Whether you have actually inherited an antique Singer sewing device or want to purchase one for her collection, you could wonder how much it is worth. Because of the long and rich history, these equipments are ending up being increasingly popular amongst collectors and sewing maker enthusiasts. The background of Singer sewing devices dates back to 1851. In the an initial hundred years, Singer made about 200 different sewing machine models. After ~ that, the number of models reaches thousands. 

Obviously, us won’t be able to discuss them every here. If you desire to know the exact value of her Singer, the is ideal of all to evaluate each maker on a case by case basis. However, there space some general rules that deserve to be applied. Among these basic rules is that just because it is old go not mean it is desired and also collectible. The two most important aspects that influence the value of an antique sewing machine are that rarity and also condition. But very first of all, you require to recognize it. 

How to identify Your Old Singer Sewing Machine?

Find the serial variety of your machine. This will expose the year her Singer was manufactured. According to Singer, serial number are located as follows:

On the neck plate or bed the the maker – for treadle/hand crank machines.

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On the appropriate hand side of the machine – for treadle/electric machines.

Underneath the maker – for electric machines.

On the prior or next – for equipments manufactured beginning from the 1960s. 

When you situate the serial variety of your maker (up come 8 digits), friend will instantly be may be to discover out a couple of things about it. An initial of all, if the serial number is composed of number only, it method that your Singer was made prior to 1900. For all post-1900 machines, over there is a one or two-letter prefix before the serial number. Secondly, the smaller sized the serial number the enlarge your an equipment is (this uses to equipments produced prior to 1900). Note, there have the right to be two serial numbers on her Singer. If that is the case, use the larger of the 2 numbers. 

Now, go to the ISMACS (International Sewing machine Collectors’ Society) Singer sewing machine serial number database, and match it with the serial number on her sewing machine. 

This database is very helpful. However, if your sewing an equipment was made prior to 1871, you will certainly not find the serial number in this database. This is since the original serial number logbooks for the time duration from 1851 to 1870 to be lost. Luckily, there has been some research study done on this issue (e.g. “The invention Of the Sewing Machine” by elegant Rogers Cooper, Smithsonian Institution, 1968). Therefore, if girlfriend cannot uncover the serial variety of your Singer sewing device in the ISMACS database, refer to the list below.


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Figure 1: Singer sewing an equipment serial numbers 1851 – 1870


The collectors of neck Singer sewing machines normally agree the this data is correct. 

So, now you know exactly how old your sewing device is. There is one much more piece of info you require to know in bespeak to identify your Singer properly. The design of your machine.

Hopefully, friend can uncover it top top the machine. The model number is situated on a small plate ~ above the prior of the maker (for equipments manufactured prior to 1960). Note that some model numbers can be increase to four digits long and sometimes space hyphenated (e.g. 16-35). However, numerous old Singer sewing machines do not have such a plate v the design number. 

If the is the case, describe the ISMACS database, and also use your machine’s serial number to discover out its design number. This will work just fine for all post-1900 Singer sewing machines. Namely, for those v a letter prefix. 

For the sewing equipments manufactured native 1851 to 1899, over there is no list with serial number that deserve to be matched v the version numbers, unfortunately. If your machine is from the time period (and over there is no plate v the version number either), you will have to identify the model based upon the visual and also technical characteristics. As much as i am aware, Sandman Collectibles is the best resource for this purpose. It asks you come answer an easy questions about your machine, narrowing it down until you acquire to the version number. 

Value of one Antique/ Vintage Singer Sewing Machine

As I said before, just since a sewing device is old does not necessarily typical it is preferable or valuable. Rarity is the an essential factor influence value. Plenty of of the common models were made in their millions. These makers are extremely long-lasting. Thus, many of them are still around. As a ascendancy of thumb, an ext than 90% of antique and also vintage Singer sewing equipments are worth between $0 and $100. 

One exemption to this ascendancy is several of the early models. These machines can cost thousands that dollars, particularly those in great condition.

For example, Singer design 1, also known as Singer Patent Model. The is a large and primitive-looking machine. About 10,000 of this sewing equipments were produced. Since they to be heavy and noisy, plenty of of them were scrapped. Therefore, they space rare today.

The Singer Turtle-Back the 1856 is an additional example. The Turtle-Back to be the first Singer an equipment specially design for house use, and it to be the first machine on an steel treadle. This an equipment proved to be a failure. Yet, they space so rare today for that specific reason. Just 1500 of these machines were made. The Turtle-Back is probably the many sought-after antique Singer sewing machine. 

