The subject of music on record is a speciality in itself and although I have a working knowledge of the subject I make no claims to detailed expertise. However, depending on what you have and how many records are involved I will gladly ‘point you’ at someone who I believe may be able to help you.
78 records are somewhat like coins and stamps in that they are very plentiful and surprisingly inexpensive when their age is considered. This is because supply greatly exceeds demand for easily-found records and as a result common titles have little or no value. Records made by very well-known artistes- Gracie Fields, Bing Crosby and Jack Hylton’s Band, for example, sold in huge quantities and fall into this category. Remember that the same goes for records by the great classical artists such as Caruso and Gigli.
Classical Orchestral records in album sets will almost certainly be of no commercial value. That goes for the D'Oyly Carte Gilbert and Sullivan operatic sets, too.
Unless you have already done so- it is really not worth making detailed lists of the records you have for sale. Most buyers would greatly prefer to ‘see for themselves’ as condition is everything. A few example titles read over the phone will give a knowledgeable prospective buyer a good feeling for the general ‘tone’ of a collection.
If you still feel that what you have may still be saleable I can recommend the following two buyers for CLASSICAL records in quantity;
In the NORTH of England; Joe Winstanley (on the Wirral) 0151.334 7085
(Joe will also consider the purchase of collections of Classical L.P.s (12” 33 rpm records) if in good to very good condition.
In the SOUTH of England; Raymond Glaspole (Oxford) 01865 763791
and for JAZZ records in quantity;
In the MIDLANDS AND NORTH; Mark Beresford 01773 550275
In the SOUTH of England; Steve Paget 01689 823277
I am interested to buy Edison and other makes of cylinder record. I also hold a stock of several hundred cylinders for sale, but their extreme fragility means that I prefer to sell them to callers rather than risk the post or shipping.
Basic cylinder information
There are two main materials in cylinder manufacture commonly encountered. The earlier type which is usually made of wax and the later (post 1908) type made of blue celluloid with a plaster ‘core’ the surface of which may be in greatly varying shades of the colour from a bright ‘French’ blue through to a shade so dark as to be almost black. These are just factory variations and do not affect value or interest of themselves.
Wax cylinders may be either brown or black depending on their period of manufacture. They are all very fragile and all susceptible to bacterial mould which is visible as a grey or white ‘clouding’ on the record’s surface. When this happens it can not be ‘cleaned off’ as the white or grey areas represent where the recorded grooves have been literally ‘eaten away’ by bacterial action. It is for personal inspection to judge whether a record is still playable or only fit for destruction.
NOTE; Please do not be tempted to ‘try’ the cylinders on any machine you may have as a damaged or inappropriate stylus will badly damage the cylinder’s surface on first contact. Some Edison black wax cylinders may be of four minute (rather than two minute) duration. These have serial numbers on their rims starting with the digits 4M.
The various types of cylinder each require a specialised soundbox with which to play them. It is best not to experiment!
There are several unusual formats of cylinder which may be larger or brightly coloured. These only occur infrequently and can be dealt with separately when and if the occasion arises.