VV-120 Serial Number 4957 in Fumed Oak finish PRICE REDUCED!
Build Date: Approximately October 1921
Originality: 1- Totally original (see note below)
Overall Condition: 2- Exceptional machine in very good shape. Minor discoloration in some spots. Some wear to gold tonearm and crank.
(See the Ratings/Condition page for our grading scales)
The VV-120 is a near-clone of the Victrola "Flagship" VV-XVI. The XVI was renamed as the VV-120 during Victor's attempt to "freshen the product lineup" in May, 1921. Sales were dying out at Victor as radio came into vogue, so the name change did little to stimulate sales, as only 8,425 spring-wound VV-120 models were produced before they were quietly discontinued in 1923 (as compared to nearly 200,000 XVI's produced in prior years!). There are very minimal differences between the XVI and 120 models, so it's almost impossible to tell them apart without a very discerning eye. In addition, a fumed oak finish on a Victrola is rather unusual on any model; fumed finishes are far less common that Golden Oak or Mahogany on any model Victrola. The fumed finish renders a truly unique and beautiful appearance. Fuming is a process of exposing the veneers to ammonia fumes, which darkens and hardens the wood surface. The result is a brownish, slightly glossy and hard finish that blends-in well with many decors. Whereas varnish-covered mahogany tends to "alligator" or "check" when stored in hot or cold areas, fumed oak tends to blacken (discolor) over time. This example has some spots of mild discoloration, but certainly not anywhere near an objectionable extent.
This Victrola was purchased from the original owner's family near Detroit in the early 1990's. The finish, plating, and mechanics are 100% original, although, via very close inspection with a magnifying glass, it does appear that the veneer on top of the lid refinished a long time ago. Victor strongly recommended that damaged fumed oak finishes be returned and reworked by the factory, since it is virtually impossible to match the color and texture of fumed oak without having the proper (and expensive) equipment and techniques, which were not commonly found in repair shops in the 1920's (still true today). Therefore, it is our belief that this surface was reworked by Victor or an exceptionally good furniture craftsman after it was damaged (typically, when someone put a wet glass or vase on top). It matches the color and patina of the rest of the cabinet perfectly. 99.9% of the population could likely not tell that this repair was ever done...it is that good. The gold plating on the tone arm and crank shows some minor wear, but is generally excellent. The 4-spring electric motor is strong and quiet. The hand-carved "wings" on the front-sides are perfect. It is a stunning machine. You can find more on the VV-120 by clicking here. Considering how few VV-120's were made, and how uncommon it is to find a good fumed finish on any Victrola, this is truly a "rare bird"!
This would be an outstanding selection for anyone looking for an unusual model with an unusual finish, in outstanding condition. Not too many 120's are around, and only a handful of fumed oak examples remain. If originality is important to you, this is about as original as they come. As with all our phonographs, the motor, soundbox and all mechanical components have been torn down, cleaned and correctly rebuilt. It comes with our 2 year unconditional performance warranty.
Note: The flash in the pictures below renders the machine lighter than it truly appears. The color of the oak near the data plate (picture below) is more representative of the true color.
See it in action on YouTube! Click here!
Price: $995.00 PRICE REDUCED: $695.00