A scarce and fine HMV type W1 electric autochanger,  1928,
Lot 460W
A scarce and fine HMV type W1 electric autochanger, 1928,
Sold for £1,440 (US$ 2,417) inc. premium
Lot Details
A scarce and fine HMV type W1 electric autochanger,
with 9-inch turntable, No. 5A soundbox, tri-spoke pickup arm finished in bronzed gold tone, 10 and 12-inch record size select, start/stop action tonearm and played record gully, pilot lamp in hood of lid, in impressive mahogany and figured walnut quarter-veneered cabinet with twin fielded doors with applied frames, shaped and part-carved edged lid, acanthus-leaf cup supports; with original remote pedestal control accessory on turned circular base, and ivorine plaque instruction card; and the period service manual - 41in. (103cm) high, 42in. (107cm) wide, the pedestal control 18in. (46cm)


  • The original purchase price for this model in 1928 was £125 0s. 0d, with the extra pedestal control accessory costing an additional £5 0s. 0d. Manufactured for use at parties, entertainment events and other occasions, its design allows a stack of records to play one after the other, with a repeat function for more popular records.

    This model being the better W1, the other similar type, the W2, did not feature a repeat facility or pilot lamp and was built for exporting abroad.

    M.B-L comments: "Those who have seen one of these rare surviving models is use never forget it, the turntable is 8” so the larger records (10” and 12”) overlap the edge and at the end of the record a “finger” rises beside the turntable and lifts the side of the record. As it clears the top of the spindle in the centre of the turntable because it is spinning so fast – 78 rpm! – it literally flies off and hits the side cushions and drops down a vertical 'pocket' like a billiad ball. Furthermore 10” and 12” records can be mixed in any order on the un-played stack – the mechanism automatically alters to accommodate changing sizes. The sound quality is tremendous as this gramophone contains one of the largest re-entrant horns manufactured by HMV. This is the more expensive of the two models of this gramophone made by HMV. This model unlike the other has doors which can be used to vary the volume.

    I vividly remember my first introduction to the HMV Automatic model at the house of the late George Frow, the author of two definitive books on Edison phonographs and disc players, on a visit with the City of London Phonograph Society in 1975. He had a magnificent collection of phonographs and just one gramophone – the HMV automatic. It was situated on his landing at the top of the stairs. I saw dozens of rare phonographs that evening but it is only this gramophone I remember with total clarity over thirty years later. This example is the third I’ve had through my hands; one every ten years.. All three worked well and despite what people say or imagine I demonstrated each of them dozens of times and have never broken a single record. Perhaps that is also a record!"