Guild Country Belle Telephone Radio (1956)

Posted on Feb 5, 2014

I am not a great fan of novelty radios, but this one looks swell on the wall and doesn`t take up any shelf space. The Guild `Country Belle` is one of the most recognizable tube novelty radios. Patterned after an old-fashioned wall telephone, this model was manufactured in large numbers and is still quite common. I bought mine for $35 in a local sh

Guild Country Belle Telephone Radio (1956)
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op. A label on the back identifies it as a model 556. Although I have seen them advertised at higher prices, I wouldn`t recommend paying more than $50 for this radio. It`s easy to find a nice one if you have a little patience. A couple of years after buying this one, I found another at a garage sale for $20. Guild made several novelty radios in the late 1950s and early 1960s, including the Spice Chest kitchen radio, a lantern-shaped Town Crier, the large, gramophone-shaped Grafonola, the aptly-named Teakettle, the Bonnet Box, shaped like an old fashioned dry sink, a radio/phono console called the New Englander, whose cabinet looks like a roll-top desk, and the Buccaneer Chest, fashioned like a pirate`s treasure chest complete with a map inside. None of the Guild novelty radios is worth a lot of money. They are fairly common and the electronics inside are nothing special. On the other hand, the wooden cabinets tend to be good quality, using solid wood where other radios would typically use veneer. This cabinet is made of solid pine with an Early American lacquer finish. Above the mouthpiece are stenciled in gold the words "The Country Belle by Guild. " Brass is used for the bells and other shiny hardware. The earpiece and mouthpiece are made of cast pot metal painted with black lacquer. The following photo shows the set after restoration. The controls are cleverly integrated into the telephone design. To turn on the radio,...

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