Victor III with Smooth Oak Horn Serial Number 35364
Build Date: 1908
Originality: 2 Original base finish and hardware. Was lightly overcoated with shellac many years ago.
Overall Condition: 4+ Very good original in all repects. Horn has moderate surface crazing (see below)
(See the Ratings/Condition page for our grading scales)
The Victor III was a "mid-range" phonograph in the early Victor product lineup. It featured a 10-inch turntable, nickel-plated hardware, and an exceptionally strong 2-spring motor. The case was made of quarter-sawn oak with corner columns. An "Exhibition" soundbox was standard equipment, to provide added volume and fidelity. Selling new at a substantial base price of $40.00, it was a very popular seller. This machine has the optional smooth oak horn which was an expensive option at the time, and the phonograph/horn combination was a very pricey luxury item at a time when the average wage was 22 cents per hour!
This machine came from a general auction in Central Michigan a few years back. The machine and horn appear to have been lightly overcoated with shellac at some point in the very distant past. This was often done to replace the original "shine" that would decrease over time due to use. The cabinet, horn, backbracket and nickel hardware are untouched, and completely original. These components show less wear than we usually encounter on these early machines, and they look great. The horn elbow is an original (not a repro), and does show considerable wear of the nickel finish. The cabinet has a really warm patina, with only slight crazing of the varnish, and the set shows exceptionally well. The appealing smooth oak horn is an unusual option for this model, and is in good shape. The age of the shellac overcoat is showing on the horn and there is some surface crazing/flaking present, but it is not by any means severe, and it adds to the overall antique patina. The original Victor decal is still in place on the horn, and clearly visible. These big horns usually get pretty beat-up being stored for scores of years in attics and basements, but this one was a great survivor. We did replace the original (damaged) turntable felt. It is a remarkable performer and will be the center of attention of any room. This would be good choice for someone who is into totally unrestored antiques, and wants one of the best untouched Victors that you are likely to find.