Drummer Statue

Although they can’t be accurately dated as they have disappeared, the statuettes that formed the newel posts of the carved staircase inside what is known as Cromwell House in Highgate, London are generally assumed to have been originally placed there at or shorty after the time the house was built in 1637/8. As I said the original wood carvings have now disappeared, (presumed stolen whilst the house was derelict), but their ghosts are still extant. They can be seen as plaster casts kept in the National Armouries’ store in Leeds I was lucky enough to photograph them last week and here is the drummer of this little trained band ready for action.

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He is wearing a thigh length coat and tightly cut breeches under which is his linen shirt and presumably the attached collar and darted linen cuffs. Possibly his coat has some fine lace decoration around the edges; it’s not easy to work out from the carving style but it does have some smallish shoulder wings. The shoes have worn away so we can’t really deduce anything about his footwear, but was can see some nice detail in his drum which seems to hang from a leather strap.

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Here’s his back. Nice rosette ties on his garters.

 

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Right hand side view and some nice details.

 

 

 

Finally, two more pictures, a photo from the 1930s that I found on a website called Staircases of Old London that shows our man in his original habitat, and a drummer that the 1642 Tailor helped to dress that I was reminded of when I first saw the statue. Thanks to Matthew D Crosby for his permission to use the colour image.

 

 

Here’s the link to Matthew’s page which is recommended.

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