Vintage Telephones

A Wooden Vintage Telephone on a Room WallVintage Telephone – Photo Courtesy: FHgitarre

Not only were they practical, but telephones made in the last century were beautiful too. They can still become either a working home accessory or a beautiful collector’s piece of technology on display in your home.

Whatever style you prefer, there’s bound to be a restored vintage telephone for you. The sound might be a little crackly on an antique phone, and of course there’s no caller identification, but that’s not why you’d want one – is it?

Candlestick Phones

Vintage Candlestick PhoneVintage Candlestick Phone – Photo Courtesy: PhotoAtelier

This is definitely one of the designs you’d think of when you thought about old fashioned telephones. It’s a classic 1920s piece, which needs two hands to operate and comes with an external bell set to alert you of any incoming calls. There are lots of companies who take pride in lovingly restoring these phones so they become workable antiques.

Antique Bakelite GPO Telephones

Antique Bakelite GPO Telephone
Antique Bakelite Phone – Photo by James Cridland

These classic mid-20th century phones usually come in ivory, red or black and have a classic pyramid shape. They are the most practical style of vintage phones, and Bakelite GPOs are also incredibly elegant. These were the most fashionable accessory for any home to possess, and a mark of luxury and expense.

It’s such a delightfully nostalgic image, isn’t it? These old fashioned telephones have the glorious ability to transport a person back in time; so whether you can imagine yourself as a 1950s homemaker, busy talking on the new Bakelite whilst whipping up a batch of cupcakes, or you picture yourself speaking through a 1970’s trim-phone to your family on a Sunday afternoon.

French Porcelain Vintage Phones

French Porcelain Vintage PhonesFrench Porcelain Vintage Phone – Photo by Hugh Lee

These are the most decorative phones in existence – often laced with gold/gilt detailing, in a typically French manner, with lots of floral patterns. There are lots of good quality replicas out there, which look very expensive indeed, and are a quirky addition to your country home.

One of these will look perfect on a side table with a big bunch of flowers, stack of big photography books and a few pretty photo frames.

Wall Telephones

Vintage Wall Telephone

Retro wall telephones are a really cheerful home accessory that will be the center of attention and the heart of a hallway. Make it a red retro telephone for ’emergency’ effect, and make sure that the sound it makes when it rings sounds truly authentic.

Choose between the ever so classic but time-consuming rotary finger-wheel dial and the quicker, but much less experiential, Touch Tone with button key pad dialing system. There are beautiful vintage examples of each style, whichever you may prefer. Of course, you can find reproduction items that join together both styles, with a rotary dial but with push buttons!

Superb online vintage telephone stores where you can find retro phones for sale:

Antique Telephones – This Company restores all the phones to proper working condition before listing them and then again before shipping. They’ve got every type of antique phone, from a 746 wall-mounted to a candlestick GPO to two-tone trim-phones.

And How Antiques – Specializing in telephones, this US company has so many different types of phone to choose from, including novelty phones, payphones, French art deco telephones and electric Starlite and Princess phones.

Robert Opie Collection – Faithful reproductions of classic telephone styles as well as original vintage models. Pastel Ericofon’s and 1980’s Swatch phones, porcelain telephones and bell desk types.

Novelty Phones – The 1940s Crosley Wall Phone is gorgeous, as is their entire ‘Antique’ section. Don’t miss the Princess or the Dreyfuss telephones!

Abdy Antiques – They are a small family run business who buy, sell, repair, convert, renovate & service antique British Telephones. These icons of British design are becoming increasingly hard to find and many people simply buy these telephones to obtain that “finishing touch” to a beautiful home.


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