CHARLOTTE, Mich. – Wind-up phonograph and record collectors from all over the United States converged at the Eaton County Fairgrounds for Stanton’s annual Fall Music Machine Auction on November 16 and 17. There certainly were phonographs to tempt every collector with vintage complete cylinder and disc players by national manufacturers as well as regional makers. Rare phonograph store banners, the occasional mechanical music box, phonograph dolls and some vintage radios were also sprinkled throughout the auction.
The Triumph: The rarity and beauty of this mahogany Edison Triumph Model B with shaver and 2/4 gearing and original nickel plate finish was reflected in its hammer price of $10,600.
One of the highlights of the 1000 lot auction was a rare Edison Triumph Model B in a mahogany special order case with complete shaver, a 2/4 minute gearing, and Edison K combination 2-4 minute reproducer. This spectacular offering had a gleaming nickel-plated bedplate, hardware, and included two optional 14-inch nickel-plated horns – one which had been replated. It sold for $10,600 (not including the 10 % buyer’s premium.)
Phonograph owners needed to change needles often and store displays competed for the music lovers’ attention. This bright red Electro-phonic needle display with many original old stock boxes was a tempting buy at $425.
A highly restored Victor VI with an unusual mahogany stained papier-mache horn sold for $5,000. Early machines included a Trademark Berliner ($2,250), a Victor type A (Eldridge Johnson) disc phonograph with original Berliner reproducer and some replica parts ($2,500) and a Victor “MS” disc phonograph with brass bell and Exhibition reproducer ($2,500).
Need a turntable to complete your wind-up phonograph project? Parts for any and all makes were available for the mechanically inclined.
Vogue Picture records sold briskly, along with 2 and 4 minute cylinders made by various manufacturers such as Victor, Columbia, Montgomery Wards and Edison. Rare three minute, 6-inch Columbia cylinders in their original boxes were sold at an average price of $200. New original stock Edison Diamond Discs ranging from $25 to the $200 level in the rare 52,000 series were appreciated by the audience. The 52,000 series were the last made prior to Edison’s closing his phonograph business in 1929. The sale also included three one sided Diamond Disc test records, the highest of which sold for $110.
Victor advertising featuring the Nipper dog, the most famous trademark of the twentieth century included many lots of store catalogs, brochures and letterheads. A Victor Store sign in flip frame which announced “New Records” released by Victor in April and May 1920 with full color images of the beloved terrier was a crowd pleaser at $140.
This 1940s-1950s store display 36-inch papier-mache Nipper had a speaker installed under his chin for playing music. Although he had significant damage, the selling price was $675.
There were Nipper statues in all materials, sizes and ages. 3 inch plaster dogs shared the auction stage with larger papier mache ones ranging in sizes from one to three feet. Present in the audience were Joan and Robin Rolfs who graciously were autographing copies of their book Nipper Collectibles which has become the bible for the Nipper collector.
Stanton’s offers previews of its sales by holding a 2-? hour viewing time the evening before, which also includes dinner. Steve Stanton makes a point of pacing his auctions well and making plenty of assistants available for questions or help.
This early twentieth century point-of-sale Columbia Needle Display resembles a phonograph lid. Since it was in virtually mint condition and desired by several bidders, it sold for $500.
Stanton’s has an upcoming spring auction of Antique Music Boxes and Phonographs scheduled for May 9 and 10.