Collector, eclectic museum founder decides it’s time to sell odd antique music machines

YANCEYVILLE, N.C. – Hundreds of rare and prized items from the living estate of Brady C. Jefcoat – a collector so dedicated and renowned a museum bearing his name exists in Murfreesboro, N.C. – will be held on Saturday, June 18, in the showroom of Winstead’s Auction Company, then again June 24-25 in an on-site auction at the Jefcoat residence in Raleigh, N.C.

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Mr. Jefcoat, 95, began his collection in earnest in 1972 following the death of his wife. It has since become famous throughout the region. His main passion is music machines, to include rare and vintage phonographs (many with horns), Regina disc players and players by other makers, jukeboxes, Victrolas, cylinder boxes, organs, band boxes, coin-operated items, Black Forest cuckoo clocks, hanging oil lamps and many other items in a variety of collecting genres.

“This collection is an auctioneer’s dream,” remarked Catherine Winstead of Winstead’s Auction Company. “I was fortunate to have been chosen to handle his estate. Sotheby’s came and looked at what he had, and he was also courted by many other big auction houses from far away. But in the end he decided to keep it local. It all happened very quickly. I’m still reeling.”

Almost anyone would be. The June 18 sale will feature around 500 museum-quality lots from Mr. Jefcoat’s personal collection. Also sold will be duplicate items from The Brady C. Jefcoat Museum (still open and operational). There will still be enough merchandise left from that auction for the June 24-25 on-site event – an estimated 800-1,000 lots.

The name Edison is synonymous with vintage music-playing machines, and this auction will feature many examples. These include an Edison Bell Electrotone German Excelsior reproducer/talking machine with cupids on all sides and a huge horn; a rare Class M battery-operated phonograph; and an Edison Triumph #66907 with Cygnet horn and original gold paint.

Other phonographs will include an oak case Edison Model M spring-model reproducer with 5-inch Mandrel, oak Cygnet horn and Music Master label (plus tag from Theo F. Bentel & Co.); an Edison Model A Oxidized Bronze reproducer (serial #4484), type SM, with 21-inch mahogany Cygnet horn; and an Edison Model B reproducer with two- and four-minute gearing.

Regina is another name coveted by collectors. This sale will include an upright coin-op 27-inch Regina Corona disc player with the original finish, automatic changer, double comb box and 12 discs; a coin-op oak Regina 27-inch disc player with fancy carvings, 12 automatic changer; an oak coin-op bow-front Regina 12-disc changer; and a rare coin-op oak upright Regina Hexaphone with six interchangeable cylinders.

Two items are certain to get paddles wagging. The first is an oak carved German-made grandfather clock with a built-in Schultz-Marke 12-inch disc player. The other is an oak hall tree with weight-driven clock, beveled mirrors, swinging pendulum and beveled glass. Also sold will be an RCA Victor “Nipper” the mascot dog (3 feet tall) with a speaker in his belly.

Jukeboxes will be served up in abundance. Examples include a totally restored Wurlitzer Model 750 jukebox; a 24-selection 1948 Wurlitzer Model 1100 jukebox; a coin-op Ristaucrat Model 45-S table jukebox that plays 45 rpm records, 16 ½ inches tall; and a circa 1950s Seeburg Model 200 Wall-o-Matic table jukebox. Also sold will be an automated Chicago Coins band box.

Also slated to cross the block will be a coin-op upright Symphonion musical automation disc player with three drawers, by Schultz-Marke; a coin-op Nicole Freres-Leipzip upright Polyphon disc player, with five 19 5/8-inch discs; and a Modernola hand-painted Japanese black lacquer phonograph with lamp and satin shade with tassles and original sales receipt from 1923.

Rounding out the list of expected top lots will be a Swiss-made oak cylinder music box with carvings by Jacot & Sons (1885); a Stella fancy-carved Jacot & Sons 17-inch disc music box with drawer and four discs; a Symphonion double 12-inch disc music box by Schultz-Marke; an oak Capital music box with seven cone-shaped discs, oak, with painted snow scene on the lid; a Columbia oak case phonograph with nickel-plated morning glory-style 23-inch horn and tone arm; and an inlaid cylinder music box with bells (tambour, nine timbers and castagnettes) by Fabrique DeGeneve, with glass cover.

There will be no Internet bidding, but phone and absentee bids will be accepted. For more details on the sale visit Winstead’s Auction Company.

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