COLLECTION: Musical Instruments

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Virginia Militia Painted Side-Drum

ca. 1840-1850
Origin: America
Overall Height: 14 1/2"; Overall Diameter (outer hoops): 16 ¾"
Wood, leather, paint, gold leaf, skin, and rope
Museum Purchase
Acc. No. 2006.3000.5
A drum with a red-painted shell of closed-grained hardwood and inner hoops of beech (?). The rims are painted with red, white, and blue stripes. The front of the drum is painted with scenes celebrating Virginia. On the opposite side there is a small, round, wood-ringed vent centered vertically on the drum. Leather ears slide to tension the ropes for tuning the drumhead. Rectangular holes in the top and bottom rims may have been for securing a strap.

The decoration consists of the word "VIRGINIA" over a painting featuring (left to right and top to bottom): early settlers arriving by boat as a Native American watches from behind a rock, the bust of George Washington set in a round frame flanked by laurel, a shield decorated with an interpretation of the main theme on the state seal of Virginia (an armed figure representing Virtue stands in triumph over a defeated figure representing Tyranny), a cartouche featuring Mount Vernon, and a monument on a rock that is labeled "WASHINGTON / JEFEERSON / MADISON".
Provenance:ex: James and Nancy Glazer
Mark(s):see description of decoration
Inscription(s):see description of decoration