The Complete Price Guide to Antique Radios: Tabletop Radios, Volume 4
By Mark V. Stein
REVIEWED BY GEOFF SHEARER
At Radioactivity, held on June 6-8, 2003, by the Mid-Atlantic Antique Radio Club (MAARC) in Beltsville, Maryland, Mark Stein debuted his new radio book, The Complete Price Guide to Antique Radios: Tabletop Radios, Volume 4. The boxes of books had been overnighted and arrived the day prior to the event. I had the distinct pleasure of receiving the first one out of the box. Mark then made himself available for signing and didn't close shop until around 5:00 p.m.
The new book follows the line of his most recent other radio book -- Tabletop Radios, Volume I. Mark indicated that Volume I was a redesign of his original Machine Age to Jet Age, Volume I with additional pictures and a price guide/index for that book, as well as the previous ones. This latest book, Volume 4, stands by itself and follows Machine Age to Jet Age, Volume III. This latest book has the manufacturers in the "Table of Contents" to facilitate easy reference.
The most useful purpose of the tabletop guides is to give the collector the opportunity to find a radio that matches his "unnamed" set on the shelf/workbench. Volume 4 contains 2,500 new listings and 1,500 new illustrations.
Mark begins each book with definitions and explanations of the various cabinet types and finishes. He also tells how to adequately price an item, which is extremely helpful to the new radio hobbyists. The book is one of the few places in our collecting world where you can find definitions of the various types of plastics.
This new volume is set up for nine pictures per page with no page break between manufacturers. The overall picture quality is good with only a few "fuzzy" looking sets. As an Emerson Ingraham collector, I was happy to see the Ingraham logo next to those sets that had that cabinet designer. There are no "miscellaneous" pages and the listings stop at Zenith.
I feel that the "Tabletop" series of radio price guides is invaluable to the collector. Many sets found today are missing their manufacturer and model tag, and these guide books are the only source to help identify an item. I strongly recommend these books for your library.
My only complaint about this latest issue is that our club, Mid-Atlantic Antique Radio Club (MAARC) is not listed in the "Vintage Radio Clubs" section at the beginning of the Guide. However, we were the premiere audience, and I'm sure Mark will include us in subsequent guides. Happy Viewing!
(Geoff Shearer, MAARC President, 14408 Brookmere Dr., Centreville, VA 20120)
"The Complete Price Guide to Antique Radios: Tabletop Radios, Volume 4," by Mark V. Stein is available in an 8 1/2 x 11 soft-cover format and is priced at $29.95. It may be purchased from Radiomania Books, A.R.C., and other A.R.C. advertisers. Please check with these suppliers for ordering information.