Victor E with Flower Horn Serial Number 68178
Build Date: 1906
Originality: 2 Museum Level Restoration.
Overall Condition: 2- Beautiful piece, looks fantastic (see note below)
(See the Ratings/Condition page for our grading scales)
The Victor E was an early model first introduced by The Victor Talking Machine Co. in November, 1902. It was initially marketed as the "Monarch Jr.", and later became the Victor II when the Roman Numeral model designations were introduced. It is a small machine, and does not require a great deal of space to set-up and operate. Like all external-horn Victor phonographs, the Victor E is considered very collectable. It features a 2-spring motor, Exhibition soundbox, and nicely trimmed oak cabinet. When new, this Victor retailed for $25.00, equivalent to almost $650.00 in today's money. The small flower horn was an unusual $3.00 option when new, and is rarely seen on this model. The horn size is unique to the "E" (and the subsequent early Victor II), and will not fit other Victor models.
This exceptional restoration was done by a well-known collector about 6 years ago, using correct materials and processes in the restoration work. He has since retired and moved to a smaller home, and we had the opportunity to buy some of his collection a few years back. The cost of the restoration work (labor and materials) would far exceed our selling price if it were to be done today. The hardware was completely re-plated in nickel and the horn was correctly repainted and hand-detailed. The only thing that prevents us from rating this a strong "2+" category is the fact that there is some minor "rippling' (slight deformation) of the horn near the mouth. It can be seen on the left side of the horn opening on the top-left picture below. Apparently, the fellow who restored this did not have the capability of straightening it out before it was painted, but this is a very minor issue that would not even be noticed by most people who see the machine in-person. It truly does look "brand new". Finding one of these with the correct flower horn is not an easy task; the vast majority come with a standard "round" brass horn. We have priced this machine accordingly to condition and rarity, and it represents a really good deal in today's market.
It performs remarkably well, with the original bevel-gear motor "hum", that is typical of these early models. This machine is for the buyer looking for an early Victor Phonograph, and wants a exceptional value. It is affordable for the beginning collector, or simply for someone who wants a small, correctly functioning and beautiful phonograph that will attract attention in any room. It has plenty of volume and is a very strong performer for its size.