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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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LARGE VINTAGE BRASS SCHOOL BELL
May 30, 9:00 AM AEST
LARGE VINTAGE BRASS SCHOOL BELL
by Albion Antique Auction Centre
Est: AUD10- AUD40
AUD454 Bids
Assembled dinner gong, from recycled timber industrial parts (63 x 50 x 22cm)
May 30, 10:00 AM AEST
Assembled dinner gong, from recycled timber industrial parts (63 x 50 x 22cm)
by Lawsons
Est: AUD80- AUD120
AUD202 Bids
Antique Brass Snare Drum
May 31, 9:00 AM EDT
Antique Brass Snare Drum
by Keystone Auctions LLC
Est: $50- $150
$251 Bid
Wooden Drum Canteen
Jun 22, 9:30 AM EDT
Wooden Drum Canteen
by Old Barn Auction
Est: $40- $1,000
$200 Bids
Drum Set
Jun 10, 9:00 PM EDT
Drum Set
by Weatherham Estate Treasures
Est: $150- $270
$600 Bids
Caribbean Carved Wood Guiro Percussion Instrument
Jun 18, 11:00 AM EDT
Caribbean Carved Wood Guiro Percussion Instrument
by Auctions at Showplace
Est: $200- $400
$1000 Bids
Bronze Drum with Frog Relief
May 30, 9:00 AM EDT
Bronze Drum with Frog Relief
by YaShawn Auction House
Est: $2,000- $3,000
$1,0000 Bids
Victorian Cow Horn 'Dinner Gong', oak mount, c. 1880
Jun 01, 9:30 AM AEST
Victorian Cow Horn 'Dinner Gong', oak mount, c. 1880
by Moorabool Auctions
Est: AUD250- AUD350
AUD1000 Bids
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Pair of Latin Percussion Caliente Series Wood Congas
Jun 16, 2:00 PM PDT
Pair of Latin Percussion Caliente Series Wood Congas
by Pasadena Antique Warehouse
Est: $600- $800
$1600 Bids
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Latin Percussion Aspire Series M. Cohen Djembe
Jun 16, 2:00 PM PDT
Latin Percussion Aspire Series M. Cohen Djembe
by Pasadena Antique Warehouse
Est: $500- $600
$1000 Bids
Vintage Drums
May 29, 10:00 AM CDT
Vintage Drums
by Cedarburg Auction & Appraisals LLC
Est: $100- $200
$250 Bids
19TH C. VICTORIAN DINNER GONG IN MAHOGANY STAND
Jun 05, 10:00 AM EDT
19TH C. VICTORIAN DINNER GONG IN MAHOGANY STAND
by Ahlers & Ogletree Inc.
Est: $500- $700
$2500 Bids
Rare set 4 1920s pig skin drum
Jun 02, 11:00 AM AEST
Rare set 4 1920s pig skin drum
by Kim's Auction
Est: AUD600- AUD800
AUD2500 Bids
1921 SS R.J. HANNA TANKER SHIP BELL
Jun 15, 10:00 AM EDT
1921 SS R.J. HANNA TANKER SHIP BELL
by Milestone Auctions
Est: $800- $1,000
$4000 Bids
14PR Seiji Ozawa Estate Vic Firth Drumsticks
Jun 08, 10:00 AM EDT
14PR Seiji Ozawa Estate Vic Firth Drumsticks
by Bruneau & Co. Auctioneers
Est: $100- $200
$500 Bids
Bertoia Sheep Gong B2327
Jun 01, 9:00 AM EDT
Bertoia Sheep Gong B2327
by Searchlight / Saucon Valley Auctions
Est: $200- $400
$1000 Bids
British table bell cast from shot down German aircraft Tischglocke 1939-1945
Jun 01, 9:30 AM CEST
British table bell cast from shot down German aircraft Tischglocke 1939-1945
by Berliner Auktionshaus GmbH & Co. KG
Est: €0- €0
€1000 Bids
Vintage Boombass One-Man-Band Instrument
Jun 18, 10:00 AM EDT
Vintage Boombass One-Man-Band Instrument
by DOYLE Auctioneers & Appraisers
Est: $200- $300
$1000 Bids

Sellers Who Sell Percussion Instruments


DOYLE Auctioneers & Appraisers

DOYLE Auctioneers & Appraisers

Lawsons

Lawsons