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Old 07-18-2017, 07:45 AM   #11
Glenski
 
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Last year I inquired about this wooden propeller and took your advice to contact the Smithsonian National Air & Space Museum. I exchanged mail with Howard Wesoky, who responded to all of my mail and copied Jeremy Kinney on all of them.

Howard asked a lot of questions, but Jeremy wrote nothing more than to say the Smithsonian does not appraise such things, and he gave me the following URL to contact for that. http://www.appraisers.org/ I was less than impressed with such a response. I looked up the site and entered a lot of variations on the type of industry and keywords, but all I got for the name of an appraiser was someone in Rome, Italy (who I decided not to contact).

Howard referred me back to this site after writing the following:
We do believe that the propeller was used in a low power application because of the relatively small diameter and six bolt holes, which seems to be the same conclusion reached by Mr. Bahnson of the Wooden Propeller Forum. He is very knowledgeable, and had a very large propeller collection in the past.

We’ve been unable to match the propeller dimensions with engines that would power the type of aircraft mentioned in your original communication. And because Bendix did not acquire American Propeller (i.e. Paragon) until 1929, that connection is weak if the date you provided for your grandfather’s Bendix employment is correct.

If you can provide other information, we would be happy to further investigate. But, at this point, our attempts have simply failed to assist you.


His last question was this: It's important to confirm the dates of your grandfather's employment with Bendix. Also is it possible he received the propeller independently of that employment? (I could not give more than I've given here about the date and how my grandfather got the propeller.)

What more can I do to evaluate the potential worth of this prop?
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Old 07-18-2017, 08:02 AM   #12
Dbahnson
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Glenski View Post

What more can I do to evaluate the potential worth of this prop?
Unfortunately, the "market" for wooden propellers is small and inconsistent, which means that any appraisal would at best be rough guess by the person making that assessment. The attributes that add to value are fairly straightforward, however, and include age, original condition, intact original decals, and identification of usage (typically an aircraft). Yours has the first two of those, but the third may never be known.

Equally unfortunately, the best way to know what it's worth is to sell it, and eBay remains the venue with the largest number of viewers on a regular basis. Someone might buy it on the hope that he/she can identify it, but frankly I think the odds of eventual identification are low.

What do the tips of the propeller look like? That might be an important clue and I don't think I've seen photos of them.
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Old 07-18-2017, 08:21 AM   #13
Glenski
 
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Mr. Bahnson,
Thank you for that very rapid reply! I'll attach 2 pictures to show the wing tips, and meanwhile thank you immensely for your help and any further advice. If you would like to know or see more, please let me know.
Glen
Attached Images
File Type: jpg wing tip.jpg (95.0 KB, 3 views)
File Type: jpg full wing view.jpg (40.4 KB, 4 views)
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Old 07-18-2017, 10:00 AM   #14
Dbahnson
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Well, that's good. The photos show that the tips have not likely been altered (usually cut down due to damage), so it means that the propeller is intact in its original condition, a big plus. (Don't try to re-finish it.)

Do you NEED to sell it? Sometimes you're better off just keeping it for as long as possible. I doubt that it will lose value, but may very well gain value over time, and there's always the possibility that records may turn up showing its application. (I've looked extensively through the Smithsonian library, the National Archives, and the Library of Congress and couldn't find much in the way of actual listings, but you never know . . . )
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Old 07-18-2017, 10:19 AM   #15
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Thanks for that information. We had no intention of refinishing it or doing anything to alter it whatsoever. My late father's cousin expressed a strong desire to buy it, and he got my dad's OK. But we never discussed a price before Dad died.

So, here I am. That cousin lives several states away from my sister, who is keeping it for the moment. She is tired of storing it in her garage, even though it doesn't take up that much space in a large garage, so yeah, we need to sell it. I don't even live in the US, so there is no other option of storing it anywhere.

My dad kept it after he got it from his father, so it's been in the family since the 1920s, and Dad passed away almost a year and a half ago. Despite my efforts here and at the Smithsonian, I have not really gotten a certain ID on it. eBay has similar ones, but no exact match. I'm quite satisfied selling it to that cousin, but I really want to do so at a fair price for everyone. Having seen eBay prices between $300 and $3500, and knowing ours has a couple of scratches on it, I'm still not sure what to ask for it.

Any more advice would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 07-18-2017, 12:32 PM   #16
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The scratches don't matter, nor does the cracking on the varnish surface.

Ebay asking prices are all over the place, and and many if not most are blantantly absurd. You'll note that those high opening bid ones stay listed for months. I've sold off most of my own collection in a few separate sales, picking prices based on my own estimation of what a fair "market price" might be and virtually all of them sold at those prices. If yours had been included in that lot and I had to pick a number I probably would have listed it for $1350, but it was also in the company of some props that were worth 4 or 5 times that amount, most all of them WW1 era, which do command higher prices. I think you would get about that amount on eBay, but if your cousin wants it you should keep it in the family. If he doesn't, I'll offer $1000 and would sell it to someone later.

Does that help?
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