The machine's now been entirely taken apart, cleaned up, oiled and put back together again. It really does look the part now. Having a blast playing with it!
A lot of the techniques for cleaning and bringing back typewriters and their black leatherette or rexine cases can be applied here as well. It basically is a 30-ies portable's carrying case with a very robust mechanism bolted into it. The motor of course has a spring that is more scary than the average typewriter carriage spring and the reproducer or soundbox is tricky, but otherwise pretty straightforward mechanics. (The auto-brake takes some puzzling though, very very clever.)
His Master's Voice portable model 102 wound up, filled again with new needles, ready to play records.
Looking at it like this, there is some similarity to the arrangement of a recent, popular music player. That recent electronic portable music player has the same rectangular shape and a wheel in the lower square.
Then thinking of the later models with the large touch screen, there also is a theme there. Black with chrome seems to go well with portable music players :)