Rock-Ola Juke Box, ca. 1948

Value (2012) | $2,000 Auction$3,000 Auction

My dad was in the American Legion and he was down at the Legion hall one day in the storage room, and happened to see this sitting in the corner and asked if they wanted to sell it, and they thought they might as well. They used to use it for dances and that sort of thing, but they hadn't used it in years. And this is like 1971. So anyway, he acquired it that way and brought it home, and we've had it ever since.

Did you ever find out what he paid for it or do you know?

Well, he was kind of cagey about some of those type of things. He said $25, but I don't know how that...

It is a Rock-Ola. It's a model 1428, which was manufactured in 1948. It plays 78 RPMs, and it holds 20 of them. This is sort of the end of the golden era of these light-up jukeboxes. And the demise came as a result of the fact that it couldn't handle more records. Rock-Ola was founded by David Rockola in about 1927. He bought the rights to the mechanism which would change the records. And he became a very fierce competitor of Wurlitzer and one of the leading manufacturers of jukeboxes. You got to love a name Rock-Ola. It's very fine condition. You know, these are certainly vulnerable to damage. The sides are plywood and can bubble and warp. And you can see if we look at this one, paint specks, very authentic. And then if we opened up the front of the box, you can see that it's just pristine inside.


And condition matters in everything. People pay a premium for it. Do you have a thought of what it's worth today?

No, not really. We've tried to get it appraised, and it never has worked out to get somebody to check it out for sure. So don't have any idea.

Okay. I think at auction in today's market, a fair auction estimate would be $2,000 to $3,000.


And might fetch a little bit more just because of the condition of it. I mean it really is uncommon to find them this clean.

That's great. I see, yeah. We've had a lot of fun with it.

Appraisal Details

Sacramento, CA
Appraised value (2012)
$2,000 Auction$3,000 Auction
Rapid City, SD (July 14, 2012)
20th Century
Metal, Plastic

Executive producer Marsha Bemko shares her tips for getting the most out of ANTIQUES ROADSHOW.

Value can change: The value of an item is dependent upon many things, including the condition of the object itself, trends in the market for that kind of object, and the location where the item will be sold. These are just some of the reasons why the answer to the question "What's it worth?" is so often "It depends."

Note the date: Take note of the date the appraisal was recorded. This information appears in the upper left corner of the page, with the label "Appraised On." Values change over time according to market forces, so the current value of the item could be higher, lower, or the same as when our expert first appraised it.

Context is key: Listen carefully. Most of our experts will give appraisal values in context. For example, you'll often hear them say what an item is worth "at auction," or "retail," or "for insurance purposes" (replacement value). Retail prices are different from wholesale prices. Often an auctioneer will talk about what she knows best: the auction market. A shop owner will usually talk about what he knows best: the retail price he'd place on the object in his shop. And though there are no hard and fast rules, an object's auction price can often be half its retail value; yet for other objects, an auction price could be higher than retail. As a rule, however, retail and insurance/replacement values are about the same.

Verbal approximations: The values given by the experts on ANTIQUES ROADSHOW are considered "verbal approximations of value." Technically, an "appraisal" is a legal document, generally for insurance purposes, written by a qualified expert and paid for by the owner of the item. An appraisal usually involves an extensive amount of research to establish authenticity, provenance, composition, method of construction, and other important attributes of a particular object.

Opinion of value: As with all appraisals, the verbal approximations of value given at ROADSHOW events are our experts' opinions formed from their knowledge of antiques and collectibles, market trends, and other factors. Although our valuations are based on research and experience, opinions can, and sometimes do, vary among experts.

Appraiser affiliations: Finally, the affiliation of the appraiser may have changed since the appraisal was recorded. To see current contact information for an appraiser in the ROADSHOW Archive, click on the link below the appraiser's picture. Our Appraiser Index also contains a complete list of active ROADSHOW appraisers and their contact details and biographies.