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Reserve price for S&G not met

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Sholes and Glidden eBay auction

Updating this previous post, a Sholes and Glidden typewriter — first offered at a starting price of $20,0001 — did not sell in a subsequent eBay auction; the reserve price was not met.

How much is a Sholes & Glidden typewriter worth? This recent auction is certainly one indicator, but I do recall another S&G sold some years ago for upwards of $15,000 (anyone remember that machine? it had a known history). These machines may be worth that much, but how many willing buyers are there?

© 2015, Mark Adams. All rights reserved.

  1. Corrected from original post. []
{ 4 comments… add one }
  • Richard P May 14, 2015, 2:34 am

    I suspect that if the decorations had been original on this machine, it would have reached $15K+.

    It’s always guesswork with antique typewriters, though.

    • Mark Adams May 14, 2015, 3:11 am

      Regarding the decorations, those were added by Remington in the 1870s? One might regard them as authentic to the period, though not original to the machine? (vs. someone painting them today…?)

  • Richard P May 14, 2015, 3:49 pm

    No, I don’t think those are decorations from the 1870s. See the item description:

    “This typewriter paint is fully restored … This machine has an ‘A’ serial number prefix, around 1875, which indicates it was one of the early machines refurbished at the factory and one of the common procedures of the time was to dip strip the machine and repaint it. When they did that they did not replace the original hand painted decorations but simply added some pinstripping [sic] over the newly painted black machine.”

    This is not 100% clear, but I believe what they’re saying is that this machine had been repainted a simple black by Remington. Then, the modern collector chose to have it redone so that it looked more like it did when it came out of the factory the first time (with painted decorations and decals). If you look at the photos, the decorations really look new.

    The machine that didn’t sell is A1101. Compare my A1119:
    http://site.xavier.edu/polt/typewriters/mysholes.jpg
    It looks plain and beaten-up, but I would never redo it to look like the machine that was offered on eBay. Such a thing is pretty, yes, but it has been altered in a way that I find unacceptable for such a historic machine.

    • Mark Adams May 16, 2015, 9:39 pm

      Thanks, that helps considerably. The seller’s description is a bit vague and the machine does look suspiciously restored — $12,000+ may well be a fair price for this machine.

      I quite agree that it is unacceptable to alter historic machines. Apart from removing grime and dirt, I do not attempt any greater restoration on my rare typewriters.

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