Potter & Potter conjures winter magic with Dec. 10 auction

1984 poster for Kellar the Great Magician, estimated at $3,000-$5,000

1984 poster for Kellar the Great Magician, estimated at $3,000-$5,000

CHICAGO – Potter & Potter Auctions will hold a 504-lot Winter Magic Auction on Saturday, December 10, starting at 10 am Central time. The auction house’s final magic sale of 2022 also features strong selections of Houdiniana, posters and antique books. Absentee and Internet live bidding will be available through LiveAuctioneers.

Of course, the sale features posters promoting some of the best known early 20th-century magicians. Chief among them is a circa-1928 linen-mounted broadside, known as Thurston Master Magician, Million Dollar Mystery. Estimated at $4,000-$6,000, it shows the magician performing this classic stage illusion.

Circa-1928 poster dubbed Thurston Master Magician, Million Dollar Mystery, estimated at $4,000-$6,000

Circa-1928 poster dubbed Thurston Master Magician, Million Dollar Mystery, estimated at $4,000-$6,000

Another magic poster must-have is Kellar the Great Magician, printed in Cincinnati and New York by The Strobridge Lithograph Co. in 1894. This linen-backed example depicts Kellar in a tuxedo with two red devils on his shoulders whispering into his ears. It is estimated at $3,000-$5,000.

Tower Bean Pattern handcuffs believed to have been owned by Harry Houdini, estimated at $3,000-$5,000

Tower Bean Pattern handcuffs believed to have been owned by Harry Houdini, estimated at $3,000-$5,000

Apparatus with ties to legacy magicians and makers of yesteryear include a pair of Tower Bean Pattern handcuffs believed to have been owned by Harry Houdini and estimated at $3,000-$5,000. This pair dates to 1909, is in working condition, come from the Radner collection and was formerly on display in the Houdini Historical Center in Outagamie, Wisconsin. The handcuffs measure 9-½in long when extended and retain the original museum tags and key.

Collection of bookplates from magicians, magic shops and magic collections, including one from the library of Houdini, estimated at $400-$600

Collection of bookplates from magicians, magic shops and magic collections, including one from the library of Houdini, estimated at $400-$600

Magic-related ephemera lots are led by a collection of about 59 bookplates from magicians, magic shops and magic collections, including one from Houdini’s library. The collection has an estimate of $400-$600.

Circa-1920 signed and inscribed bust photo portrait of Harry Houdini, estimated at $3,000-$4,000


Circa-1920 signed and inscribed bust photo portrait of Harry Houdini, estimated at $3,000-$4,000

Lot #27, a circa-1920 framed and matted bust photo portrait of Harry Houdini, is estimated at $3,000-$4,000. It is signed and inscribed, “To Harry Bussell / Love Laughs at Locksmiths / so does Houdini Leeds March 13/1920.”

Robert-Houdin mantel clock dating to the 1860s or 1870s, estimated at $1,500-$2,500


Robert-Houdin mantel clock dating to the 1860s or 1870s, estimated at $1,500-$2,500

Rounding out the December 10 sale are decorative items, automatons and other relevant antiques that bridge auction categories, such as a Robert-Houdin mantel clock. Estimated at $1,500-$2,500, this enameled iron and brass example was produced in France in the 1860s-1870s era. It features figures on an enameled stone base with brass feet, a black Roman numeral face and a hinged plate glass front door. It is marked “E. Robert-Houdin” and “94” on the movement and “Robert-Houdin” on the clock’s face.

 

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