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Is this possibly a Pathéphone No. 4?

Posted: Sun Jun 03, 2018 4:30 pm
by Governor Bearing
Dear all, My first post (aged 50 + ¼)! I've recently been working on the attached Pathé disc machine which I bought last year by (remote) auction. But I'm lacking sufficient knowledge to identify it; it seems similar to a Pathéphone 4 whose images I've found on-line but I can't find anything similar in any of my text books (however, I don't have the "compendium"!) Attached are a few photos of the cleaned-up machine - still lacking a suitable horn. The clues might be: the stop/start lever is the simple pull-push (not the "flick" device), the motor is attached to the motor board (not the base), the number "17552" is stamped on the case and on the motor, there are no apparent nail/screw holes where a name plate could have been attached. The back bracket show faint signs of gold paint and I'm guessing that the decal which should adorn the front of the case has been cleaned off many years ago. Any advice gratefully received!
p.s. I have enjoyed and learned much from reading posts over a few years! You do a great service!

Re: Is this possibly a Pathéphone No. 4?

Posted: Sun Jun 03, 2018 6:26 pm
by phonogfp
Your machine does appear to be a Pathéphone No.4, in what may be a custom-designed cabinet for a particular retailer. I checked the Compendium for you, but there was only the conventional No.4 there. However, in Discovering Antique Phonographs there are machines that might be siblings to yours (click twice on the image to enlarge it):
From "Discovering Antique Phonographs" by Fabrizio & Paul.  All Rights Reserved.
From "Discovering Antique Phonographs" by Fabrizio & Paul. All Rights Reserved.
Again, the machines pictured above have a different cabinet than yours, but perhaps the No.4 was retailed by several firms who required a unique cabinet design. It's a theory anyway.

Sorry I couldn't be more helpful.

George P.

Re: Is this possibly a Pathéphone No. 4?

Posted: Mon Jun 04, 2018 5:39 am
by CarlosV
It is a Pathéphone 4. It was sold with variants on the top and corner decorations, as shown in both sets of photos above (also the arm could be all black or have gold fillets). Both models, yours and the one shown in the book photo, were production models and not special purpose. The absence of the metal label is not surprising, the models that Pathé sold outside France usually did not have such label. It should have the decal on the front panel, though. It may have been removed by a previous owner, as they are very exposed and tend to easily be damaged by accidental rubbing.

You can find horns for them if you search the French ebay, there are plenty for sale, although it is not easy to find well-preserved original painting (as happens with most painted horns, anyway).

Re: Is this possibly a Pathéphone No. 4?

Posted: Mon Jun 04, 2018 5:17 pm
by Governor Bearing
That's very kind of both of you to provide such comprehensive responses. I'm supposing that there is no ready reference available for identifying more from the serial number mentioned in my initial post? My final task would be to brush up on my O-level French so that I can search for a suitable horn on French e-bay. Is it possible that the "discobolus" decal was never applied to the cabinet because it predates 1908 when that became commonplace? Many thanks again, Mark

Re: Is this possibly a Pathéphone No. 4?

Posted: Mon Jun 04, 2018 5:48 pm
by Sidewinder
Someone is not going to be happy with me :cry:

The first set of photo's show a Pathé 4 (great restoration!)

Pictures 3-80 & 3-81 are a Pathé 6, also sold by Girard.

The first set of Pathé disc machines were A B C D E (but there was also a G which was in fact a D with a different bracket)

The 1908/9 launched models were models 2 4 6 8 10 12 14

But depending on which country the machine was marketed.....sometimes 12 became 120

Discobolus was sometimes there sometimes not - have not fully understood the logic.

Re: Is this possibly a Pathéphone No. 4?

Posted: Tue Jun 05, 2018 3:56 am
by CarlosV
Hmmm, a discussion on Pathé's standards is always interesting, as they did not follow any cartesian production pattern like Victor or HMV. Now, when I looked at the picture of the nr 4 in the catalogue below, it seemed to me as a variant of the one shown in the book - with a different speed control but with decorations on the top corners, which the other does not have. I have both models in discussion, I will check tonight what numbers (or letters) they carry on their cases.

As to the lettering/numbering, as I understand it, Pathé started with letters (their model A being the first disc machine they produced. Later on, when they created the brand 'Pathéphone' the machines were numbered (1 to 17), and some years after they added a zero, the model 120 being the same as the prior model 12.

Re: Is this possibly a Pathéphone No. 4?

Posted: Tue Jun 05, 2018 7:57 am
by Sidewinder
Hi Carlos, if you could please show me a Pathé horn phonograph, no 1, 3, 5, 7, 9, 11, I would be mighty impressed :-)

the 1908 range:
Pathé 2 was a simple cabinet
Pathé 4 as above post 1
Pathé 6 as in the book Pictures 3-80 & 3-81
Pathé 8 even more elaborate cabinet
Pathé 10 very understated large mahogany colored cabinet
Pathé 12 large and decorative case, quarter veneered panels, larger horn support than models 2-8

Re: Is this possibly a Pathéphone No. 4?

Posted: Wed Jun 06, 2018 3:04 am
by CarlosV
From their initial series, I have a Pathé A (not a Pathéphone), which has a front mounted horn and is the first disc machine they produced, and a Pathé D (the one with a lid). Pathéphones, I have 4, 6, 12 and 17. I also have the Concert, a large and very elaborate case designed to play the 50 cm discs, the little Jeunesse and a later coin op. I will take some photos over the weekend and post them.

Some of the Pathé models like the Pathéphone 17 are very, very elusive and makes one wonder how many were sold.

Re: Is this possibly a Pathéphone No. 4?

Posted: Sat Jun 09, 2018 4:48 pm
by Governor Bearing
At the risk of deviating from the subject too far: "my other Pathé" is a table top "Mikado" about which I have found out very little on t'internet. I changed it back from a previous (rather hatchet job) lateral cut conversion to vertical cut, but apologies for the rather basic job done to the tone arm. But what interests me with the Pathé machines is the quirky engineering solutions which have been employed (either to circumvent patents or just do things in a slightly "French" and artistic way. You can forgive them for putting up some resistance at Agincourt, Crecy and Waterloo when they come up with designs like this :oops: