Early African-American recording valued at $10,000 in US auction

An 1893 Edison Cylinder that features one of the earliest recordings by an African-American vocal group will sell in Saco River Auction Company's Annual Thanksgiving Auction, being held on November 23 in Maine.

Edison cylinder unique quartette
The Unique Quartette were formed in New York City and became the earliest known black vocal group to be commercially recorded

One of only two copies in the world and complete with its original Edison tube, the cylinder contains an acapella by the Unique Quartette entitled Mama's Black Baby Boy.

It is valued at $7,000-10,000, and will be joined by a cylinder from 1896 from the same group, entitled Who Broke the Lock on the Hen House Door, at $8,000-10,000.

The phonograph cylinder was the first practical sound recording device, invented by Thomas Edison in 1877. They are extremely rare in playable condition today, with Dav Porazzo of the auction company explaining to WMTV.com:

"The bacteria from your hands would cause a mould, which would ruin the cylinder, and (it's) very rare to have these last this long."

We are currently offering a Thomas Edison signed document for sale.

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