Very Rare CIVIL WAR Marked Band Piccolo, 69th New York Infantry, With VERY RARE ORIGINAL PEWTER "CHEATER" BLOWER. Very nice black ebony type wooden Civil War piccolo. Similar to typical fife, but shorter and could have been used in the regimental band or on the field like a fife. Has 4 metal keys to help produce a greater variety of notes. This one is also very scarce as it has identification.Used by the 69th New York Infantry, and faintly stamped on the barrel. Typical design, with nice aged patina. This one is unusual AND EXTREMELY RARE IN THAT IT HAS ITS ORIGINAL PEWTER BLOWER AS SHOWN IN MY SCANS. Very rarely seen now and not all that common during the Civil War. Called a "cheater" it was made to fit on a fife or piccolo, and attached/tightened over the hole, to enable playing by a soldier who was not able to play it normally. He could just blow in and the "cheater" directed the air flow across the hole as needed.
Has the brass screw to tighten and adjust. The cheater is made of pewter, and has nice gray patina/appearance. Along with fifes, piccolos were popular musical instruments in many regiments, both in their bands and on the field. They were useful to sound the march and along with the drums helped the soldiers keep step.
Also provided a martial, military sound and provided entertainment to the troops on the march. The sound was very military, very shrill, and carried well.
They needed to fill the ranks with men, and more fifers were needed than were able to play them. So the cheater was invented for practice or for regular use.
Very rare to find one still with its original instrument. This one has clearly been on this same fife since the Civil War. A fife, and measures 12 1/8 long.About 5/8 diameter at the ends. This item is in the category "Collectibles\Militaria\Civil War (1861-65)\Original Period Items\Other Civil War Original Items". The seller is "marvinsmom9" and is located in this country: US. This item can be shipped worldwide.