Chicago Antiques Guide

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1940's Royal Arrow Typewriter

Posted Sunday, May 20 by CAG

I have a Royal Arrow Typewriter in good working condition. How much is it worth? How best do I sell it in the Chicagoland area?

I just ran a church rummage sale and kept the piece with several other items to try to sell as antiques and get more money for our missions' project than we would have at a rummage sale.

Can you advise please. Thanks - Stacy

Royal Arrow Typewriter.jpg

Typewriters have been around since the 1870's. Typewriter collectors have traditionally focused on machines that looked as radically different from modern machines as possible. So, typewriters like yours were generally difficult to sell at any price. When personal computers came out making typewriters all but obsolete, it appeared to be the final nail in the coffin for typewriters in general.

Recently older, but not previously collectible machines started to move in antique shops and on eBay. Today some good usable typewriters bring pretty good money, $100 and up. I used to sell typewriters from the 1920's for $10 or $15.

People now buy typewriters for a variety of reasons. Many just like the nostalgic look, and use them as accent or decorator pieces. But, there are still people who buy typewriters to use them. So, clean machines in good working order and reasonable good cosmetic condition are selling pretty well.

Recently on eBay there have been about 10,000 listings with the words "typewriter" and either "antique" or "vintage". Nearly half, about 48%, actually sold. With antiques averaging $85 plus shipping and vintage averaging $48 plus shipping. Shipping ran mostly in the $20-$25 range. But some very rare models sold in the thousands of dollars.

For yours specifically I would recommend starting about $40 and try it on Craigs List. I think the cosmetic problem on the cover will hold yours back. In excellent working and cosmetic condition, Royal Arrow typewriters have sold for as much as $200 (including shipping), but most sold around $100 or less.

For more information on the history of typewriters, Click Here.

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