The Victor-Victrola Page
Victor Production Volume Ranking, Rarity and Value Estimates
This page summaries the factory production data rankings, and explains the methods for determining approximate value and rarity of each machines by model. The model-by-model summary table appears at the bottom of this page.
While almost any Victor Product is an interesting piece of history, the majority of these phonographs one may encounter today will be neither rare nor particularly valuable. More than 8,200,000 Victors and Victrolas were produced between 1906 and 1929, and it has been estimated (based on a statistical analysis of surviving examples) that well over 600,000 are still around in 2020.
To gain a better perspective of the rarity of any particular model of Victor Talking Machines, we must defer to the original production data. Nearly 50% of Victor's entire product output between 1901 and 1929 can be attributed to just the top-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 about 50% that Grandma's Victrola sitting up in the attic is going to be one of these 7 popular models, and probably won't have much value unless it is in absolute mint condition. Nonetheless, one will often see a very common Victrola model such as these with an asking price of $2,000.00 or more on EBay, although such a machine will not actually sell for anywhere near that amount. There are simply too many of them still around. However, rare models do show-up on occasion, and we know of several lucky people who have come across some amazing finds in recent years.
There is often a very poor correlation between rarity (low production volume) and selling prices in the current market. For example, it is estimated that only 1,000 of the Victrola VV-107 were made, making it one of the scarcest Victrola models ever produced. However, selling prices for this model have been weak in recent years, reflecting a lack of interest in its boxy design and lack of elegant trim.
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 attic-stored condition might sell for around $150.00 at auction, while the same machine in mint original condition might bring well over $800.00 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.
Classifying rarity is a difficult task, as it is necessary to take into account not only how many examples of a particular model were produced, but what the current collector community considers common vs. rare. A particular Victor phonograph such as the "Granada", whose production run of nearly 100,000 units between 1925 and 1927, represents only 1.11% of Victor's total phonograph output (calculated as 100,000/8,225,695). While this might seem like a very small percentage, the Granada would hardly be considered "rare" by most collectors today, as an awful lot were produced, and they are still very commonly found.
In an attempt to develop some statistical methodology into the rarity estimation process, all of Victor's US-made models were classified in descending order of production (from the highest production model to lowest production model), the production percentage is then calculated (model production/total production) and a running sum of these production percentages was tallied down the chart. For example, the VV-XI Floor Model represents 10.37% of total Victor production and the VV-VI is next in line with 8.49% of total production. The cumulative sum of these two models represents 18.86% of total production. Then we add the VV-IV (7.15% of total) to get a cumulative total of 26.01% of total production. This means that these three models alone represent over one-fourth of all Victor products ever produced.
This "running total" process was continued until all models were included, and the total of the cumulative tally represented 100% of Victor's production.
Using this method, the following rules were used to determine rarity:
to the most popular machines whose cumulative production percentages span 80% of the total Victor production. These machines are found very frequently.
** MODERATELY COMMON 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 frequently seen in auctions and swap meets, but not quite as often as the * models.
*** UNCOMMON 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 in general are of increasing interest to collectors.
**** RARE Refers to the final tier of rarest models whose cumulative production percentages cover from 99.8% to 100.0% (or 0.2%) of Victor's total production. These are the rarest of all Victor phonographs, and are often in high demand.
These results appear to reasonably correlate with what most collectors consider to be "common" or "rare". However, readers should be aware that the date of manufacture will also determine the rarity of examples found today. For example, almost 70,000 Victor "B" models were produced in 1901 and 1902. These machines would have been 20 years old when a 1922 "Victrola 100" was sold; therefore many of the early examples would have already been trashed by the time the 1922 machines were being offered. So it is certain that a smaller percentage of the total production of "B" models remain with us today. While the Victor B is not considered "rare" based on production output, it would certainly be considered an uncommon find today.
In addition, there was a strong tendency to junk low-cost machines after they had become worn-out or outdated. High-end machines were much less likely to be destroyed, as the deluxe cabinets and gold-plated hardware remained more appealing to keep stored in the attic than a basic oak "box" that was lying in a corner. An elegant VV-XVIII that came off the assembly line in 1915 is much more likely to have survived than a plain 1915 VV-IV model. Based on the survival database, over 17% of the XVIII models that were manufactured are still with us, while only about 1.7% of the total production of VV-IV models remain. But bear in mind that only about 4,000 XVIII's were made, and well over 500,000 VI's came off the assembly line, so even with the huge difference in survival rates, there are still a lot more VI's around today than XVIII's. This is especially true with external horn models. The basic Victor O and Victor Jr. machines were made in considerable quantities, but few have survived since they were considered to be toys (plus they were not particularly well-made), and were trashed once they became damaged or worn-out. So while we can calculate relative scarcity based on original production numbers, we can't yet calculate how many of each model has likely survived, and therefore can't determine the true rarity today. As the survival database grows in size, we will be able to better estimate actual rarity and survival odds using statistical methods.
Determining Value Ranking
Value is a very subjective parameter which is not easily calculated or summarized. The value rankings shown here are based on our recent observations and experiences in the marketplace for the ten-year period between 2010 and 2020, as well as from input from experts in the hobby. The phonograph market is very soft now, and values will change quickly when general economic conditions deteriorate or when new collectors appear to drive-up the prices of certain models. Dollar values included herein are categorized in a very general and "soft" manner, since so much depends on originality, condition of finish, and how badly the buyer wants the machine!. Without actually seeing and inspecting a phonograph, and determining type of finish, condition and other unique features, any generalized "value chart" will often lead to a great many errors and misconceptions. So, we keep our value ranges in a generalized format to give readers a rough idea of current worth. No doubt, many collectors will disagree with these conclusions, and we will continue to refine these rankings based on ongoing 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). Condition is everything with antiques. This is a factor that must be taken into account in determining a true market value.
The valuations assume that machines that are unrestored, complete and correct, and in 'above-average' (Good) condition. Mint original examples will always command higher prices.
Value Rankings are based on Mahogany or Oak machines. Machines with rare finishes can command a significant premium.
The "Value Ranking" criteria 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 $50-$200 range
** Refers to Victor products that may generate a mild degree of buying interest to certain collectors, especially if the condition is exceptionally good. Prices will usually be a bit higher than the "*" models, 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 run from $500 to well above $2000, depending on the specific model and 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 market value as spring-wound (VV) Victrolas, even though there were considerably fewer electrics produced. This is primarily due to the fact that, except for motors, VE and VV models are identical in every respect. There is rarely a premium paid for electric Victrolas.
Summary Table of
Production Volumes, Rarity and Valuation for Victor Products sorted highest to
Total production output for all Victor & Victrola models is currently estimated at 8,225,695 units. This figure will change regularly as new production information comes available.
Model types with slightly different features are grouped together (e.g. VV-215 Victrola & VV-S-215 "Radio Adaptable" Victrola).
Assumptions and Exceptions:
Production information is based on surviving factory records as well as from serial numbers on nearly 200,000 Victor machines logged in the survival database. In some cases, significant conflicts exist between these two sources; the figures herein are based on the most probable (realistic) number as reviewed by a number of experts in the field. Numbers are corrected regularly based on new information which has been found.
Production figures are for Victor's, Camden NJ plant only. Machines produced or assembled in Canada or other countries are not included.
Factory production output for Camden-built machines intended solely for export is very limited, and may not be included in these summaries.
Production data from early external horn machines has not survived; therefore, the best we can do is make estimates based on serial numbers of surviving examples and assembling bits and pieces of early factory information. Benjamin Aldridge, a long-time Victor employee summarized production estimates back in the 1940's, but it is not clear if these figures were based on actual data, or if some were "educated guesses".
