Burbank, Ohio -- July 17, 2004
Reported by Ray Chase
The July Estes auction at the Expo Auction Center in Burbank, Ohio, was heavy on Ham gear and stereo equipment, but also contained a few exceptional early radios that did not draw prices comparable to their potential. Maybe it was the warm weather that kept people away on vacation; maybe the "right people" were not there, or maybe the several items that were late additions did not get the proper publicity. Whatever the reason, it was bargain time for these great collectibles.
The first and most spectacular item was the 1931 Scott Allwave Deluxe E-250 in a custom-built, heavily carved, ornate, walnut highboy console. This set, with superb chrome and with a complete set of spare tubes was in working condition and even had a loop antenna built into the cabinet under the chassis. The original wood back had been replaced with a sheet of clear Lexan to which a large Scott logo had been affixed. One could appreciate the beauty of this radio from the front or the back.
This unusual Westinghouse 2-tube receiver and its companion 5-tube amplifier sold for $4,200. In 1924, Westinghouse utilized units like these to receive KDKA's programs at other Westinghouse network stations for rebroadcast. These units were also used to receive the program for the Westinghouse Founder's Day Banquet on October 12, 1924, at which 7,000 people dined in 62 different cities.
Remarkably, this set sold for $1,100.
Another Scott, a Phantom in a Warrington cabinet sold for $1,150. This set in excellent condition with good chrome was troubled only with a torn speaker cone. A third item was a Westinghouse 7-tube Station Monitor of which only 35 are claimed to have been built. It was reported that this item previously sold at the Muchow auction for $8,000, yet it brought only $4,200 here. As a very late arrival, it had not been advertised at all. A rare type of breadboard, an Atwater Kent that was a loaner "demo," as evidenced by the "not saleable" heavily engraved into its base, sold for only $700. Other bargains, as I perceived them, were in evidence throughout the sale.
The Ham gear, by and large, was all in good shape as was the stereo and hi-fi equipment. There were not many consoles in this sale. A group of early 1930s RCA trade magazines called "Good News" with artist covers was an interesting addition.
This was a long auction with more than the normal numbers of lots. Several side auctions were held to deal with bulk tube lots, parts and test equipment, the normal "under the table goods," as I call them. I was not able to record these items. I did record about 600 lots which came to a sale total of about $4,600. I stopped recording at 4:45 p.m. in order to hold to my return schedule. The auction probably continued with lesser items for about another 20 minutes.
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 Pfanstiehl Model 7WT 3-dialer, a not-often-seen manufacturer and model, sold for $95.
The auction format was the usual: viewing on Friday evening and on Saturday from 8 to 10 a.m. at which time the auction commences. Many tube lots are now appearing scattered through the sale, as this becomes a popular venue to add early or collector tubes to your collection. The below detail listing does not include the 5 percent buyer's premium which is applicable at this site.
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, gf=good filament, 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 nonspecific descriptions are omitted. See print version of A.R.C. for complete auction listing.
(Ray Chase, 1350 Marlborough Ave., Plainfield, NJ 07060; Estes Auctions, 7404 Ryan Rd., Medina, OH 44256; (888) 469-4992; firstname.lastname@example.org)
Some Ham radio items and their auction prices: Left to right: a National NC-183 selling at $175; an
NC-183D, at $170; and a Harvey Wells TBS-50D Bandmaster DeLuxe at $115.