18th Century Drum at Fort Pitt Museum

Sharing the Common Wealth showcases objects, artifacts, documents, structures and buildings from the collections of PHMC.

Discovered in New England in the 1970s, a rare mid-eighteenth-century French military drum has intrigued visitors to the Fort Pitt Museum in Point State Park, Pittsburgh, since being placed on exhibit in 2003. The drum, predating 1760, retains its distinctive decoration, including the royal crown of France, an oval containing three fleurs-de-lis, and branches bearing berries on a blue background. Although fragile in condition, with flaking paint in some areas and loss of wood at the rim, it is a remarkable example of French and Indian War era objects and artifacts showcased by the museum. The Fort Pitt Museum Associates purchased the object in 2005 for Fort Pitt, a popular stop on the PHMC’s Pennsylvania Trail of History.