CHARLOTTE, Mich. – A Mills Violano Virtuoso soared to $34,100 and a Cremona Orchestral “K” nickelodeon went for $33,000 at a fall auction of antique music machines and related items, by Stanton’s Auctioneers, at the Eaton County Fairgrounds in Charlotte, Michigan. They were the top lots in an auction that saw nearly 1,400 items come up for bid and grossed more than $730,000.
The Mills Violano Virtuoso (an automatic player single violin with automatic piano) was
in need of mechanical restoration, but eager bidders were taken by the machine’s handsome mahogany cabinet (measuring 64 inches tall by 42 inches wide) and impressive look. The Cremona Orchestral “K” nickelodeon, with excellent panels of stained and leaded glass, was a rare example, with metal pipes. The piano was a full 7 1/2 octaves and three sets of pipes created eight instrumental effects.
Following are additional auction highlights; all prices quoted include a 10 percent buyer’s premium.
Regina, Edison and Victor are the top names in the industry, and this auction featured all three. A Regina 27-inch “dragon front” automatic changing disc music box (Style 8) in an oak cabinet, and excellent playing condition, hit $17,600; a scarce Edison Class M Concert cylinder phonograph that plays 5-inch records and included an original Edison Model D reproducer fetched $16,500; and a Victor V phonograph with matching cabinet and oak Victor spear-tip horn fetched $6,275.
Other Edison phonographs included a rare Edison Triumph Model G in the Opera-style cabinet, one of the last ones made ($9,350); an equally scarce Edison Diamond Disc A-400 in a fancy carved mahogany floor model cabinet with ribbed columns ($8,880); and an Edison Model A (2-4 minute) type SM floor model cylinder phonograph in a fine mahogany cabinet ($4,950).
Victor phonographs included a Victor VI disc phonograph – a mahogany machine with original finish and gold plating ($4,675); a Victor 6-disc phonograph with Victor mahogany wooden spear-tip horn and decal ($4,640); a Victor VI disc phonograph in very good condition, with exhibition reproducer and crank ($4,130); and a rare Victor “A” disc phonograph, incomplete ($3,740).
The Regina name was chanted frequently throughout the sale. A very good (and scarce) Regina automatic changing disc music box, Style No. 38, playing 20 3/4-inch discs, with the coin-op mechanism missing and other issues, still brought $12,100; and a Regina Style No. 34 music box (not a coin-op), a 27-inch automatic changer with 12 discs and a mahogany case, made $11,275.
A Regina Hexaphone Model #104 floor model multi-cylinder coin-op phonograph (the early jukebox of cylinder records), featuring a carousel of six mandrels that play 4-minute records, went for $9,900; an oak Regina Style 216 coin-op bell box playing 15 1/2-inch discs and with 6 bell box discs sold for $8,800; and a Regina Hexaphone Style 103 coin-op multi-cylinder phonograph (circa 1914-1921) garnered $7,700.
A Regina Style 6 (home model) 20 3/4-inch casket-model (or flip-top) oak disc music box with a double comb, with two discs and dated March 4, 1899, coasted to $6,600; a Regina Style 11 double comb music box playing 15 1/2-inch discs (10 included) achieved $4,290; and a Style 150 Reginaphone music box in a serpentine-style case with a dark mahogany finish hit $4,180.
An early ratchet-wind Berliner gramophone with Clarke Johnson reproducer, black horn and Berliner decal, changed hands for $19,800. A Stinson Calliola carousel organ, manufactured in Bellefontaine, Ohio, in 1982, purchased by the consignor in 1987, and containing the standard Calliola pipes, bells, drums, with additional pipes, brought $8,800.
Stanton’s Auctioneers’ next big music machine auction is slated for April 30-May 2, 2015, at the Eaton County Fairgrounds in Charlotte, Michigan. The firm’s main office is located at 144 South Main Street in Vermontville, Mich. To learn more about Stanton’s Auctioneers and the firm’s upcoming auction events, visit www.stantons-auctions.com.