Copyright © Harry Rinker, LLC 2019

Questions and Answers

QUESTION: My parents owned a country store. Back in the 1960s, a Wurlitzer Multi-Selection Phonograph, Model 71 jukebox entertained customers. The cabinet model jukebox sits on a Wurlitzer base. When the store closed, I saved it. The power cord is dry rotted. It does not work. I doubt if they even make tubes for it. Does it have any value? – SMcC, Altoona, PA, Email Question

ANSWER: The worst case scenario is that your jukebox has value for its parts, especially given the fact that the case appears to be in very good condition. The two key question are (1) is the jukebox worth restoring and (2) what would be its worth if restored.

Liveauctioneers.com reports that Preston Opportunities of Newman, Georgia, sold a Wurlitzer Model 71 jukebox, estimated between $3,500.00 and $8,000.00 for $4,300.00 on May 17, 2014. On November 23, 2013, Hake’s Auction sold a “Wurlitzer Model 71 Counter Model Cabinet Jukebox” for $3,606.25, which included a 15% buyer’s penalty. A seller on http://phoenix.freeclassified.com posted a Wurlitzer Model 71 jukebox with stand (not a Wurlitzer stand) for $2,200.00. It is not clear if it sold.

The Phoenix seller noted the model dates from 1941. The website www.tomszone.jukeboxhistory.info dates the production period from 1941 to 1942.

WorthPoint.com’s most recent listing for a Wurlitzer Model 71 jukebox was October 15, 2017. It sold for $3,100.00. An example for a Model 71 resting on a different base sold on January 2, 2014 for $6,500.00. I found a base identical to the base on the previous listing that realized $2,200.00. It is possible that your example has a mismatched Wurlitzer base.

The surprise is that the Worthpoint.com listings were primarily for service manuals and Model 71 parts. I already was aware that replacing the vacuum tubes with modern replacement tubes does not present a problem.

Based on the above, the restored value for your Wurlitzer Model 71 counter top jukebox on its Wurlitzer stand is between $4,000.00 and $4,500.00.

An internet search for jukebox restorers resulted in a larger number of names than I expected. Contact restorers within driving distance. Make certain the restorer can work on older machines as well as modern examples. If the cost to restore the Model 71 is less than $2,000.00, I recommend restoring it before trying to sell it.

If you sell it as is, a reasonable offer is between $300.00 and $400.00. A potential buyer most likely will offer less because the price to restore it is unknown. A restorer might be willing to pay more. His restoration costs will be his time and parts. He may be willing to invest his time in hopes of a return greater than he might receive in restoring the machine.

QUESTION: I inherited a teapot from my mother who was married in 1958. Her German maiden name was Henn, which may explain why she was attracted to the design on the modernist coffeepot—an abstract, fanciful silhouette in black and gold of a rooster facing right and sitting atop a vine with three tulip-like leaves, two at the bottom and one at the top. I still make tea in the teapot which stands 6 1/2 inches high. Can you identify the maker, the pattern, the date it was made, and value? – HS, West Chester, PA, Email Question

ANSWER: Your teapot was marketed as a six-cup coffeepot. The coffeepot was part of a large dinnerware service in the “Good Morning” pattern made by Royal China. The pattern was introduced in 1958, the same year your parents married.

In 1933, Beatrice L. Miller, William H. Habenstreit, and John Bert Briggs purchased the former E. H. Sebring China Company, previously the Oliver China Company. Miller and Habenstreit were buyers of premiums for Proctor and Gamble and Quaker Oats. John Briggs, a potter who lived in Sebring, Ohio, became the production manager. In 1938, Kenneth Doyle developed an underglaze printing machine for Royal China. Royal China flourished during the 1940s, 1950s, and early 1960s. The George Pottery bought Royal China in 1962. After changing hands numerous times, it ceased operations in 1986.

The “Good Morning” pattern had its own backstamp. A tulip border surrounded a three- panel urn with a rooster’s head at its top and “GOOD / MORNING / By ROYAL” in the bands, MADE / IN / U.S.A” beneath the urn, and “SEALED UNDERGLAZE” in a reverse arch beneath that.

Pieces of Royal China’s “Good Morning” pattern dinnerware flood the internet, especially on eBay. The coffeepot sells through between $18.00 and $22.00. As an independent piece, it has strong decorative value and appeal to modernist collectors.

QUESTION: My wife found a painted side chair. It has an ox-bow crest with a shell cartouche at the top, a central fretted splat, saddle seat, and simple cyma carved legs. It is broken apart into three pieces. I have not tried to put it back together. What do I have and is it worth the effort? – BW, Oroville, CA, Email Question

ANSWER: You have a Colonial Revival Louis XV side chair that was manufactured in the 1920s or 1930s. Although in the style of Louis XV, the chair incorporates a variety of different period furniture designs, typical of Colonial Revival pieces. Louis XV side chairs usually had upholstered backs. Louis XVI side chairs were painted.

The demand for Colonial Revival French-style side chairs exists only in an urban market. Even there, the demand is minimal. In very good condition, an example of your chair would retail between $50.00 and $75.00.

Whether it is worth your time to rebuild and restore it is your call, albeit it may fall into the “if you love your wife…” action category. The cost to professionally restore the chair would be five to ten times above its final value.

In the future, encourage your wife to follow this adage: If it is broken, do not buy it.

QUESTION: I have a copy of “The Reach Official American League Baseball Guide 1908” that is complete and a copy of the 1909 edition that is missing its cover. I had a relative who played minor league baseball and his name appears in both editions. What is their value? – EN, Reading, PA, Email Question.

ANSWER: “Reach’s Official Base Ball Guide,” a direct competitor to the “Spaulding Guide” was published between 1883 and 1938. Albert Reach, a former star player, established A. J. Reach, the guide’s publisher. It was the official guide for the American League from 1902 until 1939. Wright and Ditson published the “Reach” guide from 1927 to 1934. American Sports Publishing was the publisher until 1939 when it merged with the “Spaulding Guide” and became the “Spaulding-Reach Guide.”

The missing cover of your 1909 guide impacts its value. You can remedy this by finding an institution who has a complete copy of the1909 guide and request a color photocopy of the cover.

WorthPoint.com listings for the 1908 guide include examples that sold for $19.00 (August 2018), $38.77 (January 2018), $32.00 (January 2018), and $66.50 (July 2017). As always there are internet sellers asking much higher prices. WorthPoint.com listings are sell-through prices. A reasonable price for your 1908 guide is between $35.00 and $45.00.

Prices for the 1909 guide are similar. The only difference in the cover is the date. Without a cover, the 1909 guide is worth between $15.00 and $20.00. A color photocopy of the cover should enhance the value by another five to ten dollars.

One additional note: The secondary market price for the guide appears to be decreasing. The above values are two-thirds to one-half those achieved in 2007-2010. Few new interested buyers are entering the market.

Harry L. Rinker welcomes questions from readers about collectibles, those mass-produced items from the twentieth and twenty-first centuries.  Selected letters will be answered in this column.  Harry cannot provide personal answers.  Photos and other material submitted cannot be returned.  Send your questions to: Rinker on Collectibles, 5955 Mill Point Court SE, Kentwood, MI 49512.  You also can e-mail your questions to harrylrinker@aol.com. Only e-mails containing a full name and mailing address will be considered.

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