There were thousands of these produced by a small British company -- and because they are so beautifully finished many have survived. They were imported into the USA by Shure whose cartridges worked well in the design.
They were considered very good at launch but by the late 1970's the fashion for more exotic moving coil cartridges meant they were sidelined because of an apparent lack of structural rigidity (use of gravity bearings included) which were deemed inappropriate for the amount of mechanical vibration produced by the low compliance of a moving coil.
Used with moving magnet catridges the SME is still sounds good. Look out for bearing surface wear and general perishing/tarnishing of the wiring and contacts after all this time.
Price obviously depends on condition -- I suspect an overhaul back at the factory would be expensive.[/quotems
Great call - high end Shure cartridges with SME tonearms were the the rage in the mid 70's. And still excellent with MM cartridges on good turntables. I used to be way into this stuff in the late 70s early 80s but finally gave up in the digital age. Did you subscribe to Audiophile by any chance? Or write for it?
And the SME arm should be worth something but only in a very select market.