Collecting

Grandfather Clock

Q: I have a grandfather clock that I have been told was made in 1820 or maybe 1880. I would like to know how much it is worth. – Barbara, Albuquerque, N.M.

A: Let me see if I have this correct. You have a clock, and apparently don’t know the maker and aren’t even certain when it was made. Even though I can’t help you, you do have several options.

You can hire the services of a professional appraiser to document and research your clock. This would not be a free service, but in my opinion it is well worth the fee since it is not a guess but an expert opinion. Your second option is to contact clock dealers in your city for their input.

One of the better general references is the “Antique Trader Clocks Price Guide” edited by Kyle Husfloen (Krause Books, $17.95). This book features more than 1,400 entries covering timepieces from the 17th through the 20th centuries.

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Q: I have two Edison machines and am trying to find cylinders to play on them. I have searched antiques stores throughout my area but have been unable to locate more than two or three. Can you help me? – Steve, Rochester, N.Y.

A: Richard Gesner is the owner of The Music Connection, New Hampshire’s largest and oldest record shop. In addition to LPs, 45s, 78s, cassettes, compact discs and 8-tracks, Gesner has an excellent selection of Edison cylinders. He also stocks steel needles, record sleeves and Discwasher record-cleaning kits. His contact information is 1711 South Willow St., Manchester, NH 03103.

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Q: I found a record in my dad’s collection that I think could be valuable. It is Carl Sandburg’s “Flat Rock Ballads” on Decca. – Bob, El Paso, Texas

A: I found your recording referenced in “Goldmine Record Album Price Guide” by Dave Thompson (Krause, $27.99). According to Thompson, your record was issued in 1959 and is worth $20. The recently released 7th edition of this excellent guide is a must for collectors, since it has updated prices for more than 100,000 American vinyl LPs issued since 1948. It is easy to use with a well-organized format.

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