George's French Radios...

Last Updated on July 23, 2006

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These sets are some of the French radios I have obtained from different parts of the world. This is the latest branch of the hobby that I have become excited about. The radios of France in the 1950s have caught my eye...

I want to extend my thanks to the many people who have helped me find radios for my collection from all over the world. Many people from the net have offered me wonderful radios over the years. I wish you good luck in your own hunt!

Radios from France

This is a Familial Radio model 'STORMY'. Eric Verdier of Paris provided a little history of this radio and the company.

The Familial Radio company was a subsidiary of SNR (the french manufacturer of the famous Excelsior 52 and 55 radios). In 1954, Oceanic, another maker of popular radios, started to sell the 'Surcouf' radio, a beautiful model with a very outrageous style, but far cheaper than the SNR ones. (See below for an example of that radio).

This model (STORMY) was the response of SNR and Familial to the great commercial success of the Surcouf. It is typicaly inspired by the design of the Oceanic radio and was sold in France for the same price. The face is made of iron and gold plated. On some parts of the radio the gold plated is visible but some other parts are painted in green or in green+gold. The little piedestal is made of wood and painted in gold+brown.

As on a surcouf set, the plastic parts on the sides of the dial are illuminated when the radio is in working order. The cabinet is a simple one, made of veneered wood and varnished.

The Surcouf was a great success but this one was not. It is today a very rare radio..

As it turns out, this is the same radio I tried to bid on at an auction in the south of France about two years ago. I was outbid. Eventually, it made its way into my collection in spite of that!.. It is a small world!

The radio has 5 tubes (including magic eye), 4 bands, AC 110/220V power. Its size is: 49x31x22 cms.

Click to see the insides of the radio.

This is an interesting radio manufactured by the Radialva company in France called the 'Super-Boum'.

Again, Eric Verdier from Paris supplied the following information about the radio and the company. I have learned much from Eric, and want to express my thanks for his advice and help over the past few years.

Established at Asnières (a Paris suburb) in 1935, the Radialva company (Etablissements Véchambre Freres) was one of the largest french popular radio manufacturers of the fifties. Clearly inspired by british round Ecko's, this model "Super-Boum", manufactured in 1949, was not a commercial success. Radialva's regular customers most likely prefered a much more "classical" and cheaper radio. Consequently, less than 2000 were sold, including many different colors. It is now really quite rare and one of the most prized bakelite radio on the french vintage radios market.

This radio is brown with a green face and knobs, a nearly unique combination of colors (usually the green face was used with the white cabinet). The face is made of green plastic and the knobs are made of white plastic painted in green.

This radio has 5 tubes, 2 bands, AC/DC/110 V powered radio. Serial number : 70353. Size : diameter 22 cms (8.8 inchs).

Art Luxe Technique Model E500 - This radio was recently acquired at a National Antique Radio swap meet. The radio has a wooden case, painted white. It is mirrored on four sides with a very beautiful painted mirror in yellow and black.

Some silvering is flaking off in the front, but for an original set, it is doing quite well.

The second picture shows some detail of the design.

The radio has 5 tubes: 6E8, 6K7, 6Q7, 25L6, and 25Z6.

The "E" in the model number may have stood for export model, since although the writin on the back is in French, the radio was designed to run on 110v-130v.

The chassis number of this set is #1338.

One unique feature of this set is two sets of dial glasses, each having its own dial pointer, but these are driven on the same dial cord using a single tuning knob.

This is a recent acquisition, and now one of the highlights of my french radios in my collection!

Red Radiocapte

RadioCapte - Manufactured in France by Cellard. Bands: MW-LW-SW-WB. Uses 6 Noval based tubes. Manufactured in three colors, White, Red/Burgandy, and Green. This white example was acquired through the Internet due to the kindness of a collector in Paris, and a fine antique dealer in a flea market also in Paris.

Green RadiocapteRadioCapte #2 - This green version was recently acquired at a national Antique Radio meet from a Canadian vendor. There is considerable damage to the base. Given how rare this color is, I decided to purchase the radio in spite of its faults. I will attempt to have the base restored.

Even in its present condition, this radio displays very nicely, and looks good next to it's sister set above. You can see it on display on my collection display page.

RadioCapte #3 - I recently had the opportunity to acquire the third color of this set, and purchased it from a collector in France. Evidently, this color is quite rare, and the condition of this set is very good!

This is a very rare opportunity to see all three colors of this rather unique set together!

Eric Verdier provided the following information about these radios:

This very special radio was manufactured by "Radio-Celard", a french manufacturer established at Grenoble, near the Alp mountains. This small company began in the late 30's and stopped making radios by the end of the 60's. From 1945 to 1955, Celard was mostly specialized in the production of loop antennas, some of them with a very deco design. This radio, manufactured between 1953 and 1955, is an extrapolation of these loop antennas and probably the strangest of all french radios from the 50's, a precursor of the space age style, ten years before Weltron transistor radios. The electronic parts are located in the base, the dial and the speaker are located on the top part, the loop antenna turn around this top part.

This very amazing radio was not a very large success in France in 1954, it was expensive and much too special for the french radio market. It is now a great collector item, hard to find, and prized. Usually, the Radio-Capte is made of white plastic, some rare models are green (perhaps not more than 10% of the total). There is also an exeptional burgundy model (In France the name for this color is "Bordeaux").

Only 3 examples of Bordeaux Radio-Capte are known in France (One in mint condition in the largest french design radios collection, one seriously cracked in the St Fargeau radio museum and this one).

Excelsior 55 - Manufactured in France by SNR. This radio was made in 1955, and is nicknamed the Butterfly. This particular radio is finished with a two-tone green cabinet.

A lizzard finish version is also available, and seemingly more common.

The front is plastic, and the remainder of the case is metal. A very elegant radio!

Excelsior 52 - Manufactured in France by SNR. This radio was made in 1952. This particular radio is finished with a lizard patterend green cabinet. The case is metal with plastic trim.

The knobs on this particular example are not correct. This radio served as a pattern for the Russian Red Star radio shown elsewhere in my radio collection. The knobs on that radio are what should be on this one.

Oceanic Surcouf - Manufactured in France by Oceanic. This radio has a plastic front, and a wooden cabinet. The from part is made of a translucent turquois plastic material, and an airbrush was used to paint the gold and brown colors. Lights behind the plastic cause the turquois section to light up.

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