This unmarked scarce talking machine was manufactured by Victor, but was never sold under the Victor name. It appears in the 1910-1912 Sears catalogue as an Oxford Type AW at a price of $27.50, (Oxford was Sears house brand), and was doubtless also sold by other companies as a proprietary machine; the Victor origins were disguised so as not to dilute the value of the Victor brand.
Mail order machines such as this tend to mystify beginning collectors. A similar machine in mahogany was also sold with a Zon-o-phone decal, but as far as I know this Oxford in oak has never appeared with Zon-o-phone markings, and most advanced collectors simply refer to it as an AW Oxford.
This AW Oxford is running properly and smoothly. The case has original age-darkened finish. The wooden music master horn was standard equipment. This horn had some typical age-related separation due to natural shrinkage of the wood, and the pressure required to bend the panels. It has been re-glued and refinished. The repair is not very noticeable from the front of the horn, but does express itself as some seams and waviness on the back of the horn.
The one piece back bracket and elbow is original and proper for the machine. This Oxford originally came with an unmarked variation of a Victor Exhibition reproducer; the back plate of the reproducer and mounting arrangement were slightly different from official Victor. I did not receive a reproducer with this machine, but what I did do is rebuild and adapt a regular Victor Exhibition reproducer to the tone arm. You can hear how nice it sounds on the mp3 file.
Some of you expressed interest in this machine in the past, but I had removed it from the website when I misplaced the special elbow for the horn. I have found the elbow and reunited it with the machine.
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