Sewing Machines with recognizable
names from early inventors or companies like Wilcox and Gibbs, Wheeler
and Wilson, Howe, and Singer may or may not be desirable.
A good rule of thumb for determining
the desirability of any early sewing machine is its serial #.
Any early sewing machine by any maker with a serial # of 5,000 or less would
be desirable. Lower serial numbers by more obscure makers would
be even better.
Any sewing machine with a serial # above 50,000 would be considered
"Late" and relatively common. In other words, your Wheeler & Wilson,
Howe, Wilcox & Gibbs, White, or Singer with a serial number in
the 6 or 7 digit range is what I am referring to. The machine
may date from 1890, but it would still be considered "late" and common in most
Machines like this do have some value, but we do not deal in them,
and they are usually sold as decorative pieces rather than to sewing
It is important to understand that it is not just
the name which determines the desirability or
value of antique sewing machines. It is a combination of factors,
including the vintage,
age, style, and condition taken together that determine the desirability and value. The
simple fact that your sewing machine is old does not mean it is
desirable or valuable.
Sewing Machines with high serial #'s are not rare, desirable
or valuable. These machines can come with a host of different
names, and in general were made by the three major makers and were distributed by companies
like Sears, Montgomery Wards or other large regional distributers across
the country back in the early 1900's.
Just below are two pictures of typical
looking treadle sewing
machines. Note the standard looking shape or form of the main body or
head on these machines.
Sewing machines like this typically date from
the 1880's or later. They were sold for $10.00 - $20.00 back then, and
nearly every household had one or more. Much like cars are sold
today, Sears wanted to sell a new one to the modern seamstresses / housewife every
year or two and were constantly changing the name or cosmetic look of their machines
to try and accomplish that.
Just look in one of those reproduction catalogs from those outfits to get an idea.
Regional distributors, like Sears, or Simmons Hardware. would pick whatever name suited them or their goals
for that year. Hence names like Household,
Remington, Winchester, Domestic, Minnesota, Alliance, Victory, etc. can
be found on the same design machine.
like Sears or Montgomery Wards and other regional distributors
would use famous peoples names in an effort to promote their machines
You can find machines with names like Washington, Lincoln,
Franklin, Edison, and others on machines that are pretty much exactly
the same. At other times they picked Patriotic names like
Victory, Defiance, or whatever. It is called marketing.
Like "Freedom Fries" that they chose to use a few years
ago when marketers were angry at the French. Bottom line, the large sewing machine makers sold their standard
machines to different distributers to be sold
as that firms house brands with whatever name that the distributer
wanted. To see earlier rarer and more desirable machines
simply go to my sales page or view the past sales archives to get an idea
of what collectible machines look like.
/ Valuation Information for Later Vintage
These later treadle sewing machines do have a value,
and it could be substantial if you have a good buyer.
I have seen
appraisals for, and price tags on common treadle sewing machines like
the ones pictured here as high as $4,000. I have also seen
them sell at auction for as low as $10.
Their true value is in
the eye of the beholder and / or buyer. Basically these later
typical treadle sewing machines are worth what a willing buyer will
pay for them given the situation and condition. In the past these
sewing machines were often torn apart for the stands or drawers and
sold for more as parts or as pieces of furniture than they would
fetch as sewing machines.
of thumb is: If it looks like your sewing machine, or if
you remember your Mom using it, or nowadays even if your Grandma
bought it, or it has a serial # with 6 or more numbers, it will probably
hold little interest or value to or serious or advanced sewing machine
To see the wide range of current values
for these sorts of sewing machines simply go to eBay and type the name
of your sewing machine in the Search window provided. If there
is nothing similar there this week, try again next week, or try searching
"antique sewing machine" or "vintage sewing machine" or "treadle sewing
WHile there be sure to look through completed sales and not just
dealers asking prices. There is oftentimes a world of
I guarantee a comparable or similar sewing
machine is listed there now. The fact that most typical "antique" sewing
machines are sitting there with no bids speaks volumes as to their demand, desirability
and value. It also has a lot to do with the cost of shipping
and the amount shipping will add to the cost and so if you have a
later more common machine like I have been talking about, you should be thinking
about selling it locally.
Or look in your local antique shop, where
there is likely a similar one, and you can tell yourself that yours
is worth about the same as long as you do not ask the shop dealer what
he will give you for yours.
If after reading this you are still unsure about
your sewing machine send me one picture and I will give you my opinion,
just do not feel bad or be offended if I say it is not for me and
refer you to this page for the reason.
Later Full Size
Electric Sewing Machines
We are NOT
interested in typical looking electric sewing machines that date
from after 1880 except
Model 221 or 222 Featherweights. To find the value for other later electric
sewing machines simply go to eBay and run a few searches
If your electric sewing machine is not listed
and you can not find any info with a Google search, assume it is because it is so common and commands such a low value
that no one bothers to write about them, or to list them. Do not
assume that it is rare, desirable or valuable. For example Vintage Electric Sewing Machines made in Japan after WWII hold near 0 resale value
and most sellers do not even bother trying to list them.
* * * * We Sell Antiques! * * * *
We want to Help you Sell Your quality Antiques
If you have a single antique, or a collection of antiques to sell
please contact us at LCM@patented-antiques.com
giving us your PHONE NUMBER
and other contact info
and we will get back to you ASAP.
To view examples of antiques and collectibles we have previously
sold and are always interested in helping you sell please visit our
Sales Archive Pages. Links to those pages are on the
Please see our
FAQ page, the
Appraisal / Selling Page and the
Selling Your Collection Pages
for further info about consignments.
Larry & Carole