A small condominium has just entered into the Curotto Collection. I usually don’t collect marching snare drums but this 17 x 12 honker of a drum had all of the cool stuff that I love as a collector of vintage snare drums. Thanks goes to my good friend and fellow collector Mark Cooper of Coopers Vintage Drums for giving me the opportunity to purchase this drum and for allowing me to use his photos.
1920s LUDWIG & LUDWIG No. 223 12 x 17 GOLD PLATED/CUSTOM MARQUETRY ONE-OFF SEPARATE TENSION STREET DRUM
This is not faux decals as we all have seen on 1920s-30s Ludwig & Ludwig Standards, Supers, Super-Sensitives and New Era-Sensitives. The solid mahogany shell on this drum has a copious amount of expert marquetry, inlay as I used to call it. All of the marquetry is intact and in great shape. The worker who did this marquetry was a true Artisan. I can’t imagine how much this would cost nowadays. The shell just needed a little lemon oil to sharpen up things.
All of the hardware is gold plated and is in great shape. The top and bottom single flanged rims are fancy engraved just like the L & L gold plated Triumphal Models of the same era. The 8 tube lugs are the longest that I have ever seen, the collar hooks and tension rods are all standard L & L issue. This drum has the optional P-338 Professional Model Throw-off and regular butt plate as compared to the “arm-less” post-type strainer and larger butt plate that are usually equipped on a drum like this. The mid-1920s L & L catalogs offer this option: “Equipped with post-type strainer as shown or Ludwig Professional Model Throw-off strainer and muffler.” I’ve never seen a 1920s L & L marching drum with a P-338 strainer so this is a first for me. There is no muffler on this drum.
The top and bottom calf heads look original and are in great shape as are the gut snares.
So I have now created a new monster by starting the quest for rare, one-off, special order street/marching drums. I only have three at this time so I have included photos of the other two.