By Mike Curotto
First of all a big "thank you" has to go out to my good friend and fellow collector Bill Wanser for brokering this deal with Scot Colner of Olympic Drums (Portland, Oregon). Bill also shared his research with me as to the documentation of the year, model and finish of this very rare snare drum.
Let's start with the documentation. The Standard-Sensitive Model and Rose Pearl finish never made it into an L&L catalog. The only mention of the L&L Standard-Sensitive Model is on pg. 13 (pg. 178 in the Ludwig Drummer compilation) of the Fall 1929 Ludwig Drummer magazine. The only reference to Rose Pearl is on pg. 17 (pg. 182 in the Ludwig Drummer compilation) in that same Fall 1929 Ludwig Drummer. I love the Rose Pearl description by L&L: "Rose 'Pearl' is a red hot finish for red hot drummers. It has the zipp (sic), and the Pep, and is just what the collegiate chap has been looking for. Rose 'Pearl' looks best with DeLuxe rods....Prepare for that better job by getting a set of new Ludwig 'Pearl' drums. (These finishes are too new to be included in our large drum catalog but samples will gladly be sent to anyone interested)."
Well, this drum doesn't have DeLuxe (Artgold) rods and the nickel hardware needed a good cleaning and polishing but all of the hardware came out great. I am told that the original owner of this drum actually marched with this drum. Evidence of this is the two holes (nicely done by the way, they actually look like they were drilled at the factory) on the top rim to accommodate a marching sling and the plate near the butt plate to accommodate a lyre (music stand). I decided to keep these two artifacts intact as I feel that this adds a nice provenance to the drum. The Rose Pearl had some fade, was intact but was really dirty, grimy and had layers of 80 year old schmutz. (Note to self: Never march in the sun with a drum that has a rare pearl finish). There was a small split in the finish behind the lug just left of the butt plate.
Thanks again to Bill Wanser for his expert repair of the split. I hit the shell with my usual salvo of Goo Gone, Meguiars's #17 cleaner and Meguiars's #10 polish. The Rose Pearl cleaned up and polished up nicely. Both the Sensitive wires (under the top head) and James Snappi-wires were in great shape. I put on some good top and bottom calf heads and there you have it; a one-year-only model production and a one-year-only pearl finish all wrapped up into a 1929 Ludwig & Ludwig Rose Pearl Standard-Sensitive Model. I'm feeling pretty red hot, zippy and peppy right now!