A guide to selling your classical
If 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...
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.
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.
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 of the German
In principle I am interested in ANY classical LPs so
long as they are in excellent condition.
What 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.