VV-XVIII Serial Number 3463 Red Mahogany
Build Date: November, 1916
Originality: 1- Good original example. Lid may have been touched-up at some point in the distant past
Overall Condition: 4 Finish shows wear. No damage to carvings.
(See the Ratings/Condition page for our grading scales)
See it in action on YouTube. Click here.
The Victrola VV-XVIII was Victor's very best non-custom model when it was introduced in the summer of 1915. Selling for a whopping $300.00 new (which equates to over $7,000.00 in today's money), it featured the highest quality craftsmanship and hardware that was available at the time. With their best 3-spring motor, exquisite hand carvings, "swell" (Bombe') front and side panels, gold plated hardware and V-patterned veneer, it was intended for very wealthy customers. After about one year on the market, the XVIII was quietly discontinued and replaced with the less-expensive (and less ornate) VV-XVII. The XVIII's $300 price tag was just too high for the buying public in 1915, and it cost Victor too much to manufacture on a sustained basis. Only 3,408 spring-wound versions were produced, along with only 993 electric powered versions. 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 very high demand. They are not only rare...they represent the pinnacle of Victrola design and performance.
This machine came from the Knoxville, TN area about three years ago. It is correct in all respects, complete and runs perfectly. The original finish does show wear, has moderate crazing, and the red stain has faded somewhat on the exterior. There is no damage to the cabinet or carvings, except for evidence of two circular marks on the left side (there are NOT drilled and filled holes) where the cabinet was resting against something in the past. On close inspection, it appears that the lid may have been touched-up many years ago. This machine represents a good opportunity to acquire a very rare model at a below-market price. It could certainly be displayed "as is" with no apologies, or it could be a candidate for a detailing and/or restoration project. It performs flawlessly, and will a great show-piece in any home. It has an incredibly impressive appearance when seen in-person. Given the very low production volume, high collector interest and terrific condition, it is priced very reasonably for today's market. You can find more on the VV-XVIII 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 performance warranty.