Return to Home Page

                                                                   

 

Production Volumes and Rarity Estimates


Production Volume

While almost any Victor Product is an interesting piece of history, there were literally millions of these phonographs made, and thus, the majority of machines one may encounter will be neither rare nor particularly valuable at the present time. Almost 8,000,000 Victors and Victrolas were produced between 1906 and 1929. However, according to the production data, nearly 50% of Victor's entire product volume can be attributed to the best selling 7 models (the VV-XI, VV-VI, VV-IV, VV-IX, VV-X, VV-2-55, and VV 4-3 (Consolette).  So the odds are quite high that Grandma's old Victrola is one of these popular models, and probably won't have much value unless it is in mint condition. Nonetheless,  one will often see a very common Victrola model with an asking price of $2000 or more on Ebay, although such a machine will seldom sell for anywhere near that amount. However, rare models do show-up in attics and flea markets on occasion, and I know of several people who have come across some amazing finds in recent years.

Rare and desirable Victor models are often those that were built in very low volumes. For example, it is estimated that only 1,000 of the Victrola VV-107 were made, making it one of the scarcer models. Good examples of this and similar Victor products will sell at a premium to any serious collector. 

It is also interesting to note that many collectors value some models that are not particularly rare. Almost 200,000 Victrola XVIs were produced, and yet these machines can command considerable prices if they are in decent original condition. The XVI was Victor's "flagship" model, and thus collectors maintain a moderately high demand for this machine. 

It is also important to consider that any antique phonograph that is in true mint original condition, will usually have some meaningful value. For example, a VV-XI in average alligatored attic-stored condition might only sell for around $100-$150 at auction, while the same machine in mint original condition might bring well over $750 to the right buyer. Even more if it has the original shipping crate! Condition is always a critical factor in calculating value. 

One factor that must be considered in determining rarity and collector interest is the type of finish that is used. As a rule, machines in mahogany or oak are the most common (see the page on Woods and Finishes), and thus will not be as desirable as walnut or custom painted finishes. For example, a VV-XVI in Circassian Walnut could bring as much as 10 times (or more) the price of the same vintage VV-XVI in the standard mahogany finish. Exotic finish or hand-painted factory examples are even more valuable, as these were produced in miniscule numbers.

The chart below summarizes approximate Victor and Victrola production volumes.


Rarity

Classifying rarity is a rather difficult task, as it is necessary to take into account what the current collector community considers common vs. rare. A particular Victor phonograph such as the "Granada", whose production represents only 1.2% of the total Victor product volume would hardly be considered "rare" by most collectors, as they are still commonly found. To try to put some sense in the rarity estimation process, the models were classified in descending order of production (from highest production model to lowest production model), and a running sum of the percentage totals was tallied. For example, the VV-XI Floor Model represents 10.6% of total Victor production and the VV-VI is next in line with 8.8% of total production. The cumulative sum of these two models represents 19.4% of total production. Then we add the VV-IV (7.8% of total) to get a cumulative total of 28.0% of total production. This means that these 3 models represent almost 3 out of 10 Victor products ever produced. This running total process was continued until all models were included, and the total was 100% of Victor production. Note that some "rare" models do not necessarily have high value, depending on collector interest and/or current availability.

Using this method, the following rules were used to determine rarity: 

* Refers to the most popular machines whose cumulative production percentages span 80% of the total Victor production. These machines are the most common and are found very frequently.

** Refers to the next tier of models whose cumulative production percentages cover 98% of the total Victor production (when added to the *  models listed above). These are still commonly found, but not seen quite as often as the * models. 

*** Refers to the next rarest tier of models whose cumulative production percentages cover 99.8% of the total Victor production (when added to the * and ** models listed above). These machines are not frequently found, and are of increasing interest to collectors. 

**** Refers to the final tier of rarest models whose cumulative production percentages cover from 99.8% to 100.0% (or 0.2%) of total Victor production. These are the rarest of all Victor phonographs, and are usually in high demand. 

These results appear to reasonably correlate with what most collectors consider as common or rare.


Valuation

Value is a very subjective parameter which is not easily calculated. The rankings here are based solely on my recent observations and experiences in the hobby. Dollar values are not specific, since so much depends on originality, condition of finish, and how badly the buyer wants the machine! I refrain from putting specific dollar values in for each model, since my experience with generalized "valuation charts" has always been problematic. Without actually seeing and inspecting a phonograph, most generalized dollar-specific summaries can lead to a lot of misinformation and confusion.  No doubt, some collectors will disagree with my summaries, and I will continue to refine these rankings as I continue to solicit input from experts.  Note that in many instances, value does not correspond with rarity. This is due to the fact that some machines are considered more collectible than others (e.g. external horn Victors are always desirable collector machines). In addition, the newer models tend to be less valuable than older ones. The value rules are as follows:

* Refers to Victor phonographs that are not likely to spur much interest amongst collectors unless the machine has an unusual finish or is in exceptional original condition. Valuation will be minimal on these models, typically in the $75-$300 range in average condition 

** Refers to Victor products that may generate some degree of buying interest to certain collectors, especially if the condition is good. Prices will usually be somewhat higher than * Victrolas, but not anywhere near the thousands of dollars that may be paid for a truly desirable machine. 

