Exqusititely hand painted miniature drum of The Black Watch Royal Highlanders, Each drum has been meticulously painted with minute detail, These drums formed part of the Potters of Aldershot archive
Henry Potter & Co
1786: a time when Mozart was alive, George III was King, and Samuel Potter was enlisted in the Coldstream Guards at the age of 14. Samuel published a piece for two fifes and bugle in 1800 and married in 1802, in St George’s Hannover Square, the church made famous by George Frederic Handel. In 1810 he was able to realise his dream of starting a musical instrument company when first son, Henry, was born. Samuel was already a very big figure in Royal and military music but, as an officer of the British Army, he was forbidden to form a company. However, his plans were obviously well-laid and instead he started the company in the name of his newborn child, on his very birth date.
The company started as specialists in drums, fifes and bugles quickly establishing itself and soon diversifying into other areas of music and the Military. In 1817 Samuel was given the title Sergeant and Drum Major and later that year left the army to pursue his business full time immediately publishing his Manual for Drums, Fifes and Bugles.
Harry and William, two of Henry’s sons, carried on running the company, and a third, George, went with one drum maker, to Aldershot to open a new branch in the High Street, later to move to what became known as “Potter’s Corner”. As it remains today, Aldershot was one of Britain’s most important military towns and with the London market nicely taken care of, George went there to exploit pastures new. Starting initially as Henry Potter in Aldershot, the companies split officially around the mid-1850s, with a developing rivalry that became fierce, but always friendly and productive.
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