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S. August Abbott
S. August Abbott, BusinessOwner, Buy/Sell/Appraise
Category: Antiques
Satisfied Customers: 7608
Experience:  Buy & Sell Antiques, Collectibles for more than 30 years
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I too have a Free No. 5 sewing machine in a treadle cabinet

Customer Question

I too have a Free No. 5 sewing machine in a treadle cabinet with all attachments. Asking price?
JA: I always love having an appraiser look at my stuff. Sometimes its turned out to be surprisingly valuable. Tell us what else you do know and the Antiques Appraiser will be able to better assist you.
Customer: Working condition. West coast. In my way!
JA: Is there anything else important you think the Antiques Appraiser should know?
Customer: No
Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: Antiques
Expert:  S. August Abbott replied 11 months ago.

One of the most difficult parts of answering questions like this is telling someone a value on something that might have been in their family for more than‭ ‬100‭ ‬years,‭ ‬or worse,‭ ‬something they just bought as an investment and paid too much for,‭ ‬is not what they hoped to hear.‭

‭ ‬Just because something is old,‭ ‬even ancient,‭ ‬doesn’t mean it’s valuable.‭ ‬Value is based on the old rule of supply and demand.‭ ‬If there are a lot of these items still in circulation,‭ ‬there isn’t going to be a lot of demand.‭


‭ ‬Craftsmanship in that era was exceptional.‭ ‬Not only were there sometimes millions of these machines made,‭ ‬but they were made to last forever.‭ ‬Which they did.‭ ‬And since supply and demand applies to old things as well as current things,‭ ‬there are far too many of these vintage pieces out there for any of them to really be priced very high.‭


One of the foremost experts on sewing machine collecting and an avid collector,‭ ‬consultant and evaluator‭ (‬D.‭ ‬A.‭ ‬Brumleve‭ @ ‬‭ )‬ explains:‭


‭“‬On a given day,‭ ‬a sewing machine is worth what a particular seller can sell it for to a particular buyer in a particular venue.‭ ‬Season,‭ ‬geographic region,‭ ‬marketplace,‭ ‬personality,‭ ‬manufacturer,‭ ‬model,‭ ‬rarity,‭ ‬condition,‭ ‬history,‭ ‬completeness‭ ‬--‭ ‬and the reason the buyer is buying‭ ‬--‭ ‬all these factors influence monetary value.‭ ‬Value is not fixed,‭ ‬but fluid.‭


Even so,‭ ‬it's a good thing to consider that relatively few machines today command prices in the hundreds of dollars‭ ‬--‭ ‬and very,‭ ‬very few will bring thousands.‭”


You can always consult a professional local appraiser.‭ ‬You'd pay a fee,‭ ‬of course,‭ ‬and there's a significant risk that the fee would be more than the value of the machine.‭”‭

Your sewing machine was likely produced in Rockford Illinois between 1910 - 1958.

The Free Sewing Machine Company ended up in California before closing in the 1960's

Your machine in excellent condition in the right market as outlined above may sell for $100-150.

You can see other Free #5's by clicking here