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 Post subject: Sparton Bluebird
PostPosted: Sep Tue 22, 2020 7:46 pm 
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Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
Posts: 136
Location: Saint Johns, FL, USA
I ran across a Sparton Bluebird listed for auction at: https://www.liveauctioneers.com/item/89504467_sparton-bluebird-round-mirror-radio . It looks pretty much complete except for an obvious capacitor replacement, but the chrome is in bad shape. The glass appears to have some sort of "chalky" discoloration and possibly a ding above the dial. I would like to have one of these, but am thinking this one would not be worth what it would take to get it, particularly when a 28% buyers premium is added in. Any ideas as to what it is actually worth?


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 Post subject: Re: Sparton Bluebird
PostPosted: Sep Tue 22, 2020 8:28 pm 
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Joined: Aug Sat 16, 2014 2:19 am
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Location: Palos Verdes, CA
There was a recent discussion about the value of a Sparton Bluebird that might interest you:

viewtopic.php?f=1&t=383520


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 Post subject: Re: Sparton Bluebird
PostPosted: Sep Wed 23, 2020 1:14 am 
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Joined: Jul Sun 09, 2006 3:11 am
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Location: Aurora, CO 80013
The owner paid $2700 for it plus tax in 1991. Had he/she invested in almost anything or even just a CD account, they would have doubled their $$ or more.

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 Post subject: Re: Sparton Bluebird
PostPosted: Sep Wed 23, 2020 2:28 am 
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Joined: Feb Thu 17, 2011 11:27 pm
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Location: Long Island, N.Y.
I feel the sellers pain. I bought the bulk of my collection in the '90's when an electronically restored common '30's console was selling for $350-$450.
First it's what you are able to spend. Second it's being okay with it's issues.
This one looks like it would clean up nicely. I really believe the mirror has just not been properly cleaned. I think it's just smeared. I don't even think the glass has a "ding". Even if it did, you could buff and polish it to be less noticeable. I don't think you'll get one much cheaper. By the way, I really like that repair tag on the back. To think it was still being used in '52. That gives it a little history. Good luck.


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 Post subject: Re: Sparton Bluebird
PostPosted: Sep Wed 23, 2020 10:21 am 
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Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
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Location: Redlands CA
I wonder if this was the "Expert attention" given to this set in November of 1952?

Attachment:
mirror.jpg
mirror.jpg [ 140.34 KiB | Viewed 653 times ]


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 Post subject: Re: Sparton Bluebird
PostPosted: Sep Wed 23, 2020 11:29 am 
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Location: Long Island, N.Y.
I wonder what the conversation was in '52 when the owner came into the repair shop with it. It was 16 years old at the time. I wouldn't be surprised if the repairman asked if they wanted to sell it.
By the way, I'm thinking that "ding" was the remnants of some kind of sticker that was there. It looks that way.


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 Post subject: Re: Sparton Bluebird
PostPosted: Sep Thu 24, 2020 6:36 pm 
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Location: Vancouver Island, Canada
This radio will just be a headache. You'll have to decide whether to restuff those old replacement caps with the historic clamp, or search for an original cap to stuff, or leave it as is is, non-playing. :lol:

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 Post subject: Re: Sparton Bluebird
PostPosted: Oct Mon 12, 2020 4:53 pm 
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Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
Posts: 136
Location: Saint Johns, FL, USA
With the 28% buyer's premium, it went for $1856. I passed.


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 Post subject: Re: Sparton Bluebird
PostPosted: Oct Mon 12, 2020 6:20 pm 
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Joined: Aug Sat 16, 2014 2:19 am
Posts: 1790
Location: Palos Verdes, CA
Thanks for the update on the sale of the Sparton Bluebird as I was wondering what happened.


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 Post subject: Re: Sparton Bluebird
PostPosted: Oct Thu 15, 2020 12:03 am 
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Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
Posts: 7447
Location: Toledo, Ohio
What gets me is it's just a AA5 with a fancy mirror. So what's the big thrill?

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KE8GMW
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"AC volts and DC volts and little lamps and lities..."


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 Post subject: Re: Sparton Bluebird
PostPosted: Oct Thu 15, 2020 12:30 am 
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Location: Long Island, N.Y.
Jim Dutridge wrote:
What gets me is it's just a AA5 with a fancy mirror. So what's the big thrill?

The chassis quality plays very little into it's value. It's one of the most iconic 20th century items ever made and it's in every book on art-deco design. Radio and non-radio collectors will always jump at the chance to own one.


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 Post subject: Re: Sparton Bluebird
PostPosted: Oct Thu 15, 2020 2:53 am 
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Joined: Apr Sun 01, 2012 9:55 pm
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Location: Seattle, WA
+1!

My stepson's landlord made his career as an artist, painting and sculpting. When we were moving my stepson into his house, we got to talking with him about each other's interests. When I told him I collect antique radios as a hobby, he said, "You mean like this?" He reached up on a nearby shelf, pulled down an art history book, thumbed the pages for 10 seconds, and handed it to me open to a page about the Sparton Bluebird.

"Yup, just like that!" Although I had to admit I didn't want to put the $$$ into a real one, so mine is a repro. :D

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Measure it with a micrometer, mark it with chalk, cut it with a chainsaw.


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