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 Post subject: Re: SOLD! Victor VV-XX VTLA - $7500
PostPosted: Fri Oct 16, 2020 5:59 pm 
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Victor III
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Posts: 669
Location: New Hampshire
I can only hope you keep this one and stop sprucing up any others.
I believe you spruced up the one I was bidding on in Maine a few years ago.


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 Post subject: Re: SOLD! Victor VV-XX VTLA - $7500
PostPosted: Fri Oct 16, 2020 6:26 pm 
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Victor VI
Joined: Mon Oct 03, 2011 7:54 pm
Posts: 3136
I am also in the "no" camp. I'm kind of a minimalist about restoring. I'm OK with cleaning, mechanical repair, scratch cover/fill, veneer repair, etc. I'm on the fence about re-plating, but if a part looks bad, I'm usually OK with it if it's done properly. But generally, I'd rather not do much more than that to any machine I own.

I recently got a common Edison C-19 that had clearly been in a flood. I am restoring it and admittedly "souping it up" a bit, adding a long play kit for example, but that's something that's correct for the machine and can be undone easily.

I'm not OK with things that are not reversible, and I'm really not OK when those things change the character of a nice, generally original machine, particularly one that's rare and difficult to replace.

In this case, you lost me with the gold leaf. I've seen a few of these that have been treated this way, and they are certainly eye-popping. The thing is, none of them, as far as anyone can tell, were ever that bold and bright. I have no doubt that the machine looks great in its new home, and Raphael can of course do whatever he likes with it. Having said that, one of the usual rules most of us live by is, "we don't own the machines, we are just the caretakers for the next generation." IMHO, dressing this up like this fails to live up to that standard.

I have never been in the market for an XX, and even if I won the lottery tomorrow, it wouldn't be on my "must have" list. Having said that, if I wanted one, I would definitely be looking for one much more like the "before" pictures than the "after". I personally feel that this was a perfectly good restoration without the gold leaf application, but now it is the very example of "over-restored".

Raphael's point about houses full of antiques is well-taken too. Indeed, I can see why someone who is more interested in decorative value might might something like this, but as a phonograph collector, it's definitely not for me.
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EDIT: I have left my comments above intact, but if you scroll down farther in the thread, you'll see that additional pictures have now been added. These pictures show a much more "antiqued" look to the gold finish that is much closer to the original. While I stand by my comment that I would prefer the original, the restored version now appears to be more to the spirit of preservation than the "over restoration" I mentioned above. I hope Raphael gets many years of enjoyment from this.


Last edited by 52089 on Sun Oct 18, 2020 6:02 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: SOLD! Victor VV-XX VTLA - $7500
PostPosted: Fri Oct 16, 2020 8:10 pm 
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Victor VI
Joined: Tue Jan 21, 2014 12:55 am
Posts: 3088
Location: Eugene/ Springfield Oregon USA
Sorry, but I am going to disagree with most of the above post.

1. The before picture shows AGE, and age is not original. Period. End of that chapter.
2. As proud as Victor was of their gold plating, trying to sell me the idea that the original gold leaf on these machines was anything less than brilliant is a non- starter.

3. What Jonsheff does is restoring. To me, what's been done to this machine is more of a conservation. I wouldn't call it restored at all, any more than an outside respray of a classic car is "restored".

The part of the above post that I do WHOLEHEARTEDLY agree with is that one shouldn't perform modifications on a rare machine that cannot be reversed, unless the machine is a total basket case- even then I'd think twice, maybe thrice.

General comments directed at the situation and no particular posters:

If you would prefer the original condition of the machine, and you own it, I have zero arguments with you keeping it that way. However, I think it's in complete poor taste and beneath the dignity of this forum and hobby to berate and insult someone for doing a good job of conservation just because it doesn't fit YOUR worldview. You may as well talk the same smack about the Smithsonian and every other museum out there, then, as well as the Sistine Chapel and other art works like that.

And that's the truth.

Image

:D
"He who dies with the most shellac wins"- some nutty record geek


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 Post subject: Re: SOLD! Victor VV-XX VTLA - $7500
PostPosted: Fri Oct 16, 2020 8:53 pm 
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Victor II
A man is not a man who does not make the world a better place
Joined: Thu Jan 15, 2009 7:46 pm
Posts: 383
Location: Arizona
The only reason that I am responding on this post is that I was on my computer rather than my phone when viewing this. I have been a full time art and antique restorer for over 40 years and I agree with what Gramophone-George has posted.

The subject of restoration has been a sticky one weather it relates to art, cars, antiques or phonographs. And to make matters worse it also comes down to the audience that you are working towards. Many of the statements are from seasoned collectors, but to be honest I have seen machines in homes that I would not have in mine (OK maybe because my wife would not let me bring it in...)

To put this another way, I am a master level judge for the NCRS (National Corvette Restorers Society) and helped to form what has now become the "Survivors" classification that is being used by many car clubs to judge existing, non-restored original cars. But it has taken a very long time to create the necessary criteria. At first we saw cars that had paint flaking off-not small little areas but whole panels-but it was the original paint-what was left of it. Interiors that were complete originals but had holes with stuffing coming out. And cars that were complete, original, but a mess that I would not really want to be in. Then the term "worn, but not worn out" was created for our judging standard and it turned our judging standards up side down and we continue to work on refining its components

I really do not know Raphel, nor have I purchased anything from him, but I think he was very careful with this machine. I would have added it to my collection as it was, and yes might have done some sympathetic restoration work on it, but would still add it now. I like machines to be in as fine a condition as I can find and yes afford. But from Raphael's view he is a very complex position. People who are not collectors will always buy condition, weather it is "restored or original" and he needs to work in both camps collector or casual purchaser (who may spend large dollars to get that one machine that they are attracted to). When I view his website I note that not every item is perfect, but always in very nice condition.

