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At The Auction
Two Bettini cylinder boxes

Considering that I haven't spent that much time on Ebay lately, I've come up with quite a selection of items this time that I may not get to them all.

Hiller Talking Clock

In the category of recording media I came across three auctions for Bettini cylinder boxes. Phonograph pioneer Gianni Bettini, whose Micro-Phonograph recorders and reproducers are considered highly collectable, marketed these rare cylinders. The first cylinder box which sold for $169.50 (all prices in $US) was the highly illustrated style and came with a cylinder that was not, as I gathered, a Bettini cylinder. The other two boxes were the more familiar and desirable solid red container with black writing and each sold in the neighborhood of $250.00. If only these boxes had their cylinders!

Wurlitzer Debutante Jukebox Prototype

If you really have some money to splurge, consider bidding on some of the later 5000 series Blue Amberols, one of which, # 5716 titled Kansas City Kitty by Billy Murray and His Merry Melody Men, recently sold for $2,525.00. You unfortunately missed some Columbia 6 inch cylinders, which sold as a lot with a few Edison Gold molded cylinders for an outstanding $2,225.00.

If you would like to move up into the 1940ís and collect something that is still affordable, a few good deals can be had similar to the cerise (orange) coloured 45 RCA record Arthur Big Boy Crudupís Thatís all Right Mama which sold for a reasonable $148.50.

Regina music box with rare outside horn

Getting to the really rare and good stuff, I found a Hiller Talking Clock from about 1911 which sold for $3,700.00. As with all the examples I have heard about, the celluloid tape that contains the recording was missing. Other unusual items were a Regina music box with the rare Reginaphone outside horn feature that adapts it to play 78 RPM records. This item went unsold with an opening bid of $6,200.00.

The final item I can fit in this month is a Wurlitzer Debutante Jukebox Prototype from around 1932. This model design was purchased by the Wurlitzer Company to be utilized as a test model for the marketability of jukeboxes. This one, which the seller believes may be one of only two known examples, sold for $4,400.00 plus 15% buyers premium (for live auctions).