1937 Baird TV at auction

John Logie Baird
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baird_tv_1937A 1937 television set made by Helensburgh TV inventor John Logie Baird’s Baird Television Company went under the hammer at Bonhams auction house in Knightsbridge, London, on September 30 2009.

It was one of 24 old TV sets in the Michael Bennett-Levy QC Early Technology Sale.

The massive set has a 15-inch screen which faces skyward in order to reflect off a mirror in the fold-up lid. Also included in the cabinet are a radio, record player and a champagne-stocked drinks cupboard.

A Bonhams spokesman said: “This was a unique sale with no precedent. We sold a number of Baird televisions, a few of which were hand-built by the man himself.

“Prior to the Second World War TV sets were very expensive — over 100 guineas typically, which was equivalent to the cost of two cars.”

Michael Bennett-Levy, who is 62, has a vast knowledge of early television and has written two books on the subject. He decided to sell his collection after a recent health scare, and has retired to France.