I applaud his decision to post this machine to our forum so that we can see it in both states, but the debate about restoration is like religion and each of us that is in this "restoration field" or wish to comment on it, has to choose their own path without debasing others and their choices.

I say "well Done"

Abe


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 Post subject: Re: SOLD! Victor VV-XX VTLA - $7500
PostPosted: Fri Oct 16, 2020 9:28 pm 
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Victor IV
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Those who were seen dancing were thought insane by those who could not hear the music. Nietzsche
Joined: Wed Jun 13, 2012 1:55 am
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Location: Tucson, AZ
Abe, you saved me some time in composing reply.

In addition, for me, the restored machine would be moved into my living room before the other. That is purely based on its enhanced beauty. It is importance to note that I feel that they are both beautiful and doesn't take value into consideration.

I see enough issues in the finish for it to need attention. In my house, Raphael's instruction to his refinisher has not gone beyond necessary. It will age again.

James.


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 Post subject: Re: SOLD! Victor VV-XX VTLA - $7500
PostPosted: Fri Oct 16, 2020 9:51 pm 
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Victor I
Joined: Sun Mar 23, 2014 11:10 am
Posts: 147
In my opinion the before or the after would be welcome in my collection, but I always think long and hard before I alter the finish on a original machine, of course if it is so worn or damaged it is unsightly the decision is easier, one can always change their mind and decide to alter an original finish but you can't reverse that process after the deed is done. I have had a couple of XX's, both I did not alter the original finish, attached are a couple of pictures of a XX I have owned for over 20 years , it seems to be about the same condition as the before photos of Raphael's example and I would not dream of refinishing it. But to some they might, I believe we are just curators of these pieces of history and we should proceed with caution on any restoration. But to each his own.


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 Post subject: Re: SOLD! Victor VV-XX VTLA - $7500
PostPosted: Fri Oct 16, 2020 9:53 pm 
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Victor VI
Joined: Mon Nov 16, 2009 10:42 am
Posts: 3704
Location: Western Canada
Out of respect to the members that post their "wants" and "for sale" items.....why is this opinion seeking discussion posted in our Yankee Trader section...?


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 Post subject: Re: SOLD! Victor VV-XX VTLA - $7500
PostPosted: Fri Oct 16, 2020 9:56 pm 
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Victor III
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Joined: Sat Jul 14, 2012 9:44 am
Posts: 921
Location: Davie, FL
gramophone78 wrote:
Out of respect to the members that post their "wants" and "for sale" items.....why is this opinion seeking discussion posted in our Yankee Trader section...?


It's posted here because it is a continuation of the original For Sale thread. If it should be moved, I am sure Mordeth will do so.

Raphael


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 Post subject: Re: SOLD! Victor VV-XX VTLA - $7500
PostPosted: Fri Oct 16, 2020 10:08 pm 
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Victor III
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Joined: Sat Jul 14, 2012 9:44 am
Posts: 921
Location: Davie, FL
With respect to the gold trim, a few notes:

1. Victor's ads at the time showed a very bright gold finish. Another thread on this Forum a few years ago had more specific information and a copy of the color advert.

2. I am not a professional photographer. In fact my son, and others have recently been cajoling me to up my game in this regard. Thus,it does appear that the lights and flash that I am using with my camera settings is brightening the gold trim in the pictures considerably more than the in-person view.

With respect to the naysayers, I fully understand their preferences and continued this thread in order to open the discussion and learn more. Opinions are one thing, but learning the how's and why's of their formation is another.

May I also add that I have not done anything to this machine in pursuit of profit. The economics are totally wrong. It was purely for my own enjoyment, and I am keeping it for myself.

Raphael


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 Post subject: Re: SOLD! Victor VV-XX VTLA - $7500
PostPosted: Fri Oct 16, 2020 10:37 pm 
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Victor III
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Joined: Fri Aug 20, 2010 7:48 am
Posts: 669
Location: New Hampshire
Raphael wrote:
With respect to the gold trim, a few notes:

1. Victor's ads at the time showed a very bright gold finish. Another thread on this Forum a few years ago had more specific information and a copy of the color advert.

Raphael


This post is active because you asked for opinions.

Those are artists renditions on a 2" x 4" picture. You are mistaken if you believe any had that level of gold decoration.

I find it funny that I received comments from others on the forum, "I wish I hadn't seen the after pictures", but they would never post their opinions. I guess I am not that nice and not apologizing for it. It is nice that your historical perspective is controlled by your wife's opinion on what fit's in the living room. It is great that your living room is so perfect that a 100 year old Victrola can't look like it is 100 years old. I really think the owner can do what he wants. Seems like there is an over polished XX on e-Bay all the time. I don't see the need for others. I guess if we over restore all that exist no one will remember what they are supposed to look like.


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