These English-style cavalry drums, with their distinctive “half-round” shape, are exactly the same as those used for centuries on drum horses. Available in any desired diameter and made to each customer’s specific requirements, we recommend 23” and 26” for a pair with versatile ranges, while we suggest 21.5”, 23.5”, 25.5” and 27.5” complement each other well if you wish to order a set of four. We recommend calf heads with these timpani as they produce a clear and focused sound, with excellent articulation.

Timpani production Henry Potter Traditional Timpani
23" Henry Potter Traditional Timpani
23-inch Henry Potter Traditional Timpani
26" Henry Potter Traditional Timpani
23-inch Henry Potter Traditional Timpani

German-Style Classical and Baroque timpani

Having concentrated for many years solely on our traditional cavalry-style timpani, in a new departure for Henry Potter we are excited to introduce our new range of German-style Baroque and Classical timpani. After much research of historical drums, both “in the flesh” and through articles and photographs, this new range of timpani have deep, tapering bowls, producing a mellow and sustained sound, with less percussive impact. For Baroque music by composers such as J.S. Bach we recommend drums with diameters of 20.5” and 22” supplied with goat heads. Larger sizes suitable for Classical repertoire are also available.

20 1/2" Henry Potter German Timpani
20 1/2 inch Henry Potter German Timpani


We are able to undertake a wide range of modifications to existing timpani. We can make quite radical changes resulting in “as new” timpani with a newly-formed traditional depth and shape. As it becomes harder to find original timpani in a playable condition, this can be a cost-efficient alternative to buying new. Possibilities include:

  • Reducing the depth of bowls to more traditional proportions and re-shaping bowls
  • Making new counterhoops
  • Replacing missing taps and fittings
  • Filling in redundant holes (e.g. where built-in legs are to be removed)
  • Repairing cracks and tears in the copper to a virtually invisible finish.
Refurbishment 'before and after'
This Hawkes timpani was converted to a shallower, traditional Potter's shape
Refurbishment 'before and after'

Bespoke Products and Services

Adrian Bending, co-Principal Timpanist of the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, is now partnering Henry Potter providing input on new designs, bespoke products and other services. The first collaboration has resulted in the new range of German-style timpani shown above.

Combining the insights and experience of a leading timpanist with the manufacturing skills of Henry Potter, we are pleased to offer a unique service whereby we can discuss your requirements to deliver perfect bespoke instruments. Factors contributing to our specialist design for you can include your orchestra’s style, hall acoustics, repertoire and touring logistics.

In addition, we offer these ancillary items:

  • Drum skins: We supply calf and goat heads from Cowley's, Kalfo, Super Kalfo and Regina Elite for timpani, side drums and bass drums. Please contact us for more information.
  • Flesh hoops in wood or aluminium in all sizes.
  • Our timpani stands and are long enough to enable playing in a sitting or standing position. Price £85
  • Lapping tool suitable for all types of natural skins. Price £15

Timpani trial and hire

If you would like to see or try some of our new or refurbished timpani, please contact us. You can also visit Adrian’s website where you can see a wide collection of timpani, some of which are available for hire.