VV-350 Serial Number 1205 Mahogany SOLD! Pebble Beach CA
Build Date: December, 1924
Originality: 1 Absolutely original, down to turntable felt
Overall Condition: 4 Nice condition, some wear evident
(See the Ratings/Condition page for our grading scales)
Here is an opportunity to own one of the rarest production Victrolas ever made. In 1924, the Victor Talking Machine Company was verging on insolvency due to the advent of radio. Victor had not kept up with the times, and was still offering the same basic phonograph designs as they had been producing 15 years earlier. Radio offered better sound and more variety, and sales of Victrolas dropped to unprecedented levels. In an attempt to lure in some new customers, Victor introduced three new upright phonographs for the Christmas selling season of 1924: the VV-350, VV-360 and VV-370. These were expensive machines, designed in the same styles as the art case console models; VV-400, VV-405 and VV-410. The console models had sold moderately well when introduced a year earlier, but radio was quickly gaining ground, and the Victrola appeal was fading fast, so the expensive upright art-case versions never had a prayer of being successful. By the time they were introducedin the fall of 1924, sales of Victrola products had been reduced to a trickle, and very few were ever produced. They were discountinued from the product catalog within a few months. The upright series featured a more modern cabinet design than previous Victrolas, with "squarish" appearance, shallow lids, and lower overall height, but they still utilized the same basic playback mechanics of previous machines, so the "appeal" was only skin-deep. Interestingly, the upright art-case machines had slightly longer tonearms and different brake systems, so as to allow them play the newly introduced (and very short-lived) large 14" Victor records, which had a slightly longer playback time (this was another futile attempt to revive interest in the Victrola product line). These large-sized records were mentioned in some factory literature in 1924, but very few of them have actually shown-up.
The VV-350 we are offering for sale was the upright counterpart to the VV-405 console model. The 350 sold new for a whopping $235.00, which equates to over $3300.00 in today's money. It featured Victor's best 4-spring motor and gold "No. 2" soundbox, a blended mahogany finish, and a inlaid "V" pattern in the door veneer. There were only 878 spring-powered versions and 1,159 electric VV-350s made, making it one of the rarest Victrola models ever produced. We only know of 52 survivors at the present time.
This machine is as original as they come. Even the turntable felt is original. There are some surface scratches on the lid and lower doors (hard to photograph and see), and a small gouge on the left front of the lid (see photos), but these are minor concerns, and the finish still shines strongly. Light crazing is present in a few spots, but the majority of the finish is mirror-smooth. If you want an extremely rare Victrola in your collection, or simply as an amazing showpiece, this is your chance to buy a truly great example. You are not likely to find another VV-350, and certainly not one that is this original in this condition. This machine sports the original dealer tag from Keller's Temple of Music in Easton PA. Keller's was a huge operation at the time, and was one of the larger Victor dealers in PA. The original gold hardware is very good, and shows only minor wear. It will show and perform superbly in any home.
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.