*** Refers to Victor products that will generate considerable interest amongst the majority of collectors. Selling prices for good quality examples in this category will typically be at least $500 and can range above $3000, depending on condition.

**** Refers to Victor products that will command the highest prices, well into many thousands (or tens of thousands) of dollars. These have a continual high demand amongst collectors. 

Note: For virtually every model, electric Victrola (VE) models have the same value as spring-wound (VV) Victrolas, even though there were considerably fewer electrics produced. This is primarily due to the fact that, except for the different motors, VE and VV models are identical in every respect. There is rarely a premium paid for electric Victrolas. Similar models are grouped together when the value is about the same for either model version (e.g. VV-215 & VV-S-215).


Approximate Production Volumes for Victor Products, including % of total (sorted highest to lowest), Rarity and Valuation

NOTE: Rarity and Value ratings are based on Mahogany or Oak finished machines. Machines with rare finishes or in absolute mint condition will always command higher prices from collectors. 

Production Numbers are best available estimates, based on company documents and/or database information.

Model Est. Production % of Production Total Cumulative Percentage Rarity Value
VV-XI 843,000 10.6% 10.6% * *
VV-VI 700,000 8.8% 19.4% * *
VV-IV 590,000 7.4% 26.9% * *
VV-X Floor Model w/ Enclosed Sides 552,000 7.0% 33.8% * *
VV-IX 521,300 6.6% 40.4% * *
VV 2-55 330,000 4.2% 44.6% * *
Consolette & VV 4-3 & Consolette X and VE 4-3 310,000 3.9% 48.5% * *
VV-XIV 252,000 3.2% 51.7% * *
VV-210 210,000 2.6% 54.3% * *
VV-100 195,000 2.5% 56.8% * *
R-32 190,000 2.4% 59.2% * *
VV-VIII 186,000 2.3% 61.5% * *
VV-80 185,000 2.3% 63.8% * *
VV-50 153,000 1.9% 65.8% * *
VV-XVI & VE-XVI w/ conventional doors 145,000 1.8% 67.6% * **
VV-215 & VV-S-215 131,000 1.7% 69.2% * *
Victor II 125,000 1.6% 70.8% * ***
RE-45 110,000 1.4% 72.2% * *
VV 4-40 & VE 4-40 107,000 1.3% 73.5% * *
Victor III 104,000 1.3% 74.9% * ***
Granada & VV 4-4 & Granada X & VE 4-4 99,000 1.2% 76.1% * *
Victor I 94,000 1.2% 77.3% * ***
Credenza and VV 8-30 & Credenza X and VE 8-30X 86,000 1.1% 78.4% * **
VV-90 85,000 1.1% 79.4% * *
VV 1-1 & Victrolita 85,000 1.1% 80.5% * *
VV 2-35 72,000 0.9% 81.4% ** *
VV 4-7 & VE 4-7 69,000 0.9% 82.3% ** *
VV-240 66,000 0.8% 83.1% ** *
Victor E 60,000 0.8% 83.9% ** ***
VV-35 60,000 0.8% 84.6% ** *
VV 2-60 59,000 0.7% 85.4% ** *
VV-260 54,000 0.7% 86.1% ** *
Victor O 51,000 0.6% 86.7% ** ***
Victor V 51,000 0.6% 87.3% ** ***
Monarch 50,000 0.6% 88.0% ** ***
VV-XVI with L-shaped Doors 48,000 0.6% 88.6% ** ***
VV 1-70 38,000 0.5% 89.1% ** **
VV 2-30 37,000 0.5% 89.5% ** *
R-52 35,000 0.4% 90.0% ** **
Victor IV 33,000 0.4% 90.4% ** ***
VV 4-20 & VE 4-20 32,000 0.4% 90.8% ** *
VV-300 & VE-300 29,000 0.4% 91.2% ** **
VV-405 & VV-S-405 & VE-405 & VE-S-405 28,500 0.4% 91.5% ** **
VV 8-12 VE 8-12X 28,000 0.4% 91.9% ** **
VV 7-11 & VE 7-11 X 26,000 0.3% 92.2% ** *
VV 8-4 & VE 8-4 X 25,500 0.3% 92.5% ** **
VV 1-5 25,000 0.3% 92.8% ** *
VV-111 & VE-111 24,000 0.3% 93.1% ** **
VV -220 & VE-220 24,000 0.3% 93.4% ** *
