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Teamed with the kit is a superbly restored 14x61⁄2-inch Slingerland Artist model snare drum in engraved Black Beauty finish.
Although Black Beauty is a term commonly associated with Ludwig snares, it was in fact first popularised by Slingerland.
Dave says, “This was Slingerland’s top-of-the-line drum from 1928 through till 1934. It was featured in the 1928, 1930 and 1934 catalogues but is missing from the next one in 1936.
“The one-piece nickel-over-brass shell has 10 tube lugs and is fitted with the famous #967 ‘Speedy Sure Hold’ strainer, or as it is more commonly known these days, the ‘Three-Point’ strainer.
The Artist was available in 14x4-inch, 14x5-inch and 14x61⁄2-inch sizes with either nickel or Art Gold hardware. My size drum was $32.50, and for another $10 you could have Art Gold.
“The drum came to me via a guy in the south of England who had heard I was interested in old drums. I asked for pictures and bought the drum on seeing them.
“As most of the original plating on the shell had worn off I sent it to Adrian Kirchler in Italy to be ‘re-blackened’. The hoops were correct but the strainer with its extension lever and the knob that holds the lever on were missing.
“Adrian did a fantastic job, as the drum was in a pretty rough state and could not have been left as it was. Having the shell re-blackened does however affect its value, but since there are only four of them in existence, in my opinion it was well worth restoring.”