Sewing Machine Consignment Sales
We are active, knowledgeable, and experienced dealers in rare and historically important American patented
sewing machines. We specialize in pre 1870 machines and we are always interested in helping you sell
sewing machines through the
Consignment Program we offer.
You are currently at
our antique buying and general information website about antiques and antique sewing
machines that we deal in. To see past sales
results for the many rare, unusual full size and toy Antique Sewing Machines, and other antiques we have sold
in the past click the
relevant links in the right column. If you are looking for
info on later more common sewing machines see the link at the bottom
of this page
We conduct sales for
antique and vintage sewing machines, including Singer Featherweight
221 and 222 sewing machines from our sister website
Please visit that site if you are in the market to buy antique
sewing machines or a good 221 or 222 Singer Featherweight.
We have a separate
Singer 221 informational page at this
site as well.
of Desirable Antique Sewing Machines
Below are a series of pictures that graphically
illustrate some of the vintage and antique sewing machines we buy, sell,
and deal in. What we aim to do on this page is to give you some
pictures of, and information about the types of rare and desirable
vintage and antique sewing machines that we are seeking. Past sales
results without values will be found on the sewing archive pages (Links
on the right). Toy sewing machines are covered in detail
on their own page linked on the left.
An important thing to understand about the development
of the sewing machine is that there is a huge difference in the look,
rarity, and values of sewing machines that were manufactured before
the 1870's compared to those sewing machines that were manufactured after that time. At the bottom of
the page we describe and illustrate those later sewing machines we are not interested in
buying and can not help you with. Please be
sure to see that information as well.
Hand-Held Style Sewing Machines
On the left is what is known as an American Hand scissors-style
machine. Value for such a machine, depending on condition
and other factors, can run from a couple hundred dollars to a couple
thousand dollars. Other examples of this style sewing machine
would be the Goodbody patent, Hendrick patent, and Beckwith sewing machines.
The truth is this type of machine is similar to the products that
are being sold on late night TV today. Cheap, basically unworkable, and
gimmicky, but it is those features that make them great collectibles.
There were relatively few sewing machine manufacturers
in the earliest years. Many different inventors / designers came up with
novel designs to try and get a share of the growing market. By
the 1880's though most of the innovative ideas had been introduced
to the market. By the 1890's there were literally millions of sewing machines being produced by
largest manufacturers and sold to every household in America. More information about
these later more typical machines is below.
Although "later" (1880 and beyond) machines
in the sense of their age, they do not have the same historical significance
or values as earlier models from the 1850's thru 1870's. For that reason our main focus
is on buying and selling those earlier and rarer examples.
Some antique sewing machines,
such as Wilcox & Gibbs and most Wheeler & Wilson sewing
machines carry early patent
dates but also carry much later patent dates and were produced well
into the 19th and even 20th Century. They are bought by collectors and decorators,
and their value is based more on their decorator
appeal rather than on their historical significance. First model
examples of both of these sewing machines can sell for several thousand dollars, while
sell for $100 to $1000 or so, depending on the details.
Clamp-On Style Sewing
On the right is a Cute sewing machine. It is
an 1870's patent and has an unusual
gearing mechanism. Note it
also has an integral clamp. It's
value, depending on circumstances and condition, can run from as little as a few hundred
to a couple thousand. There were a number of other sewing machines
that were small and portable with built in clamps, including one by
Charles Parker, the Hardie patent, the various Hancock patent sewing
machines, and others. All are desirable and collectible and
examples of most can be seen
in the sale archives linked in the right column..
We are primarily interested
in helping you sell pre-1870 patented sewing machines, or sewing machines that
are of a style that is distinctly different from the common look of
most later "antique" sewing machines. If you have or know of an example
of one of these earlier and different looking sewing machines please contact us at
"New England" Style Sewing
There are a seemingly
endless variety of machines that fall into a style collectively referred
to as New England
machines. They were manufactured by a number of different companies
and all with slightly different variations in features and decoration.
The most notable thing about these machines is that they utilized a
"walking presser foot" to move the fabric along from above rather than
using the more typical feed dogs from below.
These antique sewing
machines were made in the 1860's and 1870's and in general have fancy
open-work body styles and decorative brightly colored paintwork.
