizontal area of the shell was expertly repaired using veneer and fill; the paint in that small area was competently restored; all else cleaned, fine and original. Three small holes clustered on the bottom hoop suggest that a metal snare adjuster has long been missing.
The shell measures 15" H with a 16" diameter.
1. HISTORIC HOMES AND INSTITITIONS and GENEALOGICAL and PERSONAL MEMOIRS of WORCESTER COUNTY MASSACHUSETTS WITHIN A HISTORY of WORCESTER SOCIETY OF ANTIQITY, Vol. III, The Lewis Publishing Company, 1907; pp. 28 and 29.
We note that Brian Hill shares a nice article on his blog Field of Drums.
Lady Liberty Watercolor, Liberty Cap, Eagle Perched on Shield
Anonymous, signed ML
Circa 1850 to 1900
The emblem of Liberty Holding Rose with Her Companion Bald Eagle on Shield
(The faux grained frame: 18 by 14"; sight-size: 13.25 by 9.5")
American Shield, Painted Red, White & Blue, Canvas Stretched on Molded Frame
Anonymous - SOLD
An unusual example with thirteen carved and applied stars, with reverse also painted. (Minor wear imperfections; 27 by 31 by .75")
606-34 - SOLD
Bass Drum, Civil War Era
Probably Noble and Cooley
Painted vignette with Patriotic Spread Wing Eagle clutching flag with unknown number of stars, (appears to be 20+ stars). Although the year 1812 is indicated thorough the peep hole, there is no maker's label. This drum was probably made in Granville Mass by Noble and Cooley C. 1860; replaced ropes and tension pulls; otherwise original; 4" poke tear in skin. A very hard to find 24.25" tall by 33" diameter.
Drum, Lithographed Tin Drum, Portraits of Admiral Dewey, American Flags
Chromolithographed Spanish American War expressing the patriotic fever of the Spanish American War period. The drum with similar decoration on two sides features Admiral Dewy - hero of the day. Admiral Dewey within patriotic shield ornamented with olive branches and centered by large American flags with 13-stars. The wood rims are painted red with gold stripe; skin heads, lead grommets, decorative rope, leather slides, and snare are original. Excellent Condition. (Dimensions: 8.75" H, 12" diameter.)
Civil War Era Tin Shaving Mug
Dimensions: 4.5-inches high.
American Short Saber
Birds Head Pommel-Cherry Grip
Original Bluing...and scabbard
Having a 27-inch single fuller blade of which 6.5-inches is false edge; blade is blued for the first 13.5-inches with some thinning and weakness...however, rarely encountered bluing remains! The blade remains in very good overall condition.
The brass hilt is a variation of the 4-slot D-guard; bird's head brass pommel and a plain cherry grip. Amazingly, the leather scabbard with brass throat has survived missing only its drag and 1.5-inches of its leather tip.
The scabbard has shrunk to fit the blade tightly; note the scabbards conforming fuller depression. Also, the leather has shrunk and no longer meets the guard.
American Hilted Short Saber
French and Indian War Period
The 27-inch blade with single fuller and 6.5-inch false edge from tip is an English military blade by the London Cutlers Company, who were in business in London during the eighteenth century prior to the Revolutionary War; witness their fleur de lis mark stamped on both sides of the blade.
This sword has an iron stirrup hilt, pewter pommel and ferrule; a wide spiral cut cherry grip. The forged iron guard has a small section with minor one-side delaminating; this fissure is limited to the area where the blade meets the guard and does not compromise the integrity or the aesthetic.
Military Order of the Loyal Legion of the United States
Medal Issued to Captain Francis S. Schmucker
128th Pennsylvania Infantry
In 1865 a number of Union officers gathered in Philadelphia for the purpose of providing an Honor Guard to escort the body of their martyred Commander-in-Chief. Shortly after, from this nucleus, The Military Order of the Loyal Legion of the United States was formed. Based upon the Revolutionary War Society of Cincinnatus, the MOLLUS was made up of officers who had served the Union honorably during the Civil War. Member were called "companions" and as the society grew it came to include many of the most prominent officers of the war including Generals Sherman, Sheridan, Custer, Miles, McClellan, and Meade as well as Presidents Grant, Garfield, Hayes, Arthur, and Harrison. While originally only for commissioned officers, the Order added Hereditary memberships for the male offspring of original members and their descendents.
