By Susan Sliwicki
“Eclectic” is a good word to describe this week’s roundup of online auction action. Not only was this a week dominated by large-quantity lots, it also showed the power of classical music with inspired buyers.
1. $50,000 — A 20-year collection of classical LPs. A seller from Hong Kong initially was asking $60,000 for this collection of 81 records, but settled for a $50,000 “buy-it-now” offer instead. Not a bad haul, when you consider that each record brought in an average price of $617.28. The string- and violinist-heavy lot featured a list of players too lengthy to mention here. Also of note: there were no conditions listed for individual records — the seller simply wrote that the condition was satisfactory in the majority of items unless otherwise specified, nor were there any pictures from the collection. That’s a pretty big purchase to make on faith.
2. $5,199.99 — A collection of 94 rock and roll LPs. This collection consists of more than 80 of the 100 albums listed in “VH1 Ranks The 100-Best Rock Albums” countdown. Even better? Many of these LPs are or are going out of print, and all the albums still retain their factory seal, according to the seller.
“If you understand how rare and valuable vinyl is these days, you will not second guess yourself on this listing. Within a year or two, you will never see most of these titles again because of their limited editions,” the seller predicted. The list of artists reads like a primer of pop, R&B and rock and roll and includes The Beatles, Nirvana, The Beach Boys, Marvin Gaye, Bob Dylan, The Who, Joni Mitchell, Michael Jackson, Elvis Presley, U2, Fleetwood Mac, James Brown, Steely Dan, Led Zeppelin, The Eagles, Patti Smith, David Bowie, The Police, The Bee Gees, The Doors, The Ramones, Aretha Franklin, Stevie Wonder, Jimi Hendrix, Bob Marley, Simon & Garfunkel, Pink Floyd, The Rolling Stones and Prince.
3. $4,831.66 — A classical music collection of 250 records. And here’s yet another example of this week’s “buy in bulk” theme: 233 12-inch LPS and 17 10-inch records. According to the seller, the collection focused on early stereophonic orchestral recordings and included many audiophile gems from RCA, Decca and EMI. The seller also touted the collection’s rare cello, violin and piano recordings.
Most of the records and cover sleeves were in Near-Mint condition, with a few in VG+ shape, according to the seller.
4. $4,207.58 —Art Kassel and His Orchestra, “Queen For A Day” and “End of a Perfect Day” 78 RPM picture discs.
The seller had little to say about this offering, other than it was “a good, shiny copy” and it had a few scuffs and scratches and some background noise, but it was free of skips.
5. $3,850 — Led Zeppelin Led Zeppelin classic 45 RPM records in a road case. It’s almost like the online sellers know when we’re featuring a band on the cover of Goldmine, because ... presto! There’s a nice offering that fits perfectly in our Market Watch countdown. This issue is no exception, as our cover boys Led Zeppelin are featured in this collection of pressings.
According to the seller, this is a super-rare boxed set of all Led Zeppelin albums pressed at 45 rpm on single-sided 200 gram discs.
“Pressed at RTI for Classic Records, all 48 discs are in perfect mint unplayed condition,” the seller wrote.
6. $3,428.92, Robert Johnson, “Kind-Hearted Woman Blues” / “Terraplane Blues” 78. The legendary Robert Johnson makes an appearance in this week’s countdown with a song whose title is sure to confuse kind-hearted women everywhere: “Kind-Hearted Woman Blues.” But if anyone could have the blues over having a kind-hearted woman in his life, I guess it would be Robert Johnson.
The seller gives this copy of Vocalion 03416 a grade of VG to VG+, and touts its rarity as something buyers should sit up and notice.
“‘Impossibly rare’ and ‘incredibly rare opportunity’ are the kind of phrases that seem to bounce around eBay attached to the most ordinary records, but this kind of disc justifies the hype! It rarely turns up for sale as a first issue pressing in brilliant playable condition like this so seriously, don’t miss out...” the seller writes.
7. $3,379 — Sonny Clark Sextet, “Dial ‘S’ For Sonny” LP. This mono copy pressing of Blue Note 1570 features a lineup of Sonny Clark along with Hank Mobley, Louis Hayes, Art Farmer, Curtis Fuller and Wilbur Ware. The seller didn’t have much to share, other than the vinyl is in Near Mint shape and free of marks and surface noise. Even the cover is in near mint condition.
8. $3,140 — Hank Mobley, “Hank Mobley on Blue Note” LP. This album has shown up in our Market Watch countdown a few times lately. This time, it’s a mono pressing of Blue Note 1568 with the 47 W. 63rd address on the label. The seller had little else to add, other than the fact that the record and cover both were in VG+ condition.
9. $3,050 — Sonny Clark, “Sonny’s Crib” LP. Winning this week’s award for being the most places in a single Market Watch is Sonny Clark. Clark is present not once, not twice, but three times in our Market Watch listings, albeit the second appearance was as a supporting player to Hank Mobley. (Granted, two of the three albums were sold by Philadelphia Record Exchange, which may account for how Sonny’s stormed Market Watch.)
And the company he keeps? This time, John Coltrane is along for the ride, as well as Curtis Fuller, Donald Byrd, Paul Chambers and Art Taylor.
This beauty clocks in at near mint, both for the vinyl and the cover, according to the seller. This “deep groove mono” pressing of Blue Note 1576 bears the 47 W. 63rd address, as well.
10. $3,000 — The Beatles, the complete works of The Beatles Japanese audiophile LP set. C’mon. You didn’t think The Beatles would miss the cut for Market Watch, let alone get left out of a trend, did you? Well, here they are, in splendid Japanese audiophile format. According to the seller, this was a joint offering between Toshiba-EMI and Playboy Magazine in the early 1980s (and I’m certain this is one of those cases where the buyer became aware of this special reissue project because he or she was reading Playboy for — wink, wink — the articles.)
The seller writes that it houses roughly 80 albums featuring solo and group work by all of The Beatles, all of which are in as-new condition, as they’ve been sitting on a shelf since they were removed from their original shipping boxes about 15 years ago.
For related items that you may enjoy in our Goldmine store:
• Download Goldmine's Secrets to Buying & Selling Records: Pay Less and Make More (Webinar Recording Download)
• Get a book on the complicated world of auctions: "The Everything® Online Auctions Book, All you need to buy and sell with success - on eBay and beyond!"
• Check out a download of the Top 50 Vinyl Records
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