guide to selling your classical record collection.
you started buying records in the mid 1970's then
it is most likely that there is nothing in your collection
that has any great value. If you started buying records
in the 1950's & 1960's, however, then you may
have a few or indeed many valuable records that are
of interest to collectors worldwide. Below you will
find a brief guide to evaluating your collection.
Classical records are collected mainly by record label
(manufacturer) and not as one might think by composer,
conductor or performer. The mainstay of todays collectables
were produced by Decca, HMV (EMI), Philips, RCA, Columbia
& Deutsche Gramophon...
label produced the SXL series which are now among
the most collectable of classical records. These are
stereo records and are identified by the letters SXL
followed by a 4 digit number - eg. SXL 2020. This
can be found on the jacket and on the record label
itself. The value of these records varies enormously,
but generally they are worth between £5 - £100,
more for the rarer ones - eg. SXL 2020 'Espana!' conducted
by Argenta which currently sells for £150. Later
pressings of this series are not worth nearly as much
and in most cases it is only the original pressings
that are highly sought after. Look at the label to
the right. This is known as the 'wide band' label
because of the thick silver band that runs accross
the label. Now
look at the label beneath this. This is a later SXL
pressing and is known as the 'narrow band' label because
the width of the silver band is greatly decreased.
These later pressing can be worth up to £50
in rare cases. Box sets in this series have the same
label but a purple background instead of black. The
letters SET can be found on the box and label of these
sets followed by a 3 digit number.
Monos of this period bear the letters LXT followed
by a 4 digit number and are occasionally valuable
when they feature a certain performer (usually a violinist)
or conductor. If a stereo version of the record was
issued in the SXL series it is worth no more than
a couple of pounds or in a lot of cases nothing at
Stereo Columbias are the SAX series. These can be
worth up to £200 (and very occasionally more),
if the label is silver and blue. The violinist Leonid
Kogan is particularly sought after on this label commanding
prices of up to £800. Later labels are red and
can themselves command quite high prices.
made by Columbia bear the serial 33CX. A few in this
series, especially those made by the violinist Johanna
Martzy are of extreme value. For instance a three
record set of
Martzy playing Bach on this label can fetch up to
£2000 in mint condition. Most records on this
label, however, are worth from £1 - £30,
or again nothing at all if a stereo version exists
on the SAX series.
HMV & EMI:
this label that are of interest are the ASD series.
The more valuable ones have three digit numbers as
opposed to four, and a white & gold label, worth
up to £200 or more for extreme rarities. Later
labels are red and there are many variations corresponding
to pressing date. Worth between £1 and £50
the more valuable ones tend to feature violinists
or the cellist Jaqueline du Pre.
EMIs of the SAN series are worth £5 to £100
if the record label has a white cherub (not black)
set in a gold label (not yellow).
monos bear the serial ALP, BLP, CLP & DLP followed
by four numbers. The value of these monos varies enormously
and again the more valuable ones tend to feature violinists.
For example Ida Haendel playing on CLP1032 can fetch
up to £1000 if mint.
issued a lot of records called "Living Stereo"
with series letters SB. Look at the label on the record.
If the letters "RCA" are white, they have
little or no value. But if the "RCA" motif
is in a circle, in silver and dark red, they can be
worth between £5 and £100.
RCA Living Stereos bear the serial letters LSC –
or SER if in boxes. Record labels with the HMV dog
printed against a shaded background can be worth between
£5 and £100.
collectible Philips records have deep plum coloured
labels with the 'Hi-Fi Stereo' logo on the label.
Later labels were bright red or grey
DGs are usually
of interest to collectors if they have a ring of tiny
blue tulips all the way round the yellow label on
the record . These are worth between £5.00 and
£30, more for Johanna Martzy. German made DGs
are the collectors choice and those that specify made
in England, or Austria, on the label are worth around
a Quarter or the German issues.
principle I am interested in ANY classical LPs so
long as they are in excellent condition.
price can you expect to get for your collection?
first started in this business by scouting for another
dealer. He offered me one third of his catalogue price
for the records that I found. Eventually I managed
to find a dealer who would pay more (this was very
hard!) and this is the payment scale that I now use.
This is as follows:
of £10 - £30 value I will pay one third.
of £30 - £50 value I will pay 40%
£50 I will pay 50%
you have any records to sell please email firstname.lastname@example.org
or phone 01903 209553.