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)
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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 exceptional 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 (which equates to over $1,000 today), it was a very popular seller. This machine has the optional Smooth Oak Horn, which is an unusual find. It is far more elegant than the standard brass horn, providing greater volume in a large room as well as a vastly more imposing appearance. The oak horn was a pricey option for this machine when new, and good original horns like this one are highly prized by collectors today.
This machine came from a general auction in Central Michigan a few years back. The horn is 100% untouched with the original finish. The age of the finish is showing in places and there is some surface crazing present, but it is not by any means severe, and it adds to the overall patina. The original Victor decal is still clearly visible. The base cabinet appears 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 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 good. 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, and the set shows exceptionally well. These oak machines 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 unrestored antiques, and wants one of the best untouched Victors that you are likely to find.