It was bought by a collector via thesaleroom.com.
This relic from the early days of telecommunications had arrived for sale in filthy but seemingly wholly original condition. Key to its appeal was the wording to the case LM Ericsson Co. Stockholm.
The phone was a model made only for the Swedish market. Patented in October 1895, it features the same magneto technology as the better-known Ericsson ‘skeleton’ (or Eiffel Tower) but in this case the mechanism is hidden inside a metal case. This outer shell expanded the range of decorative possibilities – allowing for the lithographed ‘boulle’ style decoration.
It was commonly known as ‘the grinder’ as, once the crank inductor was added (missing in this photograph but included in the lot), it resembled a coffee grinding machine. While deemed very rare, other examples of the grinder have been offered for sale in continental Europe in the past decade with prices more typically around €5000.
The sale took place on June 27.