Music listening has come a long way
Published: Saturday, January 1, 2011 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, December 30, 2010 at 8:20 p.m.
Q: Yes, the phonograph in the photo works. This has been handed down in our family from my grandfather. Could you tell me how old it is and the value it may have? I am unable to get the information on the Internet. There are 105 cylinders in the cabinet. Engraved on the inside is “Thomas A. Edison, Amberola, Manufactured by Thomas A. Edison, Inc. at Orange, N.J., USA, Patented Nov. 17, 1903, May 22, 1906, … March 11, 1913. Serial number 5051.” It starts after turning the handle or crank on the side.
A: What a wonderful family heirloom. There is a lot of information at your local library about Thomas Edison and the invention of the phonograph. By 1913, the time your cylinder phonograph was manufactured, the flat record player was challenging the old-fashioned wax cylinder. By the 1920s, cylinder records were out of production. There are still large quantities of these old-world phonographs available in the antiques market. Your cabinet-top phonograph with cylinders would sell in the $500 range, perhaps more on a lucky day. In reflection of our own times, we have all been witness to the dramatic change from flat records and tape to CDs and now mp3s where you can carry 1,000 songs in the palm of your hand. Wonderful, wonderful.
Q: I have a few calendars like the pictures attached. They came from my grandfather's house. I remember as a child we would lift up the clear plastic and run away giggling. When you lift up the clear plastic, the lady is naked. I am not interested in selling them. I would like to know if they are rare or not.
A:In the category of Pin-up Art, your calendars are not of much interest. They were produced in large quantities and typically found in restaurants, industrial shops, assembly lines, gas stations, etc. Potential dollar value is catch-as-catch-can.
Q: I have a chamber pot or commode. It stands close to 5½ inches high and close to 9½ inches wide. The inside is white and rolls into a white handle. Outside it has blue tree leaves designed on it. On the bottom there is a diamond with marks in it including “IV, K, D, 21, and 3.”
A: Your chamber pot was made in the Staffordshire district of England. I was not able to find a listing for the manufacturer. The diamond-shaped mark divided into cardinal points is a British patent design registration mark. At the top of the diamond the IV indicates the material is ceramic, the number 21 just below is the day of the month, the R in the center is for registered, at the right the letter K is for 1883, the D at the bottom is for September. Potential dollar value is less than $50.
Q: A book of “Mother Goose” rhymes and illustrations has been in our family probably since it was new. It was copyrighted in 1915, third printing. I would like to sell it, if possible. While it is quite charming, the cover is not in good condition around the edges. Almost all the pages are there, I believe.
A: In poor condition, your third printing of “Mother Goose Rhymes” would not be worth selling, although it might be nice to donate.
John Sikorski is an Ocala antiques dealer. He hosts a call-in radio show, ‘'Sikorski's Attic,'' on WUFT-FM (89.1 FM). It can be heard each Saturday from noon to 1 p.m. Send your questions to Sikorski's Attic, c/o Gainesville Sun, 2700 SW 13th St., Gainesville, FL 32608, or e-mail absantique@aol.