----- Original Message -----
From: "D. Blake Werts" <[log in to unmask]>
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Steven C. Barr(x)" <[log in to unmask]>
> > Well...what a given phonorecord is "worth" depends on two specific items:
> > 1) How badly the buyer wants it
> .. but Stephen you've already made the assumption that there _is_ a buyer
> for said item. Before either of your points are valid, and I'm sure that
> you are very aware of this, you have to find someone that shows an interest
> in the item. There is a very large gap that exists between rarity/scarcity
> and a monetary value that can be placed on an item. For people that care
> about value and monetary worth, it is sometimes a painful exercise to accept
> that what once might have been of interest to a larger group of people (and,
> thus, likely carry more "value") may today be of interest to a very small
> percentage of the former. The fact that this is happening is exactly what
> captured my interest in "records" initially--I can add literally dozens of
> wonderful recordings to my collection for mere pennies; items that used to
> command much more in terms of "value."
Well, if there are NO buyers, the values is (at least temporarily) $0.00!
> The piece that puzzles me the most is trying to separate monetary value and
> historical value. To my naive eyes, every recording has some type of
> historical value and it literally pains me to see and hear of so much
> material getting dumped. In the short time I've been a part of this group,
> I've very quickly learned that I (we) can't save it all...
> How do we measure historical value of something that can easily be purchased
> for 25 cents?
True...but there is a third value involved in such sales: "Personal (nostalgic)
value!" I have often seen individuals overbid...sometimes wildly...because the
artifact has some personal nostalgic value to them (often, to them ALONE)!
If a given phonorecord happens to be the song to which our mythical Joe
Gabroni first danced with the lady whom he eventually married (and stayed
married for 50 years or so...!)...and JG happens to have a whole bunch of
"spendin' cash"...and he runs across it either on a paper "auction list"
or on eBay...well, there will be a bid well exceeding any presumed "value"
in "official value guides"...! I once bid seven bucks and change on a copy
of Oriole 100...simply because I had no idea such a record had existed,
and I was actively researching the early discography of the Oriole label!
The hapless dealer may well still put $5 minimums on his early Oriole discs,
Second question: even the very common (and thus $0.25) item still has its
inherent historical value, based on its position in the history of the
record industry! Paul Whiteman's first Victor disc exists in vast numbers,
and is thus financially all but worthles. That does NOT change its "historic
Sadly, the collecting of phonorecords...even, in many cases, 78rpm shellac
phonorecords...has become deeply connected with the inevitable number-based
"MY RECORDS are worth more than YOUR RECORDS" interpersonal conflict, which
is based on the dominance hierarchy battle built into Homo Sapiens on an
instinct-level basis! And...it is much simpler to compare NUMBERS than to
compare abstract/personal-level valuations (aka "THIS is my very favourite
record!" et al...!
However, consider that this concept of "record collecting" puts our shellac
archives on the same level as our neighbour's accumulation of "Beanie Babies"
(TM Reg'd in all lands!)...where having an original "Jake the Snake" with a
fully-intact and unmarked PUCE tag, as opposed to the later ecru tag, makes
it worth several gazillions of dollars in cash money, as well as a larger
amount in "personal hierarchical position"...!
Steven C. Barr
Steven C. Barr