One such example is pictured above and another to the right. A
critical factor in determining value of these antique sewing machines
is the condition of the paint and decoration. Pristine examples
in their original boxes are considerably more desirable than those with
little or no remaining paint. Poor condition examples turn up all the time.
Condition is paramount in
relation to value. "Dogs" currently sell for $200 or less on Ebay,
while pristine examples in their boxes with accesories can bring low four figures when properly promoted
Paw Foot Style Antique Sewing Machines
Another early patented sewing machine found in many varieties
style sewing machines. Shaw and Clark was but one major manufacturer
and many of these machines are unmarked. Others carry names such as "Ketchem's
Patent", Monitor, Wilson, Atwater, Goodspeed & Wyman, Hodgkin's patent,
Granite State, and
They are typically hand-crank machines but many had grooved wheels
and could be
adapted to a treadle base. They are sometimes referred to as having
a "fire hydrant" shaped body enclosing the drive mechanism. This
is sometimes topped with an acorn finial or other decorative element
such as a ball..
machines are nicknamed after the body style and referred
to as open pillar, closed pillar, skinny pillar, square pillar, or fat
pillar. The values of this type sewing machine are largely
on the condition and other details. Marked examples being
worth more, and some body styles being harder to find than others.
Lastly, value and demand are controlled by whether or not the current active collectors
driving the market feel they need each and
every variation, (yes!) or if they are satisfied with just one (Oh
More Pawfoot-Style Sewing
Other similar looking machines dating
are the Watson patent sewing machines like
the example pictured here. The Folsom patent sewing machine that
was manufactured in or near Winchendon, Massachusetts or Biddeford,
Maine in the 1860's are another example They are harder to find
than the examples above. Again, condition is really important
on these sewing machines and when you see an example in pristine condition
you'll see the reason!
Other historically important and desirable early patented
antique sewing machines we would love to have the opportunity to help
you sell, bear names like Secor,
Thomson, Leavitt, Pratt, Blodgett & Lerow, Blees, Battelle, Parker,
Holly, and others dating prior to 1870.
Singer is by far the best known name of sewing
machines in the world. Though most Singer sewing machines are
very common and frequently found, Singer
some very rare and desirable machines in the early years (pre 1860),
and the best of these are known as the Singer Model 1, and the Singer Model
2. The Model 1 and 2 are very large primitive looking sewing machines.
After that came the Singer Turtleback which was a much more refined
looking machine. The other desirable model from this early
era is known as the Letter A. These earliest machines can sell for
several thousand dollars or more. These models were all
developed and offered over a short period of time. After 1870
the typical design was settled upon and just cosmetic changes in
made after that.
There is some interest in the more ornate
or later Singer cabinet and treadle models after the
Turtleback and Letter A. Most other and later Singers are considered relatively
common, and fall into the period of mass production and are bought
today mostly for their decorative value.
221 and 222 Sewing Machines
The major exception to all the "rules" above is the Singer Model 221 and 222 Featherweight
sewing machines, like the one pictured on the right. There were close to two million
of these machines made so in general they are not considered rare.
They were manufactured from the 1930s through the 1960s so they are
really not "antique". But they enjoy immense popularity as "user"
and collector machines with
today's quilters, craftspeople, and other seamstresses. They are
a testament to the quality of the product design that Singer put out.
There are a few hard to find variants of these machines to be found,
most notably those marked as coming from the 1936 Texas Centennial
Exhibition, the 1934 Chicago Worlds fair, and the 1939 San Francisco Expo.
The difference in these machines is how they are marked on the ID
badge. There is also what is known as the Crinkle finish model
that was produced during WWII that is highly sought after.
If you would like to read more about Singer Featherweights
be sure to see the special
Sewing Machine page we have dedicated to them on this site.
If you would like to buy a Singer Featherweight
221 or 222 please see our Singer Featherweight sales page at
The above sewing machines
are examples of the
caliber, condition, and quality of antique sewing machines that we are
primarily interested in and can help you sell.
If you have quality antique sewing
machines similar to those that you see on this page that you want to
sell, please contact us at
To see examples of antique sewing
machines that we currently have for sale please go to our sister site at
visit the different sewing machine pages you will find there.
Larry & Carole