Victors and Victrolas which were produced
during the company's "economic crisis" of 1924-1925 were often pieced
together from remaining inventory, and shipped overseas. This includes
numerous older phonographs that had been stored in the factory for many
years prior. Tens of thousands of these phonographs were
likely not documented during this period, so it is probable that the
production figures for some later models are significantly understated
in this summary.
|Model||Production||Percentage of Total Production||Cumulative Percentages||Rarity||Value|
|VV-X Floor Model w/ Enclosed Sides||526,000||6.39%||39.32%||*||*|
|VV-XIV (Nickel Hardware)||255,000||3.10%||46.43%||*||*|
|Consolette & VV 4-3 & Consolette X and VE 4-3||241,400||2.93%||49.36%||*||*|
|VV-210 & VE-210 & VV-211 and VE-S-210||198,000||2.41%||51.77%||*||*|
|VV-80 & VE-80||185,000||2.25%||60.96%||*||*|
|VV-XVI & VE-XVI w/ conventional doors||137,000||1.67%||66.41%||*||**|
|VV-215 & VV-S-215||131,000||1.59%||68.00%||*||*|
|VV 4-40 & VE 4-40||107,000||1.30%||70.64%||*||*|
|Granada & VV 4-4 & Granada X & VE 4-4||91,500||1.11%||74.27%||*||*|
|Credenza and VV 8-30 & Credenza X and VE 8-30X||86,000||1.05%||75.31%||*||***|
|VV 1-1 & Victrolita||85,000||1.03%||77.38%||*||*|
|VV 4-7 & VE 4-7||70,000||0.85%||79.10%||*||*|
|Victor B (see footnote 1)||70,000||0.85%||79.96%||*||****|
|Victor E (see footnote 5)||60,000||0.73%||81.49%||**||***|
|Victor M (Monarch)||58,000||0.71%||83.64%||**||***|
|Victor P through P-3 (see footnote 5)||57,000||0.69%||84.33%||**||***|
|VV-XVI with L-shaped Doors||48,000||0.58%||87.48%||**||**|
|Victor R (Royal)||44,000||0.53%||88.02%||**||***|
|VV 4-20 & VE 4-20||32,000||0.39%||89.74%||**||*|
|VV-405 & VV-S-405 & VE-405 & VE-S-405||29,500||0.36%||90.10%||**||**|
|VV-300 & VE-300||29,000||0.35%||90.45%||**||*|
|VV 8-12 VE 8-12X||28,000||0.34%||90.79%||**||**|
|VV 7-11 & VE 7-11 X||26,000||0.32%||91.11%||**||*|
|VV 8-4 & VE 8-4 X||25,500||0.31%||91.42%||**||**|
|VV-111 & VE-111||24,000||0.29%||92.02%||**||**|
|VV-220 & VE-220||24,000||0.29%||92.31%||**||*|
|VV 1-2 & Alladin||22,500||0.27%||92.58%||**||**|
|VV-XVII & VE-XVII||21,500||0.26%||93.38%||**||***|
|MS (Monarch Special)||20,000||0.24%||94.11%||**||****|
|VV 7-30 & VE 7-30 X & VE 7-30S||16,000||0.19%||99.25%||**||*|
|VE 7-26 & VE 7-26X||16,000||0.19%||95.14%||**||*|
|Victor A (see footnote 1)||16,000||0.19%||95.34%||**||****|
|VV-X Tabletop Model||15,500||0.19%||95.53%||**||**|
|VV-X Spider Leg Model||15,000||0.18%||95.71%||**||**|
|VV-400 & VV-S-400 & VE-400 & VE-S-400||13,500||0.16%||95.87%||**||**|
|VV 7-3 & VE 7-3 X & VV 7-3 S||13,000||0.16%||96.35%||**||*|
|Victor D (see footnote 4)||12,000||0.15%||96.79%||**||***|
|VE 10-50 X||11,300||0.14%||96.93%||**||***|
|VV 8-35 & VE 8-35 X||10,500||0.13%||97.05%||**||***|
|VTLA Domed Lid||10,000||0.12%||97.18%||**||***|
|VV-XI Table Model||10,000||0.12%||97.30%||**||**|
|VE 10-35 X (see footnote 5)||10,000||0.12%||97.42%||**||***|
|VV 120 & VE-120||9,500||0.12%||97.53%||**||**|
