This is truly the finest example and rarest of all Gretsch cadillac nitron green drum sets. We believe it to be unique, and to be the finest example of a set of this type in existence. This set is 8x12, 14x14, 14x20 and 4x14, all of which are incredibly rare for this finish and have never been seen in a complete kit prior to this. There are less than 12 known examples of Gretsch cadillac nitron green sets with gold plated hardware, and, most of those sets are a) missing the snare drum, b) typically 13/16/22, c) mostly 6 ply, d) in average condition at best, many with extra holes and other modifications, and, e) most have none of the original hardware.
This set is truly an exception. It is without a doubt the finest example I have ever seen, and likelt the finest in the world. The set is over 50 years old, but it is exceedingly clean and looks literally new. The 3 ply shells with caddy green lacquer are in superb shape. The gold plating is fully original and in excellent condition. The plating was very thin on all of these gold sets, and most examples have oxidized badly and exhibit peeling etc. This set has the traditional thin plating but has none of the other issues. The set is incredibly complete. Not only are the drums themselves in exquisite condition, but the original K. Zildjian cymbals are also included. The 15" high hats, 18 inch and 22 inch cymbals are superb and still have the original paper tag under the bell. The 15" crash is also superb but does not have the paper tag. The high hat stand and snare drum stand are gold plated, as is the tom holder, drum key, and original hex tool. Two period correct (but not gold plated) floor cymbal stands are also included. All calf heads are all period correct. There is a mailing card dated 1958 from the Gretsch company to the original owner. This is a time capsule with an incredible back-story, (and we have a copy of the story here for you to read, so check it out). Added to the set was a 15" K "G" stamp crash cymbal for the center cymbal arm on the bass drum and another excellent condition nickel 1950's Gretsch tripod cymbal stand, two cymbal tilters. When tuned up the drums have the 1950's Gretsch and K's sound. The 3-ply cadillac green spray lacquer shells with silver-sealer interiors sing and the K's (15" thin hi hats, 17-3/4" medium, 15" crash and 21-1/2" medium, complete with wobble) are some of the best ever heard, especially the thin 15" hats. It does not get better than this. This is that "Great Gretsch Sound", in its best and most beautiful form. This is a rare and valuable, museum quality, historical time capsule configuration. There is no other like it we can find in the world today. Those of us familiar with the vintage drum market can account for about twelve owners of cadillac green and gold plated kits worldwide, and four of those sets were owned and/or sold by me. Maybe a quarter or so are factory (with or without matching snares) and none in the Progressive Jazz configuration of 12/14/20/4x14 (and none in such fine condition as this set). The others are primarily in the 13/16/22 configuration, most without snares. Some are put-together kits assembled from singles acquired here and there, with one known repaint and re-plated kit. The current value of the set and its components is in a class unique in the vintage drum world. This drum set embodies the essence of the jazz sound of the 50s, and the birth of bebop. The Progressive Jazz drum set in cadillac green with 24ct gold plating was in the printed Gretsch catalog from 1954 until 1958 only. This is a factory kit from Brooklyn in 1958, with the factory hardware and the factory cymbals, and with the original owner until his passing.