RAN Band Ceremonial Drums

Ceremonial Silver Drums.
Ceremonial Silver Drums.

A gift from the Commonwealth and States

The Ceremonial Silver Drums were commissioned by the Commonwealth and States of Australia and presented on 10 July 1961 to mark the 50th Anniversary of the proclamation of the title 'Royal Australian Navy'.

The set consists of eight side drums, two tenor drums and one bass drum. Queensland, South Australia, Western Australian and Tasmania each presented one side drum. New South Wales and Victoria each presented one tenor drum, while the Commonwealth and Territories presented the remaining four side drums and the bass drum.

Each drum is emblazoned with the Royal Cypher and the Royal Australian Navy Badge. Four of the side drums and the two tenor drums are emblazoned with the State Badge, while the remaining four side drums and the bass drum have the Commonwealth Coat of Arms.

Drouyn and Drouyn of Brisbane in Queensland manufactured the drums. The construction of these drums used up almost the entire stock of standard silver available to the eastern coast of Australia. At the time, the bass drum shell was the longest continuous piece of silver rolled in the Southern Hemisphere.

The side drum sticks are made of Queensland Black Bean and are fitted with two-inch Sterling Silver leaf chased ferrules.

Historically, the set is considered priceless; however, a conservative replacement value at time of production, was estimated to be in excess of one quarter of a million dollars. These drums are only paraded on the most important ceremonial occasions.

The drums are kept on display in the Royal Australian Navy Heritage Centre.

 

Specifications for the Silver Ceremonial Drum Set are:

  • Eight Side Drums: 35cm diameter x 30cm of 16 gauge sterling silver weighing 10kg
  • Two Tenor Drums: 40cm diameter x 30cm of 16 gauge sterling silver weighing 11.8kg
  • One Bass Drum: 70cm diameter x 30cm of 16 gauge sterling silver weighing 18kg