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Ludwig 26/13/14/16/6.5x14" Drum Set - 1940s Top Hat and Cane!!
This in incredible. The original story of this kit is down below. I sold this kit to a collector friend of mine several years ago and he is now thinning his wonderful world-class collection so the set is back with us to be sold on his behalf. After he purchased the set from me he also purchased a second 9x13 tom and also found a 14x16 floor tom. As a result, the set now has two 9x13 toms, the ultra rare 7 lug 12x14 floor tom, the 14x16 floor tom, the 14x26 bass drum and the 6.5x14 inch snare. This is an unbelievable rarity. There is no other like it. I have included some of the new photos as well, showing the extra drums. Here is the original story on the kit. (By the way, in my new video I refer to the bass as a 14x28, but it is a 14x26):
This is perhaps the rarest example of what is already an insanely rare drum set. Ludwig manufactured the model we've come to know as "top hat and cane" in 1941 and it was only made for about a year. Very few examples of these sets exist. I have handled a few of them, including one that was the finest known example when it was sold. This set is different from the standard sets, which makes it unique in several ways. The standard set came with a 7x11 tom, 9x13 tom 14x16 tom that sat in a basket rather than having legs, a 14x26 bass drum and a 6.5x14 snare drum and these sets are generally dated 1941 or perhaps 1942. However, the set we have is from 1945-46 and the sizes are different in that there is no 7x11 tom and the large tom is not a 14x16, but rather a 12x14 with legs. I have never seen another top hat and cane drum in this size. I also have not seen any other top hat and cane drums dated this far beyond the normal build date range. Another very unusual factor is that the 12x14 floor tom has seven imperial lug casings rather than the traditional 6 or 8 that you might expect. Also, the 9x13 and the 12x14 have the period correct white badges and they have clear interiors. They both have a date stamp which is hard to read, but the 13 also has "1946" penciled in on it and the 12x14 has "45" stamped on the shell. The snare drum and the bass drum have white painted interiors and have a brass Ludwig badge rather than the white badge. The bass drum is not date stamped but the snare drum is date stamped 1946.
I am very familiar with this drum set because I viewed it in person about 5 years ago. It had been in a music store since the 50s and they received it at that time as you see it here. In their shop the bass drum was hanging from the ceiling. The bass drum was hanging a bit too close to a heat vent and at one point there developed some cracking in the wrap itself. This has been glued back down and there was no damage to the shell. The video will show this more clearly. It's very minor. There is just one spot where the wrap has a very slight bubble that you can feel very slightly if you press it. This is in an area that does not show up.
The snare drum is 100% correct except that the snare wires are replacements. The 9x13 and 12x14 floor tom are all correct. The 14x26 bass drum has the re-glued wrap as we discussed. Has correct clamp-on spurs and correct Ts and claws. Correct hoops. Inlays are modern TH&C replicas since the original inlays were gone. I will create two additional listings for additional photos since I have several. Badges have not been tampered with on any of the drums.
I have never seen a 12x14 top hat and cane floor tom and would seriously doubt that another example exists. Additionally, I have never seen any other original top hat and cane drums dated so far beyond the product offering dates. Since we know the history of this set we know that it came together and has remained together since it was housed in a music store since the 50s. This is a seriously rare item and it belongs in a fine collection. It is probably the only top hat and cane set in this configuration and built during this later era (1945-46, versus 41-42). Do not miss this if you are a serious vintage Ludwig collector.