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Rarities

There are some items which have been in the catalogues over the years which either never surface or very rarely, maybe they were never made unless specially ordered, who knows!

The early drums from the 30's are few and far between and whilst items from the late 40's and early 50's do show up one to look out for is the 14x6.5 model 1150 snare.The 60's stuff is quite common although some finishes are not so, there is also a 1003 model 14x6.5 snare which has never been seen and single headed 14x8 toms are thin on the ground too and the 14x14 floor toms must keep themselves well hidden. The 70's had its fare share of scarce items, wood shell snare drums especially 8 lug models are not very common even more so if in a finish other than White. Both 18 inch Bass drums and 18 inch floor toms very very rarely appear and 14x10 rack toms come into the same category.

If you come across any of these items please get in touch, we would like to hear from you.

blue shimmerMaurice Crandall very kindly sent me this picture of his very rare Olympic set which as you can see is in Premier's Blue Shimmer finish. I can only imagine this kit was a special order and probably ordered at the start of the 70's. The bass drum has 8 lugs which was a catalogue option however as we know 95% of bass drums were 6 lug drums. The floor tom has the older 60's style sprung legs which could suggest the early 70's manufacture and the matching 8 lug snare just tops this set off. I should imagine this will be the one and only set like this we will see

gold sparkleFound this drum for sale on Ebay USA so borrowed the picture. It is of the very rare 1960's 14 inch floor tom in Gold Sparkle so far only 3 of these drums have been seen. I just wonder if this drum was the same as the one ordered by Thom Burns back in the 60's for his set (see below). I guess we will never know!

royal purpleroyal purpleReceived pictures from Scott Tait (he apologises for pic quality) of his superb 70's set in Royal Purple which only appeared in the 76-77 catalogue and this is the very first one to surface, so it deserves to be on the rarities page.

You will notice the set is of mixed woods with the floor tom being Birch and the rack toms being Mahogany. This finish was common on Premier drums for a good few years so makes a nice change to see it on an Olympic set.

oly badgeThanks to Ian Parker for this photograph of this very rare 1970's Olympic badge which is as you can see fitted to the drum. This actually belongs to the left handed set that is listed below (Ian purchased the set from Carl) Every Olympic badge that I ever remember seeing always had "Made in England by Premier" and this one doesn't. If you know how this came about do please let us know.

1151Richard Noble has kindly sent us a pic of a very rare drum he has sold on. It is a 1150 14x6.5 in White Duroplastic with cardboard transition badge. These are mentioned in the catalogues but this is the only one ever to have surfaced so a very rare drum indeed, I wonder if the new owner knows! The drum was bought for a fiver at a car boot sale and Richard has completed a superb restoration job bringing the drum back to like new condition.

oly redoly 6oly 8

This set had to be included in the Rarities section as I did not know that Red Sparkle was used when these badges were on the go in the late 50's. Thanks go to Mike Emery for the sending further pics of his set which has just been sold to a Vintage Drum collector from Finland.

The Red Sparkle is in superb condition with none of the usual spotting and the badges certainly do not show their age. We will probably never know but this set must have been one of the last made with these badges and the new finishes, glad to get another Olympic rarity on the site for all to see.

left olyleft olyMany thanks to Carl Pettman for sending pictures of his Olympic rarity. This 70's Europa 1 set in Red Silk Pearl is as you can see a left handed players configuration set. Now this is the first kit ever to surface like this, whether they were only made for special order we will probably never know but it certainly is rare. As you can see from the photographs Carl has performed a superb restoration job.

rare snareHere is a 1960's 1002 snare drum which after close inspection is factory orginal but in a non catalogued finish. It is a Red/Orange background with thin Silver strands, both Ajax and Carlton used similar finishes but not the same as this one.

How it came about nobody knows but maybe it was a prototype built to try out a sample finish or somebody specially ordered it, certainly one of the rarest 60's snares.

1967 olyThis kit gets included in the Rarities page for it has a 14x14 floor tom. This is the first 1960's 14 inch floor tom that has ever surfaced. The set was bought in 1966 by Thom Burns from Chicago as a 3 piece and Thom decided to add a floor tom and ordered the said drum which took 2 months to arrive from the UK. Maybe these drums were by special order only, despite being in the catalogues.  

The kit has been used countless times and to make things a little steadier a Ludwig tom mount was fitted. The photograph was taken in 1969 and Thom looks like he is enjoying himself. Many thanks for sharing another Olympic rarity with us.

8 lug wooden8 lug snare8 lug snareMany thanks to Chris Pickford for sending pics of his rare Olympic snare drum, as noted wood shell 70's snare drums are a little thin on the ground and here is one in White Marine Pearl finish!! This finish was only offered during the late 50's early 60's on the Olympic line but as we have found anything is possible with Premier. The date stamp could make the drum from 1979 but again these numbers don't always follow the theory.

All in all a very tidy drum and Chris even thinks it still has its original heads so has decided to keep it as it is and only use it now and then. Again many thanks for sharing your rarity.

oly 1151 snareMark Queenin from New Zealand kindly sent this pic of an early 1950's 14x6.5 model 1150 Chrome over Brass snare. These drums are very rare and are listed in the catalogues as being finished in either White or Black lacquer so how this one was chromed is a bit of a mystery.

The drum was in a bit of a state when Mark found it but due to a superb restoration job it looks amazing. It has to be remembered this was a budget drum of the day being cheaper than the top line Premier's but it certainly doesn't look it.

eddie's olyHere is the very first Europa twin set to surface and owner Eddie Munro has kindly sent in this pic.

This rare kit in five piece configuration still has the 60's style oval badge and lugs but the drums are standard size. There is a 4 page flyer showing this kit but they are very rare as the change to 70's style badge and lugs came soon after.Sure looks nice in Grey Silk Pearl, thanks for sharing it with us Eddie.