When I first wrote about this eBay auction, I questioned whether any Brother typewriter was worth more than $150. I never anticipated that this De Luxe would fetch $620. According to the bid history, once the price surpassed $45, only three people participated in the auction: k***i (115), i***0 (169) and r***_ (414).1 They each placed bids of at least $450!
But $620? I note that an ultra-rare Nintendo tape recently sold for over $99,000, only to be re-listed after the high bidder declined to pay (see here). Will the winning bid for the De Luxe hold?
The history of the three participants is interesting: 85 percent of i***0 (169)’s bidding is with theoldstereoguy; 39 percent of k***i (115)’s; and, 21 percent of r***_ (414)’s.2 I don’t know enough about eBay auctions to offer an interpretation of this data, so I hesitate offer any, but it does seem logical that people interested in the same things would encounter one another on eBay.
Now, I’m left wondering why this De Luxe was worth so much.
Here are my top five reasons for why this machine sold for $620 —
- The typewriter was once owned by George Lucas and used to write the first draft of Star Wars, which was originally entitled Starfire.
- The typewriter was the first to be taken into outer space on Apollo 10.
- It was owned by a consul or diplomat of a former Eastern bloc nation — the ribbon is the real prize as it possibly contains sensitive information about the infamous Zeta operation in Czechoslovakia.3
- It was originally a gift from the Japanese royal family to an English monarch.
- Pressing the red tab button while depressing the “s” and “g” keys transforms the machine into a Sholes & Glidden (a little known feature on the De Luxe).
© 2014, Mark Adams. All rights reserved.