Estes Auctions -- The Larry Flegle Collection
Burbank, Ohio -- December 9, 2006
REPORTED BY RAY and Edith CHASE
This auction was primarily the collection of Dr. Larry Flegle from the Atlanta, Georgia, area. It was held at the Expo Auction Center in Burbank, Ohio, which apparently will be the site for all future Estes auctions. The collection contained many Scott, Silver-Marshal, and McMurdo Silver radios. Viewers ought to have had dark glasses handy to offset all the chrome-plated chassis on display.
Other good items were for sale as well, including nice Ham gear, advertising and phonograph items, and the usual good assortment of battery and 1930s radios. A large selection of novelty radios were offered. Some of the better ones were scattered through the main auction while many of the later transistor models were dealt with at a side auction that I prevailed upon my good wife to record.
Additionally, there was an early auction of low value goods that seems now to be a regular event at Estes auctions. This is a good way to deal with the bottom-end stuff that is always present and a lot of fun, but does not warrant taking up time at the main auction.
During the main auction, some of the paper goods were sold "choice" and I could not record them. Also there were several side auctions in the afternoon to handle bulk tube lots and test equipment. These also I could not record.
A console collector's dream, a McMurdo Silver Masterpiece V in a Clifton cabinet, sold for at $6,000.
There had been a snowstorm on Thursday preceding the weekend that left several inches on the ground, and the weather was quite cold. Nevertheless, a good crowd turned out and hung in there until well into the afternoon. Very few additions came in on Friday evening or Saturday morning.
Since this was a few weeks before Christmas, one might have assumed that some collectors would be buying themselves an early Christmas present, but surprisingly, there were quite a few bargains left here. Perhaps they were there to purchase the Scotts, Silver-Marshalls and McMurdo Silvers and passed up the other items. Maybe they held back the money in order to do the family holiday shopping. Still, the prices of these Scotts and others have been falling over the past few years, as more of them have come into the marketplace. It seems to be a very good buyer's market.
Whatever the case, it was wonderful to see and touch so many of these grand old radios, especially the very rare and seldom seen McMurdo Silver Masterpiece in the Clifton console that sold for $6,000. I never seem to be able to judge the mood or electricity of an auction crowd, and this one was particularly difficult to gauge. Anyway, it was a pleasure to be in the company of all these fine high-end radios and I hope that the new owners get as much pleasure from them as Dr. Flegle probably did.
I recorded about 550 lots and stopped note-taking at 5 p.m. with maybe another 20 minutes to go. The total sale of the main auction was somewhat over $60,000, not counting the early auction, the side auctions, or the novelty auction. The three featured brands accounted for nearly 40 percent of the main auction sales.
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.
This advertising sign is hard to miss. It measures 2' high x 20' long and is made of oilcloth. It sold for $175.
A separate novelty radio auction of 73 items totaling $475.50 was recorded by Edith Chase. A number of novelty radio items, apparently the higher-value ones, were also included in the regular auction. All novelty radios are combined in the auction listing.
The early auction of low value items started at 9 a.m. and was held off in the corner where the sold items are normally accumulated during the main auction. This arrangement was certainly more pleasant than standing in the rain as has happened at one or more of the Auction Barn sales. It is basically a "stand up" or "walk around" auction, and there were about 75 lots offered that sold for a total of something over $550. I have not provided a detailed list of the sales.
The early auction was the place to be if you needed parts sets, or if you like a challenging repair job, or even if you have a bit of open storage space that needs some radio detritus to fill it in. While the average lot sale price was about $9, two-thirds of the sales went for $5 or less, and 19 lots sold for $1. Sometimes lots were combined, and I noted four radios that sold as a lot for $1 or 25 cents each. The most expensive item, a McIntosh tuner that drew a bid of $90, must have gotten in this group by mistake. Anyway, a lot of fun and a good way to warm up the crowd before the "big stuff" was run across the auction block at 10 a.m.
Another great E.H. Scott radio -- a World Record Superhet with a copper chassis, in very good condition -- sold for $1,200.
This pair of McIntosh M-30, Type A116B amplifiers sold separately for $350 and $450.
See print version of A.R.C. for complete auction listing.
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, gf=good fil, WT=with tubes, NT=no tubes, BB=brass based, TT=tipped tube, 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
(Ray Chase, 1350 Marlborough Ave., Plainfield, NJ 07060; Estes Auctions, 7404 Ryan Rd., Medina, OH 44256; (888) 769-4992; email@example.com)
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.
This Hallicrafters T54 6" television set sold for $150.