Hand Crank Sewing Machines
Hand Crank Sewing Machines are a specific type of vintage sewing machine powered by the manual turning of a handle.
Brief history and description
Hand-crank sewing machines were extremely popular in both Europe and North America in the 19th century because of their effectiveness in stitching various items which required a great deal of precision. As a matter of fact, hand-crank sewing machines were so effective that older sewing machines were later converted to include hand-cranks as well.
Hand-crank sewing machines are unique because they are operated by turning a handle, which is attached to the machine as a separate arm and used by rotating a shaft in a circular motion.
Notable auction sales
Antique hand-crank sewing machines
Bodnar's Auction Sales in New Brunswick, New Jersey sold a hand-crank sewing machine (circa 1902) for $875 in November of 2008.
Skinner in Massachusetts sold an American hand-crank sewing machine with a cast iron base, floral decoration, hairy paw feet and a serpentine arm supporting the needle mechanism for $400 in August of 2008.
Jeffrey S. Evans & Associates in Mt. Crawford, Virginia sold a German hand-crank cast-iron clamp toy sewing machine with the original black paint and gilt pin striping (circa late 19th or early 20th century) for $400 in December of 2010.
Foley & Williams sewing machines
Jeffrey S. Evans & Associates in Mt. Crawford, Virginia sold a Foley & Williams "Yankee" wood and metal toy hand-crank sewing machine with a circular wooden frame, black painted base, and green and red floral decor (circa late 19th century) for $750 in December of 2010.
Shaw and Clark sewing machines
Phoebus Auction Gallery in Hampton, Virginia sold a rare Shaw and Clark sewing machine (circa 1864) with paw feet, a decorative floral pattern and gold scrolling for $550 in September of 2008.
Jeffrey S. Evans & Associates in Mt. Crawford, Virginia sold a hand-crank Shaw and Clark cast-iron sewing machine with a figural ribbed pillar body, scrolls and brass foot plates (circa late 19th century) for $400 in August of 2010.
Stitchwell Toy sewing machines
Morphy Auctions in Denver, Pennsylvania sold a hand-crank cast iron Stitchwell Toy sewing machine with bright decorations on both sides and its original wooden box with paper decal on the lid for $550 in September of 2008.
Wheeler & Wilson sewing machines
Christie's in London sold a hand-crank Wheeler & Wilson No. 1 sewing machine with a horizontal flywheel in a D-ended walnut case (circa 1867) for £1,760 in July of 1993.
Demorest sewing machines
Christie's in London sold a Demorest "fairy" sewing/running-stitch machine with a hand-cranked gear, cast iron base and a stop screw for stitch length (circa 1862) for £660 in October of 1991.
Guide for collectors
Hand-crank sewing machines that feature unique art décor are considered to be the most rare and valuable among collectors. Singer 27, 28, 127, 128, 66 or 99, Singer Spartan and Necchi BU are popular hand-crank sewing machines brands among collectors as well.
Restoration of a hand-crank sewing machine is recommended, but only if there is noticeable damage. (However, restoring a hand-crank sewing machine may reduce its value).
For more information regarding where to find hand-crank sewing machines, visit ISMACS Antique Sewing Machine Resource Page.
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