VV 1-2 & Alladin 22,500 0.3% 93.7% ** **
VV-110 22,000 0.3% 94.0% ** *
VV 1-90 22,000 0.3% 94.3% ** **
VV-XVII & VE-XVII 21,500 0.3% 94.5% ** ***
Colony 20,000 0.3% 94.8% ** *
Schoolhouse XXV 19,000 0.2% 95.0% ** ***
VV 1-6 16,700 0.2% 95.2% ** *
Victor Jr 16,000 0.2% 95.4% ** ***
Victor VI 16,000 0.2% 95.6% ** ****
VE 7-26 & VE 7-26X 16,000 0.2% 95.8% ** **
VV-X Tabletop Model 15,700 0.2% 96.0% ** **
VV-X Spider Leg Model 15,000 0.2% 96.2% ** **
VV-400 & VV-S-400 & VE-400 & VE-S-400 13,500 0.2% 96.4% ** **
RE-75 13,500 0.2% 96.6% ** **
VV-XIV Gold Hardware and Sliding Shelf 13,000 0.2% 96.7% ** ***
VV-280 13,000 0.2% 96.9% ** **
VV 7-3 & VE 7-3 X & VV 7-3 S 13,000 0.2% 97.1% ** *
VV-105 12,000 0.2% 97.2% ** **
VV 1-4 12,000 0.2% 97.4% ** **
VTLA Domed Lid 11,500 0.1% 97.5% ** ***
VE 10-50 X 11,300 0.1% 97.7% ** ***
Monarch Special 11,000 0.1% 97.8% ** ***
VV 8-35 & VE 8-35 X 10,500 0.1% 97.9% ** **
VV-XI Table Model 10,000 0.1% 98.1% ** **
VV 120 & VE-120 9,500 0.1% 98.2% *** **
VV 8-9 & VE 8-9 X 9,000 0.1% 98.3% *** **
VV-410 & VV-S-410 & VE-410 & VE-S-410 8,700 0.1% 98.4% *** **
VV 7-25 & VE 7-25 X 8,000 0.1% 98.5% *** **
R-20 6,400 0.1% 98.6% *** **
VV 7-10 & VE 7-10 X 6,000 0.1% 98.7% *** **
Cromwell 6,000 0.1% 98.7% *** **
VE 12-15 E 6,000 0.1% 98.8% *** **
VV-130 & VE-130 5,700 0.1% 98.9% *** ***
VE 9-40 X 5,100 0.1% 98.9% *** ***
VV-XII 5,000 0.1% 99.0% *** ***
Alhamdra I 5,000 0.1% 99.1% *** **
VV-230 & VE-230 4,200 0.1% 99.1% *** ***
VV-330 & VE-330 4,000 0.1% 99.2% *** ***
VV 7-30 & VE 7-30 X 4,000 0.1% 99.2% *** **
Florenza & Florenza X 4,000 0.1% 99.3% *** **
VV-XVIII & VE-XVIII 3,500 0.0% 99.3% *** ***
VE 8-60 X 3,500 0.0% 99.4% *** ***
VE 9-18 3,000 0.0% 99.4% *** **
VE 10-35 X 3,000 0.0% 99.4% *** ***
Revere 3,000 0.0% 99.5% *** **
VE 9-54 E 2,700 0.0% 99.5% *** ***
VE 10-70 X 2,600 0.0% 99.5% *** ***
VV-125 & VE-125 2,500 0.0% 99.6% *** ***
Borgia II 2,500 0.0% 99.6% *** ***
VE 12-25 X 2,200 0.0% 99.6% *** **
Hyperion 2,100 0.0% 99.7% *** ***
VTLA Flat Lid 2,000 0.0% 99.7% *** ***
VV 350 & VE-350 2,000 0.0% 99.7% *** ***
VV 8-7 2,000 0.0% 99.7% *** ***
VV 9-15 & VV 9-15 X 2,000 0.0% 99.8% *** **
VE 9-16 2,000 0.0% 99.8% *** **
VE 9-55 E 2,000 0.0% 99.8% *** ***
VE 10-69 E 1,900 0.0% 99.8% *** ***
Tuscany 1,700 0.0% 99.9% *** **
Borgia I 1,600 0.0% 99.9% **** ***
VV 8-8 1,200 0.0% 99.9% **** ***
VV-370 & VE-370 1,100 0.0% 99.9% **** ***
CD 10 & CD-20 & CD-30 & CD-60 1,100 0.0% 99.9% **** ***
VV-107 1,000 0.0% 99.9% **** ***
VE 9-25 E 1,000 0.0% 99.9% **** ***
Auxetophone 700 0.0% 100.0% **** ****
VE 10-50 U 700 0.0% 100.0% **** ***
RE-154 700 0.0% 100.0% **** ***
VV-XIII 662 0.0% 100.0% **** ***
VTLA Domed Lid and Gold Side Trim (VV-XX) 500 0.0% 100.0% **** ****
VV-360 & VE-360 500 0.0% 100.0% **** ***
VE 10-51 E 500 0.0% 100.0% **** ***
RE-156 500 0.0% 100.0% **** ***
VE 9-56 X 300 0.0% 100.0% **** ***
Alhambra II 250 0.0% 100.0% **** ***
Victor A ?       ****
Victor B ?       ****
Victor C ?       ***
Victor D ?       ***
Monarch Deluxe ?       ***
Monarch Junior ?       ***
Any Period Model (Sheraton, Gothic, etc.) ?     **** ****
SP (Special) Models ?     **** +
      +  Value will depend on veneers and design of special order machines

 

Return to Product Information Page