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Percussion Instruments

Percussion instruments are instruments that produce sound when they are struck, shaken, or scraped. Drums, cymbals, tambourines, maracas, bells, blocks, xylophones, and many other instruments are classified as percussion. These instruments are believed to be the oldest in existence, dating back thousands of years. Early percussion instruments were made of natural materials including wood, stone, bone, shells, and animal hides.

Collectors have a wide variety of vintage percussion instruments to choose from and may specialize in one type of instrument. Some collectors may focus on primitive percussion instruments or instruments from different geographical locations. Others may collect more recent drum sets or mallet instruments such as xylophones or marimbas.

Of interest to many collectors are vintage drum sets, also called drum kits. A drum set consists of a bass drum, snare drum, one or more tom toms, and assorted cymbals. The drum set came into being in the late 1800s when band concerts began to be performed indoors. The adjustable snare drum stand was invented in 1898 and the spring-loaded bass drum pedal in 1909. In 1918, the Ludwig company began selling the first complete drum set, the Jazz-Er-Up. The set included a bass drum, snare drum, wooden block, and cymbal.


Quick Facts

  • A 100-piece marimba orchestra played at the Chicago World's Fair in 1933 went on to become the International Marimba Symphony Orchestra. Instruments from this orchestra are now housed at Kutztown University in Pennsylvania
  • Gene Krupa, drummer for the Benny Goodman big band in the '30s and '40s, was considered to be the first superstar drummer. His drum set is now on display at the Smithsonian National Museum of American History
  • In December 2015, Julien's Auction House in Beverly Hills sold the 1963 Ludwig drum kit that Ringo Starr used during his performances with the Beatles from May 1963 to February 1964. The Oyster Black Pearl kit sold for $2.110 million

Recommended Items at Auction

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Gretsch Catalina Ash Drum Set + 9” Tom
Oct 30, 10:00 AM MST
Gretsch Catalina Ash Drum Set + 9” Tom
by EJ'S Auction & Appraisal
Est: $0- $0
$19012 Bids
Single Headed Cylindrical Drum, Ethnic Instrument
Oct 30, 10:00 AM MST
Single Headed Cylindrical Drum, Ethnic Instrument
by EJ'S Auction & Appraisal
Est: $0- $0
$404 Bids
Rare Sioux Painted Drum
Nov 13, 10:00 AM EST
Rare Sioux Painted Drum
by Old Barn Auction
Est: $40- $1,000
$403 Bids
Large Slit Drum w/ (2) Beaters, Ethnic Instrument
Oct 30, 10:00 AM MST
Large Slit Drum w/ (2) Beaters, Ethnic Instrument
by EJ'S Auction & Appraisal
Est: $0- $0
$353 Bids
Chinese 19th C. Double Sided Buddhist Temple Drum
Oct 30, 1:00 PM EDT
Chinese 19th C. Double Sided Buddhist Temple Drum
by Kavanagh Auctions
Est: $50- $15,000
$602 Bids
B&O RAILROAD 10 GAL OIL DRUM
Oct 30, 10:00 AM EDT
B&O RAILROAD 10 GAL OIL DRUM
by Milestone Auctions
Est: $100- $200
$301 Bid
Sityatki Culture Ceremonial Dragon Drum
Nov 13, 10:00 AM EST
Sityatki Culture Ceremonial Dragon Drum
by Old Barn Auction
Est: $40- $1,000
$201 Bid
Pair Of Bongo Drums By LP Performance Series
Oct 29, 12:00 PM PDT
Pair Of Bongo Drums By LP Performance Series
by California Auction Company LLC
Est: $175- $225
$251 Bid
19TH C SNARE DRUM WITH STICKS, UN-KNOWN MAKER
Oct 30, 3:00 PM EDT
19TH C SNARE DRUM WITH STICKS, UN-KNOWN MAKER
by RB Fine Arts
Est: $150- $200
$800 Bids
Drum of the Baule, Ivory Coast, 1
Nov 05, 10:00 AM CET
Drum of the Baule, Ivory Coast, 1
by Historia Auktionshaus
Est: €0- €0
€1500 Bids
PAIR OF VINTAGE HALLOWEEN TAMBOURINES
Oct 30, 10:00 AM EDT
PAIR OF VINTAGE HALLOWEEN TAMBOURINES
by Milestone Auctions
Est: $100- $200
$300 Bids
A DRUM
Oct 27, 7:00 PM WEST
A DRUM
by Renascimento
Est: €100- €150
€1000 Bids
A DRUM
Oct 27, 7:00 PM WEST
A DRUM
by Renascimento
Est: €100- €150
€1000 Bids
Günthermann Clown with Drum and Poodle, c. 1910
Nov 06, 10:00 AM CET
Günthermann Clown with Drum and Poodle, c. 1910
by Auction Team Breker
Est: €500- €900
€3500 Bids
Hand drum - Papua New Guinea - Lake Sentani
Nov 06, 2:00 PM CET
Hand drum - Papua New Guinea - Lake Sentani
by Zemanek-Muenster
Est: €400- €800
€4000 Bids
Nelson-Wiggen Style 6 Orchestra
Nov 06, 12:00 PM EDT
Nelson-Wiggen Style 6 Orchestra
by Cottone Auctions
Est: $3,000- $5,000
$1,5000 Bids
An American military painted drum with brass tacks Dated "1812"
Nov 10, 11:00 AM EST
An American military painted drum with brass tacks Dated "1812"
by Freeman's
Est: $1,500- $2,500
$7500 Bids
Vintage Spray-painted Snare Drum, Animal Hide
Oct 30, 10:00 AM MST
Vintage Spray-painted Snare Drum, Animal Hide
by EJ'S Auction & Appraisal
Est: $0- $0
$100 Bids
(5pc) Ethnic Instruments, Drum, Zither Bow
Oct 30, 10:00 AM MST
(5pc) Ethnic Instruments, Drum, Zither Bow
by EJ'S Auction & Appraisal
Est: $0- $0
$100 Bids
Pueblo Drum W/ Beater
Oct 30, 10:00 AM MST
Pueblo Drum W/ Beater
by EJ'S Auction & Appraisal
Est: $0- $0
$100 Bids
Set of Two Maracas
Oct 30, 1:00 PM EDT
Set of Two Maracas
by Designer Homes of Central Florida
Est: $10- $100
$100 Bids
Post Malone sigend autographed drum stick Certified COA
Oct 31, 7:00 PM EDT
Post Malone sigend autographed drum stick Certified COA
by Randy's Cabin Online Auctions
Est: $1,000- $2,000
$110 Bids
BRONZE DRUM
Nov 07, 1:00 PM CST
BRONZE DRUM
by Treasure Art
Est: NT$0- NT$0
NT$100,0000 Bids
Haitian Folk Art Traditional Ceremonial Vodou Drum
Nov 17, 12:00 PM EST
Haitian Folk Art Traditional Ceremonial Vodou Drum
by Hill Auction Gallery
Est: $100- $1,000
$500 Bids

Sellers Who Sell Percussion Instruments


EJ'S Auction & Appraisal

EJ'S Auction & Appraisal

Renascimento

Renascimento