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1916 Curtiss R4 Propeller Value?

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  • 1916 Curtiss R4 Propeller Value?

    We recently moved and no longer have enough space to display all our propellors, so some must find new homes. Thanks to your photo gallery, I believe our largest is a 1916 Curtiss R4.

    It measures 114" tip to tip and has 8 bolt holes. The decals are complete (Westmore Propeller, Chicago, ILL), and the stampings are: C.10.V.2. C.P. 11612 R.H. and NO. 5126 R. 9. US (anchor).

    I don't know its prior history so it could well have been "restored" at some time, just not by us. It appears to be in very good condition. Can anyone verify it's status and maybe even provide a rough estimate of its worth? If you need more pictures I can provide them.

    Thank you
    Attached Files
    Last edited by chuckpee; 09-01-2018, 03:34 PM.

  • #2
    I'm guessing that the brass has been polished but I doubt that any other finish has been removed. The decals look too original and too natural for any alteration on the blade. That's not to say that it hasn't been re-varnished, but it otherwise looks original to me. It looks as if it has never been mounted on an aircraft and was probably sold off as surplus in the 1920s.

    Propeller values seem to be in a state of flux now, and there are lots of props for sale on eBay that have ridiculous opening bid prices. But I would consider this one fairly collectible and would expect something in the $2500 to $3000 range - just a guess.


    • #3
      Thank you for your reply. So much to learn...! I believe the Curtiss V2-3 engine was also used in an early version of the H-12 flying boat (and the HS-2 prototype?) but I couldn't find any reference as to the possible use of this propeller in those aircraft. Re eBay: it appears that today, many formerly collectible items no longer generate the same passion.


      • #4
        Originally posted by chuckpee View Post
        Re eBay: it appears that today, many formerly collectible items no longer generate the same passion.
        I haven't seen a truly "collectible" propeller on eBay for quite some time, or in the case of real collectible ones the price is sky high. This Everel single blade prop is one example. It's a rare propeller in apparent original condition with a metal hub, but the bid price is $15,000, and it hasn't sold in many weeks of the listing.


        • #5
          Good point(s). My definition of what is "collectible" probably uses too broad a brush. We just went through a parent's estate and found that much of what they "collected" (amassed?) is no longer of interest.