Antiques PR Publicity Announcements News and Information
Antiques PR Publicity Announcements News and Information

New York Vintage Radio Sale Dec 14

The Michael and Diane Schoeman Collection of Vintage Radios will be presented to collectors at Bonhams on Wednesday, December 14, 2010 at 11 a.m. in New York. The international auctioneers will conduct the third sale of this kind, which will surely serve as yet another benchmark in the collecting history of vintage radios; previous sales set multiple world auction records.

This important private collection consists of more than 94 vintage Catalin radios manufactured from 1933 through 1945. The Schoemans, already accomplished collectors in many fields, were introduced to the world of Catalin many years ago while attending a cocktail party. Mr. Schoeman said, “The colors were amazing. The radios were like expensive jewels. We asked the collector about them and that was the beginning!” Impressed by both design and color range, Mrs. Schoeman later purchased a Catalin radio at the Pier Show in New York City as a present for her husband; the collection grew in time to number over 100 stellar examples. The criteria in selecting radios were three-fold: condition, color and form; the radios in this collection range from marbleized red to yellow, blue and green.

Radio was one of the most accessible means of mass information dissemination, and the radio designs, fashioned in bold colors in the latest Art Deco and Art Moderne aesthetics, added to the appeal. The new use of Catalin and related materials were also seen as a vision of the future, a symbol of progress.

Heralded in its day as the gaudy brother of somber Bakelite, Catalin has since been confused with and often mistaken for Bakelite. Unlike Bakelite, Catalin was cast in its original liquid resin state and could be manipulated and tinted to any desired color. Catalin became the material of choice for designers of the day who wished to use color, relegating Bakelite to more industrial utilitarian uses.

Just as the Catalin radio market was getting underway, the advent of World War II forced production to cease. Production of many brands and models was never revived after the war, and several of the models introduced circa 1940 are today among the most rare and highly sought after by collectors.

Included in this collection are fascinating radios designed by J. Samson Spencer and Walter Dorwin Teague. Of particular interest will be a spectacular grouping of 4 examples of the severely Art Deco Air King 52. Designed in 1933 by Harold Van Doren and cast in three variants in shades of red, white and black, these radios carry pre-sale estimates ranging from $5,000 to $25,000 each.

Also among the many models to be offered are: the Emerson AX235 Little Miracle (1938), Emerson BT 245 Cathedral (1938), Fada 188 All American (1939), Garod 6AU1 Commander (1945), Fada L56 (1939), Fada 1000 Bullet (1945), Sentinel 284NI, Addison 2 Waterfall Grille (1940) , Kadette K 25 Clockette (1937), Sparton Cloisonne (1945), Arvin 532 (1938), Tom Thumb (1938).

When asked about his preferred Catalin, Michael Schoeman said, “If I had to name my favorite in the collection, I would pick the red Air King (lot 3092), but I really do truly love them all.” He adds, “They are an extraordinary magical collection of rare diamonds-a wonderful rainbow!”

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *