I was setting up an estate sale for this weekend and came across some vinyl 78 records and wondered how collectible they are.
It turns out that there are many collectors of 78 records. According to Tim Grayck and Bill Clark, collectors of 78s pay high prices for anything in good condition issued by companies such as Vogue, Black Patti, Black Swan, Autograph, Berliner, Fonotipia. Collectors pay high prices for clean records manufactured for a “race” market, including Victor’s 38000 series, Columbia’s 14000 series, Okeh’s 8000 series, and Paramount’s 12000 series. Certain Bing Crosby 78s are worth at least $10 each–not the ones on Decca but some of Crosby’s early discs, such as the ones on Brunswick.
Collectors often concentrate on one of the following types of record: opera, music hall, ballad singers, instrumentalists, jazz, dance bands, swing bands, musical comedy, comedians, film stars, famous politicians, rock’n’roll, or #1 hits. Some like “pioneer recordings” of the 1890s and turn-of-the-century, 1920s jazz or hillbilly.