[ Frank LaConte wrote on this subject in 030530 MMDigest. ]
Hi Frank, What you have is the console part of a Tel-Electric player
piano system. The other parts needed to make the complete system are
the magnet bank that fits under the piano keyboard and the
motor-generator to power it.
Many of the consoles survive, but they aren't of any use unless you
have at least the magnet bank. Most of the magnet banks were junked
when the players stopped working.
We have two Tel-Electric pianos and four extra consoles that we use
for spare parts. Most of us Tel-Electric collectors (there are not
very many of us!) have spare consoles. If you find someone who is
interested in it as a curiosity you might get up to $300 for it,
but don't expect to get more than maybe $100.
The brass rolls are another thing. They weren't made after 1917 so
are more in demand. Most collectors have all the rolls they want,
but they will occasionally buy an interesting title. They turn up
on eBay occasionally, usually selling as individual rolls in the range
of $10 to $20. This depends on the titles; some common ones don't
sell at all. By the lot they bring less. We recently bought a lot
for $6 each.
Send us a list of the roll numbers and we will give you an estimate
of what they are worth. We don't need anything but the numbers, which
we will check against our database. If any don't have boxes, the
number is usually stamped on the first half inch of the roll, or on
the end of the roll case.