|VV-XIV Gold Hardware and Sliding Shelf||9,200||0.11%||97.65%||**||***|
|VV 8-9 & VE 8-9 X||9,000||0.11%||97.76%||**||**|
|VV-410 & VV-S-410 & VE-410 & VE-S-410||8,700||0.11%||97.86%||**||**|
|VV 7-25 & VE 7-25 X||8,000||0.10%||98.06%||***||*|
|Victor C (see footnote 1)||7,000||0.09%||98.15%||***||****|
|VV 4-70 (see footnote 3)||6,533||0.08%||98.23%||***||**|
|VV 7-10 & VE 7-10 X||6,000||0.07%||98.38%||***||*|
|VE 12-15 E||6,000||0.07%||98.52%||***||**|
|VV-130 & VE-130||5,700||0.07%||98.59%||***||***|
|VE 9-40 E||5,100||0.06%||98.65%||***||**|
|Period Models (see footnote 2)||5,000||0.06%||98.84%||***||****|
|VV-XVIII & VE-XVIII||4,500||0.05%||98.95%||***||***|
|VV-230 & VE-230||4,200||0.05%||99.00%||***||***|
|VV-330 & VE-330||4,000||0.05%||99.05%||***||***|
|Florenza & Florenza X||4,000||0.05%||99.29%||***||**|
|VE 8-60 X||3,500||0.04%||99.34%||***||***|
|VE 9-54 E||2,700||0.03%||99.44%||***||***|
|VE 10-70 X||2,600||0.03%||99.48%||***||***|
|VV-125 & VE-125||2,300||0.03%||99.53%||***||***|
|VE 12-25 X||2,200||0.03%||99.56%||***||***|
|VTLA Flat Lid||2,000||0.02%||99.61%||***||****|
|VV 350 & VE-350||2,000||0.02%||99.63%||***||**|
|VV 9-15 & VV 9-15 X||2,000||0.02%||99.68%||***||**|
|VE 9-55 E||2,000||0.02%||99.73%||***||***|
|SP (Special) Models (see footnote 4)||2,000||0.02%||99.76%||***||****|
|VE 10-69 E||1,900||0.02%||99.80%||****||***|
|VV-360 & VE-360||1,400||0.02%||99.86%||****||**|
|VV-370 & VE-370||1,100||0.01%||99.89%||****||**|
|CD 10 & CD-20 & CD-30 & CD-60||1,100||0.01%||99.90%||****||***|
|VV 4-1 Consolette (see footnote 4)||1,050||0.01%||99.91%||****||*|
|VE 9-25 E||1,000||0.01%||99.94%||****||***|
|Auxetophone (see footnote 4)||700||0.01%||99.95%||****||****|
|VE 10-50 U||700||0.01%||99.96%||****||***|
|VTLA Domed Lid and Gold Side Trim (VV-XX)||500||0.01%||99.98%||****||****|
|VE 10-51 E||500||0.01%||99.98%||****||***|
|VE 9-56 X||300||0.00%||99.99%||****||****|
Note 1: Figures include estimated production of these models prior to the formation of The Victor Talking Machine Company in 1901. Eldridge Johnson (the founder of Victor) built phonographs from 1897-1901 under The Consolidated Talking Machine Company brand. The figures stated herein does not correlate with information which has been published in a number of reference books, much of which was based on estimates made in 1940's by Benjamin Aldridge. The current database information conflicts with the numbers claimed by Mr. Aldridge and others. Given the lack of verified factory logs from the early days of the company, we have estimated production based on serial number ranges in the survival database.
Note 2: Factory production tallies have not been found. Estimate is based on approximately 50 of each model and sub-model grouping having been produced. It is quite possible that this estimate is too high.
Note 3: Some data indicates that this model was produced in Montreal Canada, and not the Camden NJ plant
Note 4: Actual production output may be higher.
Note 5: Production total projected solely from serial numbers ranges of surviving machines