Antique Radio Classified
A.R.C.--The National Publication For Buyers And Sellers
Of Old Radios And Related Items--Published Monthly

Estes Auctions
Seville, Ohio -- July 16, 2005


Web Edition

This auction report was delayed because I misplaced my notes and only found them a month ago. Hence some of the listings are abbreviated and others had to be eliminated since I usually rely on my memory, along with my notes. As might be expected, in the ensuing months since the auction, my memory has faded somewhat.

The Estes auction on July 16, 2005, dealt with several estates and was held at the Estes Auctions Barn in Seville, Ohio. Collector Steve Kenyon specialized in post-World War II European radios of which about 18 models were offered. Most were working and in excellent condition. Other estates were from Glenn Osborn of Ohio, Arthur Aseltine, and a collection from Baden, Pennsylvania.

The barn in Seville is a truly rural barn, and it was chock full of over 500 radios and 1,000s of tubes. Richard Estes announced that this was "not much of a sale." If so, I could not imagine what a large sale would entail.

The weather was forecast to be hot and steamy, and that it was. On Friday, the place was packed, and goods were still coming in. Wood tombstones and cathedrals were packed three deep making full inspection quite difficult. On Saturday morning even more goods were being brought in.

As is the usual practice at the barn, tables of low value goods and box lots were arrayed outside the barn and were auctioned off at 8:30 Saturday morning prior to the main sale at 10:00 a.m. This process was completed by 9:25 with many of the items being sold for no more than a dollar and some lots being combined before an opening bid could be obtained. For example, a very poor condition Hammarlund Super Pro sold for $5, and a ratty but complete Hallicrafters SX-28 sold for $1. Nonetheless, when a "good" item turned up, it drew a competitive price.

In the main auction, in addition to the European sets, there was a variety of early radios, electric sets, Ham gear, consoles, many tubes, and a good selection of phonograph items. As the day wore on, the heat became quite stifling and was made further unpleasant by swarms of houseflies requiring constant swatting, Yet, Richard kept the auction moving along without stop or relief until after 5:00 p.m.

In the afternoon, a table full of novelty radios and a large selection of books and paper were sold at a side auction that I was not able to record. Also many bulk tube box lots were not recorded, and my wife Edith did some recording when I had to take a break or two. She does not write as fast as I do, so some listings were missed or are incomplete. We recorded over 600 lots, and the auction surely must have had over 700 items sold.

The total sales realized must have been at least $40,000 as our listing adds up to slightly over $38,000. At this location, there is no buyer's premium so the list price is the actual cost to the buyer. It was an interesting and profitable experience, if one was willing to endure the unpleasant weather.

e=excellent, vg=very good, g=good, f=fair, p=poor, unk=unknown condition, N.O.S.=new old stock, wk=working, nwk=not working, WT=with tubes, NT=no tubes, BB=brass based, TT=tipped tube, gf=good filament, SW=shortwave, PS=power supply, PB=push buttons, WE=Western Electric. All prices have been rounded down to the dollar. Some low cost items and items in poor condition or non-specific descriptions are omitted. See print version of A.R.C. for complete auction listing.

A warning: Auction prices are not current values. Our selection of auction items is not necessarily complete. A listing such as this cannot adequately include the condition of cabinets, chassis, transformers, tubes, the operating status of the set, and the inclusion of incorrect, restored or replica components, etc. Auction prices are the result of the excitement of the auction process, the skill of the auctioneer and the specific interests of the participants. Nevertheless, auction prices serve as useful references and as another element in the value determining process. The possibility of error always exists, and if we are notified, corrections will be reported.

large selection of cathedral and tombstone radios
The large selection of cathedral and tombstone radios waiting for auction is evident in this photo.

Estes auction offerings
This Estes auction included a wide range of radios and related items as this photo shows. A number of Atwater Kent radios were offered. Other items in the photo include an Edison phonograph, early cone speakers, a Grebe CR-8, and an assortment of telegraphic items.

Another view of some of the battery sets
Another view of some of the battery sets and speakers included in the auction. Although the Atwater Kent Model 10 breadboard in the foreground brought $850, the high flyer at the auction was the unusual Atwater Kent Model 5A, upper left, that brought $2,300. Below are photos comparing the Model 5A with a standard Model 20.

construction of lid
Note the construction of the Model 5A lid that is similar to that employed in the AK breadboards. A mortise and tenon joint is used to attach the end pieces. The grain of the end pieces is perpendicular to the grain of the main top board.

Model 20 Tag
Model 5A Tag
Comparison of a standard Atwater Kent Model 20 tag, top, with that of the Model 5A, bottom. Note the Model 5A tag specifies the tube functions: "2 RADIO ­ DET. ­ 2 AUDIO."

RF coils on the Model 20
RF coils on the Model 5A
Note the much larger, breadboard sized, RF coils on the Model 5A, bottom, vs. those of a Model 20, top.


(Ray Chase, 1350 Marlborough Ave., Plainfield, NJ 07060; Estes Auctions, 7404 Ryan Rd., Medina, OH 44256; (888) 769-4992;

Ray Chase has been a radio enthusiast and a collector of many types of radios for years. Currently, he specializes in World War II electronics equipment, as well as early battery superheterodynes. He also has an extensive collection of radio documentation and ephemera.

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