1920s Vintage Ludwig Standard "Theater" Model Snare Drum - Cousin to the Famous Ludwig Black Beauty
If drums could talk, can you imaging the stories? Born in Chicago in the 1920s and relocated to Jersey for much of its life. Maybe playing downtown New York City jazz clubs during the '30s and '40s? Atlantic City casinos? Broadway? Maybe even some studio work...the history of this drum is left to the imagination. And now, after a "rebirth," it's heading back to its roots outside of Chicago to a happy new owner and collector.
It was an absolute pleasure bringing this rare beauty back to life. It was acquired at auction, marketed as a Pearl snare drum because it had been outfitted with an aftermarket Pearl SR017 throw off and butt plate. Come to find out, the shell was drilled with two extra small holes at the butt plate. UGH!
Well, that opened the door a bit to consider alternate finishing options. The original goal was to outfit the snare with the period correct Ludwig p-338 snare throw off and corresponding period correct butt plate. But with the two extra small holes drilled in the shell, the goal shifted to ensure the drum was aesthetically beautiful, with the two scars on the shell hidden. We chose to complement the vintage beauty of this Ludwig Standard snare drum with the "art deco" style of the INDe throw and butt plate to cover the two small scars.
The result is a beautiful looking and sounding vintage Ludwig snare drum, with modern reliability as a player's drum. Do we wish those two holes were never there? Of course! But sometimes restorations come with unexpected twists that need to be navigated creatively. The goal at Vintage FM Drums is to restore drums to be period correct. Sometimes though, we need embrace reality and finish a restoration with vintage aesthetics and playability in mind, knowing parts can be swapped out over time.
If you're unfamiliar with this period snare drum, it was in the mid-1920s that Ludwig introduced the Black Beauty snare drum. Originally made with a two-piece rolled brass shell, Ludwig advanced to produced a one-piece spun brass shell in the '30s and beyond. Some of the most prized Black Beauties from the '20s were made with the two-piece shell design, which is the identical shell used on this nickel-over-brass Ludwig Standard "Theater" model.
5x15" nickel over brass (NOB) player snare
Two-piece rolled brass shell (same as the Deluxe or BB)
Crimped snare beds
10-lug Ludwig Standard "Theater" model
Original NOB single flange hoops
Original and period-correct NOB hoop clips
Estimated date, 1926-29
INDe throw and universal butt plate
Aquarian American vintage heads
Grover Pro 15" SX bronze snare wires
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