VV-XI Early Tabletop Model Serial Number 668 Type M with matching custom base SOLD! Kirkland WA
Build Date: Approximately October 1911
Originality: 2 Partial older restoration on phonograph, 100% original base cainet
Overall Condition: 4+ Very nice, showing light wear
(See the Ratings/Condition page for our grading scales)
The VV-XI is well-known as Victor's most popular floor model phonograph, with production exceeding 800,000 machines. However few people know that the XI was originally produced as a "premium" tabletop model, first announced to the dealer organization in September, 1910. The phonograph alone was priced at a whopping $100.00 (which equates to over $2500.00 in today's money), it featured gold plated hardware, a 2-spring motor and elegant trim moldings. Given the price, and the fact that Victor's competitors were producing similar tabletop models for far less money, Victor quietly transitioned the tabletop XI into a substantial floor-standing model for the same price, and sales took off like wildfire, selling over 850,000 copies! Of course, during the transition, some cost-cutting was done on the floor model version; gold trim was eliminated, and the degree of cabinet detail was greatly reduced. This is an opportunity to own one of the "early ones" with full trim. Only 10,173 of these tabletop models were made, making them highly desired by collectors. Not only are they scarce and relatively early in the Victrola production cycle, they are one of the most elegant and full-featured tabletop cabinet designs ever produced.
This is possibly one of the rarest finds we have recently made. Not only is the serial number of this machine extremely early (serialization started at 501, so this was the 167th VV-XI to come off the assembly line), it has the matching base cabinet! We've only seen this cabinet two times in the past (in private collections), so they are certainly scarce. The cabinet fits the base of the phonograph perfectly, down to the rounded corners, and it continues the tabletop VV-XI's design themes (knobs, trim, etc) to the floor. Even better yet, the original cabinet-maker decal ("Wood Manufacturing Company") is still on the inside of the right-hand door. The cabinet features working "button" record extractors. Simply push the numbered button on the record you want, and it pops outward for easy removal. And, quite uniquely, there is a second record storage/access door on the left-rear side of the cabinet, also with push-button extractors. Considering how few tabletop XI's were made, it is reasonable to assume that only a very small number of these matching cabinets were produced. A very, very rare find!
Tabletop VV-XI's do not come available frequently, and we have only once seen a correct XI phonograph/base combination come available for sale since we started in the business! The phonograph appears to have been partially restored many years ago (lid and some touchup on the sides), but the quality of work is very nice. Outside of a few marks here and there, it is in really good shape. Some minor discoloration is evident, but this does not detract from the appearance. It has a mahogany finish, with lots of gloss. All hardware is correct, with good gold plating. The base cabinet is 100% original, untouched, and really nice. Minor crazing and a few small zings, but an exceptional example by any standard. This is a great opportunity to purchase a great example of a rare machine, with an almost unheard-of base cabinet. Try to find another set like this anywhere in the country!
For more information on the XI, please click here.
As with all our phonographs, the motor, soundbox and all mechanical components will be torn down, cleaned and correctly rebuilt. It comes with our 2 year unconditional performance warranty.