The Turtle-Back was prospered by the “Letter A” sewing machine in 1859. Around 75,000 devices were produced. However, no so countless of them space still about because that the return policy introduced by Singer in 1857. The Singer version A is not as highly sought-after as the Turtle-Back. Still, makers in an excellent condition can fetch a hefty price. 

The Singer 12 or Singer new Family sewing maker of 1865 (also well-known as the “Fiddlebase” or “Fiddle Base”) is worth mentioning, too. The Singer model 12 was really successful and popular machine. It was the technological marvel that the time and remained in production for nearly 40 years. Today, the an extremely best specimens in outstanding problem can cost practically $2000.

In 1863 some 20,000 Singer sewing devices were being marketed annually. By 1871 the sales reached 180,000 machines a year. Obviously, this factor straight affects their rarity today. That is no to say, however, that there room no beneficial and sought-after models produced in the comes years. Over there are, of course. But, again, these space the exceptions quite than the rule.

The Singer 30K is one of such exceptions. It was made only during 1912/13 and only in the UK in ~ Singer’s Kilbowie plant. Just 15,500 equipments were produced. Thus, these chain stitch sewing machines are extremely rare today. 

The Singer 48K high-arm sewing device is an additional exception come the rule. Over there is a many controversy as to how numerous Singer 48K sewing devices were made. Some sources insurance claim that as numerous as 535,150 machines were produced. In reality, the Singer 48K is pretty rare and also highly sought-after by collectors.

The Singer Featherweight 221 and 222K models are fantastic example of how some vintage Singer sewing machines have the right to be an ext valuable than countless of your antique siblings. Indeed, older not always means more valuable. The Singer 221 was very first manufactured in 1933. In spite of the truth that numerous million 221 Featherweights have actually been produced, their average price is $300 – $400. I believe this is no so much because of their value as collectibles but rather as result of the fantastic stitch top quality these devices produce. Numerous seamstresses everywhere the human being still prefer Featherweight 221 end more modern sewing machines. 

The 222K Featherweight, sometimes referred to as the Queen of Singers (also well-known as the “Free-arm Featherweight”), had a lot more restricted production run from 1953 till 1961. Approximately 110,000 222K Featherweights were made. This day the 222K is just one of the many sought-after and collectible Singer sewing machines. They are specifically rare in the USA due to the fact that this model was never marketed by Singer in the USA. A traditional Singer 222K can fetch as much as $2000. 

Assessing the problem of her Antique/ Vintage Singer

Any collector will tell you that the prestige of a collectible item’s problem cannot it is in overestimated. Some even case that over there are only three points to consider in collecting: condition, condition, and condition. Definitely, problem is no less necessary than rarity.

Graham Forsdyke, being frustrated through inaccurate and misleading explanation of sewing maker condition, came up v the problem Chart because that the global Sewing device Collectors’ Society. Antique and also vintage sewing maker collectors and also sellers room strongly recommend to usage this condition rating chart to avoid any type of misunderstandings. 

10 – just like the day it left the factory. No a scratch or mark on it (according to Graham, that has ever seen only two equipments in this category).

9 – as 10 however with the small, odd scratch or undertake mark obvious to really close inspection.

8 – Very great used condition. All paint good; all metalwork bright. What the mean antique dealer would call “perfect”.

7 – good condition however rubbing that paint noticeable and/or some nickel plating worn.

6 – together in 7 but more wear to paint and/or part light surface rust to the shining work.

5 – The average, hard-used, ill-cared-for maker looking because that someone to love it.

4 – poor condition, chipped enamel, rusty metalwork but acceptable because that a collection if a rarely machine.

3 – In need of restoration however a reasonable job for a specialized enthusiast.

2 – full restoration needed to paintwork and bright metal. It’s a brave collector that takes the on.

1 – Spare parts only and these would be in require of substantial restoration.

As you can see, this chart takes no an alert of a machine’s mechanical condition. If over there are any kind of defects or missing parts/accessories, this need to be stated. 

Unfortunately, by much not every sellers usage this chart. This is an facet to take into consideration when assessing a seller’s level of professionalism and trustworthiness. 

Other factors That affect the value of one Antique/ Vintage Singer

Let’s have a look at at part other determinants that can affect the value of an old Singer sewing machine. 

Rare badges. Most Singer sewing equipments come with among the conventional badges. The 2 most typical badges room Gold badge and Gold badge v black decorate rim (both through the classic shuttle, needles, and also spool the thread). However, occasionally Singer has actually been using various badges. This has happened either due to a adjust of format or in order come commemorate some distinct occasions.