This medal was originally issued to Captain Francis S. Schmucker who served with Company A of the 128th Pennsylvania Infantry. The regiment suffered heavy losses at Antietam and was heavily engaged at Chancellorsville. Schmucker served from August 1862 until May 1863. He was a doctor in Reading, PA after the war. The medal was issued to him as #10401. The medal is in what appears to be the original box. "Bailey, Banks & Biddle, / Makers, / Philadelphia" is printed on the fabric lining inside of the lid. There is also a note in the box that reads, "Insignia #10401 to be prepared for reissue to Frederick A. Schmucker, and returned in this box." Frederick Schmucker must have become a hereditary number and been given his father's medal. The medal is numbered 14952 on the front of the link. Rather peculiarly the colors on the watered silk ribbon are reversed with the center stripe in blue rather than the red as described in the regulations. The high quality and obvious age of the ribbon suggest that the error occurred when the medal was re-issued to the younger Schmucker and that it is not a later replacement. The enameling is in excellent condition but most of the gilding has worn off the silver.
A scarce...Civil War Period
Collapsible and Portable
Soldier's Writing Kit
Stamped-PATD DEC. 24 1861
The soldier's rollup writing kit is in fine condition and consists of a cylindrical tin tube-like tray compartment with black Japanned ends. The tray which retains original cover flap is approximately 8.5-inches long with a 1.5-inch wide diameter. Compartment features a 1.5-inch wide opening; the entire length of the tube that was used to hold paper and writing implements.
When laid flat, the flexible wooden slats with their cloth backing present a hard-surface writing area approximately 5.5-inches by 8.25-inches which is stabilized underneath by a small wooden cross-bar that fits into two brass hooks nailed to the outer surface of the first and last slat. This example remains in excellent condition excepting that half of the crossbar is missing. Neatly stamped on the crossbar is the patent date "PAT'D DEC 24 1861". When not in use, the entire kit can be completely rolled up.
British Copper and Brass Powder Flask
Approximately 9-inches. Manufactured by James Dixon & Sons, Sheffield as Convex Flute Beaded. April 1858 Registration mark on flask. "JAMES DIXON & SONS / SHEFFIELD" on patented brass cap. Seams excellent, good old lacquer, some slight dents. Pictured in The Powder Flask Book by Ray Riling, pg. 258, fig. 300.
1834 Pattern Artillery Cap Insignia
Circa 1834 - 1851
Army Die-struck brass cap badge; crossed cannon worn by artillery officers and enlisted men; retaining all four wire hooks on reverse; dark patina with some verdigris and few specks of gilt shining through. Very good. (3.5-inches wide.)
Bass Drum, Eagle Banner Painted
Dimensions: 24.25" W, 27.75" diameter.
Previous Offerings or Gone to New Homes
The Boys, 1861 to 1865>
Signed HORSTMAN, Philadelphia (2.5 by 5 Ft.) - SOLD
A red, white, and blue guidon with applied hand-cut letters sewn to flag, reading both sides, THE BOYS-61 - 65. Scattered losses and minor imperfection; generally very good. Perhaps GAR.
308-192 - SOLD
38 Star Parade Flag
Circa 1867 to 1877 - SOLD
Medallion Star Arrangement, Printed on Muslin
Flag on dowel iscribed "22 Thorndike"
No holes or tears, light soiling.
Came out of Manchester, NH; used by resident of recorded address for special events and holidays. (18-inches x 13-inches, dowel 32.25-inches.)
536-24 - SOLD
Early New England Canteen
Interlocking button-hole bands and old paint - SOLD
(Diameter: 12.25-inches; depth: 6-inches.)
231-27 - SOLD
GAR Canteen - SOLD
Dimensions: 4-inch diameter.
146-45 - SOLD
19th Century Powder Horn - SOLD
10.5-inch powder horn with domed plug, double rings at spout and copper nails.
The powder horn has a crack at the plug join as well as a crack in plug but otherwise in very good condition.
114-5 - SOLD
A Wood Militia Canteen
Robins Egg Blue Paint
Circa 1810 - SOLD
In the cheese box-style, in fine condition having three original loops for carrying strap; retains original paint and has developed a terrific patina. The canteen is initialed D,D in ochre paint. (Diameter: 6.25-inches; depth: 2.25-inches; found in Dorset, Vermont.)
553-60 - SOLD