VV-XVII Serial Number 4036 Early English Oak
Build Date: February, 1917
Originality: 1 Unrestored orginal, except for replaced turntable felt
Overall Condition: 3+ Exceptional condition, showing only slight wear.
(See the Ratings/Condition page for our grading scales)
The VV-XVII became Victor's "top line" non-custom phonograph when introduced in December, 1916. With their best 4-spring motor, exquisite hand carvings, "swell" (Bombe') front and side panels, gold plated hardware and ornate design, it was intended for very wealthy customers. Only 18,914 spring-wound versions were produced, along with only 2,535 electric powered copies. That may sound like a lot, but given that over 800,000 "XI" models were made, and quite a few other models had production runs well over the 500,000 mark, it gives an idea of how limited the selling market was for a high-end machine like this. It was far beyond the reach of the average buyer. Due to the ornate cabinet, gold trim and premium components, it is understandable why these machines remain in high demand. Selling for a whopping $250.00 when new, that equates to over $5,200.00 in today's money! Quite a chunk of change.
This machine is a truly stellar example. Not only is it 100% original in all respects, it features a very rare "Early English Oak" special-order finish. English Oak is a dark, glossy finish, with very subtle oak grain. About 90% of VV-XVII models were produced in mahogany. Walnut versions were second. Oak XVII's are quite hard to come by, but the vast majority that do show up are in Golden or Weathered Oak. The more exotic special-order choices, such as Driftwood Oak, Gunmetal Oak or Early English Oak are extremely hard to find. We have only logged two surviving English Oak XVII's in our database out of thousands of documented survivors. A problem with the special oak finishes is that they tended to fade quickly when placed in sunlight or dry conditions, and most survivors have a very dull and washed-out look. Not on this Victrola! Try to find another one like this, at any price!
In recent years, the rarer finishes on the upscale Victrola models have seen a marked increase in collector demand and selling prices. This is probably the best example of Early English Oak that can be found on an XVII. The finish is 100% original, and retains much of the brilliant shine, although it has dulled slightly from age. All the hand-carvings are perfect, and the entire machine is correct in every respect. The only anomalies that prevent it from being a #2 in our condition rating is that some of trim edges were polished a little too vigorously sometime during its life, causing a slight lightening of the dark color on these edges. As seen on the pictures below, this is not a significant issue in any way, and does not detract from the overall appearance. It performs flawlessly, and will be a spectacular show-piece in any home without any apologies. It is an incredible phonograph. Given the low production volume, high collector interest and overall totally original condition, it is priced very fairly for today's market. We have seen machines of this caliber exceed $4400 at recent auctions. You can find more on the VV-XVII by clicking here.
This would be well-suited in a large room, and would fit-in with a variety of decors. As with all our phonographs, the motor, soundbox and all mechanical components have been torn down, cleaned and correctly rebuilt (by us). It comes with our 2 year unconditional performance warranty.