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VV-XIV
Early Version (Queen Anne Legs):  RARITY: ¤¤    VALUE:   ¤¤¤
Other Enclosed Floor Models:    RARITY: ¤      VALUE:  ¤

 

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The VV-XIV or "Victrola the Fourteenth" was a popular Victrola model priced in the 'upper-middle' range. Introduced in 1910, the XIV was positioned as a lower-priced alternative to the highly successful (but very expensive) VV-XVI series. This was at a time when a Victrola was considered to be a very prestigious item to own.  In 1911, Victor began producing phonographs which were far more affordable for the average buyer; this selection included phonographs such as the VV-XI and VV-IV. Before long, millions of homes had a Victrola. The XIV was intended to appeal to the managerial or professional customer who wanted an 'above average' Victrola in their music room.
Sales of the XIV took off after the cabinet was redesigned,  reaching a peak production level of over 50,000 units annually by 1920.  During its 11 year production run, it became Victor's #6 top-selling model of all time.  More than 260,000 VV-XIV phonographs were produced between 1910 and 1920, which is remarkable considering its rather steep price tag. At introduction, the XIV cost $150.00, which equates to over $4,100.00 in today's money!
Since there were three distinct variations of the VV-XIV model, they will be split into major chronological groupings. A detailed breakdown of serial number vs. year produced can be found at the bottom of the page.
 


Iteration One: "Queen Anne" Cabinet (1910-1912)
The VV-XIV was introduced in the autumn of 1910, and initial sales were certainly less than expected. The 'top-of-the-line VV-XVI, costing $50.00 more, was performing far better in the marketplace. No information exists as to why this was the case, but many have speculated that the XIV simply had an awkward dessign. The lid for these models was shared with the XVI (probably to save money); the end result was essentially fitting this large lid to a smaller sized, boxy cabinet, giving the machine a somewhat 'top-heavy' and ungainly appearance. 
The XIV featured gold-plated hardware, a very strong three-spring motor (shared with the XVI), and numbered 'slots' installed in the record storage area. Buyers could choose a mahogany or oak finish.
Production of this design was terminated in the summer of 1912. While these early versions are not considered to be rare, they do garner significantly more collector interest than the later designs. Based on the serial numbers of surviving examples, approximately 9,500 of these machines were made.

Iteration Two:  Enclosed Floor Model Version 1 (1912-1914)
The XIV was completely redesigned in early 1912, with a slightly smaller cabinet and far more proportioned appearance. Nickel plating was used in place of gold, the three-spring motor was retained, and the record storage slots were replaced with shelves for albums. Small 'crescent moon' designs were carved on top of the corner posts, similar to those found on the early VV-XI models. Production of this design was terminated in the autumn of 1914.
Buyers could now select their machine with a red or brown mahogany veneer, or a wide variety of oak finishes.
These Victrolas will have an ""B", "C", or "D" suffix letter after the serial number, indicating small upgrades to the motor and/or mechanical components. Approximately 34,000 of these models were produced. 

Iteration Three: Enclosed Floor Model Version 2 (1914-1918)
The VV-XIV cabinet was modified again in 1914, and  now emphasized many of the 'Victrola family' design cues. Larger carvings appear toward the center of the flared corner columns, and the overall cabinet proportions became standardized with other models. This highly successful iteration was produced until 1918, and nearly 80,000 copies were produced. This series will typically have an "E" suffix letter after the serial number.

Iteration Four: Enclosed Floor Model Version 3 (1918-1921)
The final update of the VV-XIV appeared during the spring of 1918, and now had a more modern appearance. The cabinet size was slightly reduced, as was the detail in the carvings on the corner posts.  Due to inflation, the sales price of the XIV had incrementally risen to $225.00 by 1920.
Production of this design ran until the spring of 1921, when the XIV was replaced by the VV-110. However, the new VV-110 was nothing more than the XIV with a new name; it turned out to be a virtual clone of its predecessor; therefore it could safely be stated that this design continued well into 1922 when the VV-110 was discontinued. Victor ultimately produced more of these models than could be sold that year. Due to this overproduction, it is quite likely that XX-XIV machines were being stocked and sold by dealers well into the mid-1920s.

 

The survival database currently shows the earliest existent VV-XIV to be S/N 509 and the latest to be S/N 276997.

Please note that several large blocks of serial numbers were likely skipped in production; therefore the total number produced and the highest serial number will not be correlated for this model!

Manufacture Date Approximate Serial Number Range Feature Notes
1910 501-2000 Queen Anne style cabinet. Round speed bezel.
1911 2000-9000        
1912 9001-19700  Queen Anne cabinet discontinued at s/n 9750. Serial numbers from 9750 through 13500 were skipped in production. Newly designed cabinet was introduced in September, and has crescent moon carvings on front side posts. Some machines have a B suffix.
1913 19701-39000 Semi-auto brake added at s/n 22415. Crescent bezel speed control added at s/n 28000.  Exposed speed indicator used on some (not all) examples after s/n 29500. B, C or D suffices used. 
1914 39000-54000 D suffix used early in year. Large glass speed indicator adopted at s/n 47601, along with change to E suffix. Cabinet design changed at E suffix, with carved side post "flare" moved downward toward mid-cabinet. Crescent moon carving eliminated.
1915 54000-79600 E suffix
1916 79601-116000 E suffix
1917 116000-149500 Early year production uses E suffix. Small glass speed indicator used after s/n 126100 and suffix letter dropped after serial number.  Cabinet modernized and enlarged at that time. Victrola No. 2 Soundbox used very late in year.
1918 149500-172500
1919 172500-203300   
1920 203300-257000  
1921 257000-277000  

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