Author Topic: VINTAGE TWO-TONE RED & BLACK BELL 500 ROTARY DIAL DESK PHONE TELEPHONE  (Read 1766 times)

Partyline4

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What was the big deal about this two-tone?

I would love to learn.

www.ebay.com/itm/231617849924


unbeldi

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Re: VINTAGE TWO-TONE RED & BLACK BELL 500 ROTARY DIAL DESK PHONE TELEPHONE
« Reply #1 on: September 14, 2015, 02:52:20 PM »
This was the big deal.

One of the few true two-tone sets, 500DR–53A, either assembled this way in the factory or in a distribution center, with the proper color code suffix (–53A).
But further, it also was assembled in December 1953, just before these set became widely available for customer orders. WECo always pre-manufactured before release date, to build up inventory.
 
« Last Edit: September 14, 2015, 02:55:46 PM by unbeldi »

Offline jsowers

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Re: VINTAGE TWO-TONE RED & BLACK BELL 500 ROTARY DIAL DESK PHONE TELEPHONE
« Reply #2 on: September 14, 2015, 04:46:38 PM »
It's also due to its being wanted by two bidders to whom money is no object. It just about doubled the third highest bid at the end when it reached $598.88. My measly bid is way, way on down there in the list at $55.55. So you can plainly see what I thought it was worth. Next time, if there is a next time, it could go much cheaper, but you never really know. The highest bids almost always come in at the last.
 
This two-tone was rare for several reasons that Unbeldi has already explained--factory stamped with the color and a very early example. It was also pristine looking and the pictures were great. I'm sure the seller was very pleased with the outcome too. Below is the auction for posterity.
Jonathan

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Offline andre_janew

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Re: VINTAGE TWO-TONE RED & BLACK BELL 500 ROTARY DIAL DESK PHONE TELEPHONE
« Reply #4 on: September 30, 2015, 01:30:45 PM »
Regardless of the year, the red and black 500 rotaries always seem to go for a premium price.  If you watch them on eBay, you'll know what I mean!

Offline Doug Rose

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Re: VINTAGE TWO-TONE RED & BLACK BELL 500 ROTARY DIAL DESK PHONE TELEPHONE
« Reply #5 on: October 02, 2015, 06:52:42 PM »
"Regardless of the year, the red and black 500 rotaries always seem to go for a premium price.  If you watch them on eBay, you'll know what I mean!"

http://www.ebay.com/itm/141762613020


I did watch this on eBay and I know what you mean! BUT it was priced too high and didn't sell. Then re-listed at the same price!! Know what I mean?..Doug
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unbeldi

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Re: VINTAGE TWO-TONE RED & BLACK BELL 500 ROTARY DIAL DESK PHONE TELEPHONE
« Reply #6 on: October 02, 2015, 07:52:03 PM »
"Regardless of the year, the red and black 500 rotaries always seem to go for a premium price.  If you watch them on eBay, you'll know what I mean!"

http://www.ebay.com/itm/141762613020


I did watch this on eBay and I know what you mean! BUT it was priced too high and didn't sell. Then re-listed at the same price!! Know what I mean?..Doug

This quoted eBay set is not a true two-tone and was refurbished later, possibly even the dial exchanged.  Not in the best of conditions, and as such indeed priced too high, I think.

I think the true WECo-style two-tones (only the housing is colored, dial black) do go for good prices when they are in excellent original condition and are early sets with date-matched parts, 1954-1958, which is the only period when they were officially issued.  They were officially discontinued (early?) 1958, and later customer wishes were honored by swapping housings at the telco.

The latter is what happened, I believe, to this set, picture attached, that appears to have been converted to two colors just after the true two-tones were discontinued. The set is dated on most parts 12/57, including the handset cord, but the housing is dated 7/58 and the transmitter cap is dated 8/58.  I do think this was done at the telco shop, because the handset caps are Tenite CAB plastic (no center hole) and painted black.  Black plastic handsets & caps were not available yet until 1963 (on the Princess), and on 500-sets in 1964. So, if someone had converted this later it would have been easier to just use black plastic caps, not paint them.  I believe the housing is also painted black on black plastic, but it is very hard to be certain, and it took me a long time to for that opinion, it is so well done.  Indeed, the shops repainted housings to refurbish plastic at the time.  Would anyone else paint a black housing black?

The set is in fantastic condition, almost mint, with barely any usage marks and the fine handset cord is tight and clean. The number card was on the set and appears genuine too.  I paid less than $40 dollars for this set, including shipping from Alaska.

Does that price fit the pattern?  I don't know, is there really a great pattern?  The only observation I would confirm is that red phones sell higher than green phones, and blue ones sell higher then red ones.   ::)
« Last Edit: October 03, 2015, 12:35:47 PM by unbeldi »