Author Topic: Aqua 500  (Read 2577 times)

Offline McHeath

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Aqua 500
« on: September 13, 2008, 06:00:22 PM »
Okay I think this is a scam.  Do you think this 500 is really this blue?  Or has someone been messing around with a filter on the picture to enhance it?

http://cgi.ebay.com/Western-Electric-500-rotary-dial-telephone-phone-AQUA_W0QQitemZ190250428932QQcmdZViewItem?hash=item190250428932&_trkparms=39%3A1|66%3A2|65%3A1|240%3A1318&_trksid=p3286.c0.m14

Offline Dennis Markham

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Re: Aqua 500
« Reply #1 on: September 13, 2008, 06:59:15 PM »
I think you may be on to something.  There is an added info message that says the Bell logo is "faint".  Does that mean it is barely there or that it is a lighter color?  I know this seller, not personally and know some of the "tricks".  I don't want to say anything bad as he has been very successful in his phone sales.  Last week he had a run-of-the-mill red soft plastic 500 that sold for $400.

Often what sellers may do to enhance the color (besides using a color filter) is to use wet sand paper to remove scratches and yellowing from years of UV exposure.  That's fine, a good wet sanding job removes the top layer of plastic and when buffed will make it appear new again.  The problem with sanding is the Bell Logo on the back (and on the front on wall phones) cannot be sanded or it will disappear.  Therefore the rest of the color is restored but the logo remains yellowed.  I have seen them nearly sanded smooth.  I'm not saying this is the case here but just what comes to mind.

If I were a potential buyer I would ask the seller about my suspicions.  And as he says, if not satisfied he will return the buyer's money.  I might also ask if the rivet that holds the feet on was covered with silver paint--to hide rust.  The plastic foot pads were prone to rust because they actually emit gas, or are gassing out even today which causes rust on the rivets.  The leather pads of the 50's did not rust generally, unless they were in water, because the leather did not emit plastic gasses.  Even if it was painted (the rivet) that's fine.  There's no way to eliminate the rust other than replacing the foot pad.  Unlike the old model 302's that had foot pads that were attached with screws, these with rivets are impossible to replace unless one had the stock parts and the proper rivet machine. 

But that sure looks blue.  Even the photo of the bottom of the phone has a blue hue to it.

Offline Mark Stevens

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Re: Aqua 500
« Reply #2 on: September 13, 2008, 08:20:23 PM »
Those photos certainly could have been doctored, but they also remind me of photos taken by a camera I once used.  It was a Sony "Mavica", a digital camera that saved the files to mini-disks.  It was a great camera except for its habit of adding a very strong blue or blue/violet tint to photos.  If an object was already blue, that camera made it look very blue!  Just a theory.   8)

Offline BDM

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Re: Aqua 500
« Reply #3 on: September 14, 2008, 02:49:35 AM »
It's the photo. No doubt the phone is clean, but it's not "that" blue. I have one that's pretty clean, and it doesn't hit you in the face like that pic.

--Brian--

St Clair Shores, MI

Offline McHeath

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Re: Aqua 500
« Reply #4 on: September 15, 2008, 01:13:38 AM »
That phone sold for $281.56 today.

Wow.

I'm utterly convinced that there was a filter being used on the pictures, blue cast on everything, even the black bottom.  Unless that thing was an alien phone radiating some unknown blue energy it had to be helped along. 

So what is a nice aqua blue mid 60's 500 really worth?


Offline Dennis Markham

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Re: Aqua 500
« Reply #5 on: September 15, 2008, 10:50:44 AM »
There was a quote associated to P.T. Barnum....I think we all know what it is....
Here's how the blue phone finished.  Nice job for the seller!
http://tinyurl.com/6a8jqc


Offline Dennis Markham

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Re: Aqua 500
« Reply #6 on: September 15, 2008, 10:56:31 AM »
Sorry McHeath...I didn't notice until after I hit the "post" button that you already reported the sale price.

There are two values for these phones.  What a collector would pay and what John/Jane Doe would pay to have a nice vintage phone, perhaps from their birth year sitting on their desk.  A collector that needed one to complete his/her collection:  For a soft plastic, all original pre mid-1959 aqua Western Electric 500, (not refurbished) I have seen them sell anywhere from $25 to $100 tops in excellent condition.  We know that to Jane/John Doe they're worth $281.56 plus shipping---especially if they look really blue in the picture!

Offline Mark Stevens

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Re: Aqua 500
« Reply #7 on: September 15, 2008, 12:18:50 PM »
I have seen them sell anywhere from $25 to $100 tops in excellent condition.  We know that to Jane/John Doe they're worth $281.56 plus shipping---especially if they look really blue in the picture!

If it had been just a little more blue I would have thrown $291.56 at it!  ;)