Rare Wurlitzer to be auctioned

A rare, antique Wurlitzer jukebox is waiting to make music for a new owner. The 1938 functioning jukebox will be auctioned off on Tuesday at a Bud Hayes and Co. antique auction in Red Deer.

Linda Baggaley does some last-minute dusting of the Wurlitzer in preparation for the auction.

Linda Baggaley does some last-minute dusting of the Wurlitzer in preparation for the auction.

A rare, antique Wurlitzer jukebox is waiting to make music for a new owner.

The 1938 functioning jukebox will be auctioned off on Tuesday at a Bud Hayes and Co. antique auction in Red Deer.

“I’ve never seen another one — ever,” said auctioneer Linda Baggaley, as the jukebox filled the auction house with tunes from the 1940s and 50s.

“When (Wurlitzer) decided to upgrade, to made sure nobody else got a jukebox and made any money off it, literally thousands were destroyed.”

She had a history book that contained a photo of a worker smashing a jukebox to pieces.

During the era of the Second World War, jukeboxes were in demand. People were looking for entertainment and many places couldn’t afford to hire a band, she said.

The antique belongs to Frank Kiss, of Spruce Grove, who is now in his 80s.

“Frank had actually been a repairman at Wurlitzer. That’s how he rescued it.”

Baggaley said the jukebox was his “pride and joy” and took meticulous care of the machine that could sell at auction for $3,000 to $8,000.

“It’s really hard to guess. We’ve never sold one.”

And the auctioneer said you never know who will make a bid.

About 40 antique clocks from Kiss’ collection will also be sold, including an Edward Stourbridge grandfather clock, intricately carved with walnut inlay, from about the 1860s.

Different phases of the moon rotate near the face of the clock as the hands move.

“It’s one of the nicest we’ve ever seen,” Baggaley said about the clock that could sell for $5,000 or more.

The 6:30 p.m. auction, at Bay 4, 7429-49th Ave., begins with a preview at 4:30 p.m.

szielinski@bprda.wpengine.com