How Do You Determine the Value of an Antique Phonograph?


Quick Answer

Determine an antique phonograph's value by researching its age, condition and desirability. Generally, a phonograph that is older, in good to excellent shape, and highly sought after is worth more than other phonographs. What ultimately determines the value is how much someone is willing to pay.

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How Do You Determine the Value of an Antique Phonograph?
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Full Answer

If possible, get a professional specialist to appraise the phonograph in person. Specialists usually know how much a certain model can fetch at an auction and can judge if the cabinet, horn and other parts are originals, high-quality reproductions, or bad attempts at restoration. Comparing prices of similar models on auction sites, collectors' websites and price guides can also help determine the value. Some dealers and owners may over-price their phonographs, so check multiple websites, shops and auction malls.

Rarity alone does not ensure a high value for phonographs, since collectors aren't interested in some models even if they are scarce. The type of cabinet wood also affects value, as some woods, such as walnut, are rarer than others. Prices may also vary depending on location and the economy. In general, floor models are worth less than table models, and models with an internal horn, such as the Victrola, sell for less than models with an external horn, such as the Victor.

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