In the New York Store - Call 212.730.8138 for more info
Louie Bellson & Sammy Davis Rogers kit. gold plated!
In the NY store in Steve's personal collection. Here is the latest video for this set: HERE. Check out our earlier video of this kit HERE!
This one is absolutely unreal and an incredible find. This drum set was owned and used by Louie Bellson and he gave the set to Sammy Davis Jr as a gift. And, we have a superb provenance for the set as well. There's lots of material to cover here, so let's go.
The Drums: This is classic "Bellson" from the 60s Rogers era with two 14x24 bass drums, 9x13 tom, two 16x16 floor toms, 5x14 snare drum and canister throne. The set is unique in that all of the drum hardware is gold plated on this kit, and, the brass shell dynasonic snare drum is entirely gold plated! The bass drums actually have the original Louie Bellson logo resonant heads and you can see these in the photo that shows Louie with the set. Currently, on the resonant bass drum heads there is an overlay covering the original Bellson heads and this overlay shows the silhouette of Sammy and the words "Sammy Davis Jr" are scrolled over the top on each head. We have opted not to remove these overlays since they were applied with adhesive and we don't want to do anything to alter the set in any way. This is exactly how we received it. Also on the bass drums there is a separate gold plated metal plate on each one and they're inscribed with Louie's signature. Louie was famous for moving cymbal arms around on his bass drums, and these two plates cover areas where he had the shell mounted cymbal holder at one time before moving it. There are also some cases that came along with the set as well and these are stenciled with Sammy's name. The only items not included are the swivomatic tom arm and the bass drum spurs. We will provide the spurs, but they will not be gold plated. We can also acquire a chrome plated swivomatic tom arm as well. The all-gold plated snare drum is unbelievable, and the gold plating against the WMP finish on the toms and bass drums is just as stunning. The drums have been used extensively by both Louie and Sammy and the plating has aged but still looks great. The WMP has mellowed to that great creamy color. This is truly an exquisite kit and the sound is classic Rogers and classic Louie.
Also, the set has the natural interior shells that Louie preferred. He specifically requested this feature rather than having the shells coated with flat gray paint or the later speckled gray interior. We also have fiber cases with "Sammy Davis" stenciled on them, and the cansiter throne has a mailing label sticker on it with Sammy's address.
Background and Provenance: It is well known that Louie Bellson was one of Sammy's favorite drummers and they had a close friendship for many years. Sammy was an excellent drummer himself, and as a gesture of friendship Louie gave this set to Sammy. When Sammy passed away the IRS seized all of his assets since he owed them millions of dollars in unpaid taxes when he died. This set was then sold at an IRS auction. The set was bought at this auction by a well known Hollywood actor and he has owned the set ever since. Prior to Louie's passing the owner of the set was able to get a letter of authenticity from Louie regarding this set. Both Louie's letter and a letter from the current owner will be provided with the set. In addition, we have photos of Louie behind this very set. The photos show this exact set and all of the original hardware that came with it. When we first aquired the set all of the hardware was missing, however, a few years later I received a call from someone who had found the trap case with every piece of gold plated hardware that was missing, as wells as ALL of Louie's original cymbals. So, the set is not 100% complete!
This is one of the most stunning sets you'll ever see, and the provenance documents plus the photos make authentication very simple. The fact that the set was owned and used extensively by Louie Bellson makes it a fantastic collector's piece, and the ownership by Sammy Davis Jr also enhances the set and is another added plus. This set will remain in my personal collections so it is not for sale at this time.