For example, during the last 3 years of manufacturing of the black color Singer Featherweights (1959 – 1961) Singer adjusted the badges from the standard shuttle and spool of thread to a bold, red “S”. This particular day these devices are recognized as the “Red S” Featherweights. The is approximated that only about 25,000 version 222K “Red S” Featherweights were made. Therefore, castle can price up to 25% much more than a typical Singer 222K Featherweight.

The most typical of the commemorative badges is the Centennial badge. The Singer Manufacturing firm celebrated the centenary in 1951 and also gave every the makers commissioned for that year a one-of-a-kind badge. The Centennial badge has a blue band approximately the edge and also the inscription “A Century the Sewing service 1851-1951”. This badges space not extremely rare. Yet, devices with these badges space slightly an ext valuable in the eyes of collectors.

Note, additionally this “slightly much more valuable” rule has its exception – the restricted edition Singer 301. Only the very first 1000 machines were offered Centennial title (the serial numbers NA000001 – NA001000). Uneven a standard Singer 301, such a minimal edition 301 an equipment can fetch as much as $700.

Then there are badges that space really a rare find and also highly sought-after through collectors. These space badges specially produced for assorted expositions and also world fairs. 

A Century of development ~ Chicago ~ 1933

A Century of progress ~ Chicago ~ 1934

Golden door Exposition ~ san Francisco ~ 1939

Golden door Exposition ~ mountain Francisco ~ 1940

Texas Centennial Exposition ~ 1836 – 1936

The Texas Centennial Exposition argorial is the rarest the the rare. A Texas Centennial 1836 – 1936 badged Featherweight 221 deserve to sell for as lot as $13,000. 

Desired decals & rare finish. The very same sewing maker models might have different decals in different countries or time periods. Some of them are an ext sought-after by collectors and sewing maker enthusiasts 보다 others. One such example is the Singer 66 “Red Eye”. 

During particular periods of time Singer occasionally created what are recognized as the “Blackside” and “Crinkle” end up models. Some machines are both Blackside and Crinkle finish. Note, not all Singer “Blackside” and also “Crinkle” complete machines are equally rare and also valuable, although they all perform cost more than a standard model. One the really stands the end is the “Crinkle” Featherweight 221 (also known as the “Godzilla” complete or “Wrinkle” finish Featherweight). These Featherweights come v a hefty price tag.

Provenance. A sewing an equipment (just prefer anything else) that has been own by a famous person will certainly command a greater price. That is necessary to note that proof of provenance is a must. A good story will certainly not suffice. 

Completeness. A sewing an equipment that comes through the initial case, accessory box, attachments, and instruction hand-operated will command a greater price. 

Location.

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 Almost all antique and vintage Singer sewing equipments (except Featherweights) are an extremely heavy. Most of them space not worth paying the substantial shipping costs. Thus, they have tendency to be an ext expensive in metropolitan centers (with much more potential buyers) than in rural areas. 

Treadle stands and also cabinets. A really elaborate treadle stand and also richly decorated cabinet can have significant value (in fantastic condition, that course). They have the right to be worth more than the an equipment itself. 

Final Thoughts and also a indigenous of Warning

Professional appraisals. Has anyone recommend you to call a experienced appraiser to determine the value of her antique Singer? I have actually read this advice on miscellaneous forums plenty of times. Well, take it it v a grain of salt. The truth is the most devices are worth much less than you will pay because that a skilled valuation. It can be a much far better idea to take it it to a neighborhood antique store and get a totally free consultation there. If necessary, you deserve to pretend the you want to offer your machine. Note, one antique save will normally offer you about 50% that what the device is worth. 

eBay as a valuation tool. This is an additional extremely common piece of advice. Definitely, eBay is not the worst alternative to begin with to type your general impression of what is being offered and also at what prices. But again, take it this data through a serial of salt. EBay is full of unreasonable questioning prices. Many sellers have no clue how much your antique or vintage Singer sewing device is worth. Numerous of lock state it’s rarely and an important just since it has actually some quite decals and also they think it could be valuable. Remember, what people ask and also what they obtain are no the exact same thing. 

Inaccurate descriptions/ listings. Beware of misleading descriptions and auction listings. Countless sellers space clueless about the model they have got. Because that example, a Singer Featherweight 221 is commonly described together a 222K. Note, not all together mistakes and also inaccuracies room as crazy and easy to spot as the one below.