Technical description: Copper shell made from three sheets seamed together; release hole in bottom of bowl; metal reinforcing frame inside. Tuning T-handle on side at end of a metal shaft with two screw threads of opposite sense inside the bowl; two wooden threaded cross-pieces mounted on brass nuts on the screwed rod, each end of both cross-pieces fitted with a pulley; eight laterally-mounted pulley wheels in frames in the bowl with tangential axles; six circumferential external pulleys with radial axles mounted on exterior of bowl; at each of the ten original tensioning points there is a hook which is attached to the outside of the flesh hoop and passes through the skin, with loosely mounted pulley on each hook. All tensioning fitments of brass, with steel cable. Repair History: Two screw rod tensioners added by James Blades at points where the mechanism is less effective; this makes the drum capable of a pure tone it could not otherwise produce.
Specific usage history: The added tensioners suggest that the instruments were used by James Blades in situations where tonal quality was of more importance than it might have been for the instrument's original intended function.