Potter & Potter to conjure 500+ lots of pure magic, July 16
CHICAGO – Potter & Potter Auctions‘ Saturday, July 16 sale, The Collection of Jim DeLoach, will feature a fine selection of antique to modern magic apparatus, posters, books and artwork. The auction, containing 531 lots, will start at 10 am Central time. Absentee and Internet live bidding will be available through LiveAuctioneers.
Modern and contemporary magic apparatus in the auction includes Winds of Isis from Wolf’s Magic of West Richland, Washington, estimated at $2,500-$4,000. With this trick, six chosen cards are returned to the pack, which is placed in a houlette at the base of a pyramid-like statue. Three cards rise from the houlette, then the balance of the cards spring from it, and the final three selections appear at three points on the statue. The apparatus measures 23in tall and is one of 12 that were made.
A La Glace Liquide device from Richard Gerlitz of Arizona carries an estimate of $2,000-$4,000. This 15 by 12in Art Nouveau mirror, housed in a green and gold-trimmed frame, slowly and visibly diminishes before vanishing entirely when wiped with a silk handkerchief.
A second Richard Gerlitz creation in the lineup is Sea-Ling’s Enchanted Dragons water vase, estimated at $2,000-$4,000. This 15in-tall bronze-tone vase is decorated with dragon-shaped handles on a pedestal base with claw feet. It allows for the transformation of water into 12 dry silk handkerchiefs, or, alternately, the production of flames which, when extinguished, change into unscorched silks in colors that match the flames.
Certain to cause a commotion among bidders is a Demon Head Automaton from the Magic Art Studio of Watertown, Massachusetts, estimated at $2,000-$3,000. This 27in-tall rarity is one from an edition of 12 in the Classic Personalities series. This hallmarked example has a moving mouth and eyes and is housed in an acrylic box. It is modeled after the Satyr’s head in Professor Hoffmann’s Modern Magic.
In addition, a circa-1947 Okito Checker Cabinet made in Chicago by Theo Bamberg is on offer with an estimate of $10,000-$15,000. This cabinet, described as “club size,” enables the transposition of a stack of checkers and a glass of rice. It is considered by many to be one of the best illusions made in the 20th century as well as the apex of Okito’s achievements as a craftsman.
Posters touting magicians’ performances from the turn of the previous century should take several of the top lot slots. A standout is Lot 515, generally known by the title European Wonders Horticultural Hall / The Original and Unique Entertainment from Egyptian Hall London. Its estimate is $5,000-$10,000. This circa-1900 linen backed color stone litho poster depicts a variety of scenes from Harry Kellar’s ghostly shows at Horticultural Hall, including spirit cabinet and table lifting effects, a ghostly manifestation and a large decapitated skeleton.
Books by or about famous magicians are also key categories in the July 16 auction. Of note is Harry Houdini’s Houdini’s Paper Magic, estimated at $1,500-$2,000. This second edition from 1922 features a color frontispiece and numerous illustrations and is inscribed by the author.
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