Potter & Potter to unveil sensational magic in June 16 auction


‘Turk’ magician musical automaton, Paris: Leopold Lambert, circa 1900s, 25 in. tall, Estimate: $8,000-$12,000. Potter & Potter image

CHICAGO – On Saturday, June 16, Potter & Potter Auctions will present the second offering from David Baldwin’s collection, which features automatons, magic apparatus, ephemera, Houdiniana, stone lithographs, broadsides and mystery clocks. Absentee and Internet live bidding is available through LiveAuctioneers.

Selections from the famed Raymond/Gibson collection, including personal property of Maurice “The Great” Raymond, will also go on the block.


The Great Raymond’s Matter Through Matter prop, made by Okito (Tobias Bamberg), New York, circa 1908, 18 in. high. Estimate: $4,000-$6,000. Potter & Potter Auction image

Four automatons are offered in the sale including a “Turk” magician musical automaton (above), which was made in Paris at the turn of the 20th century by Leopold Lambert. As the music box plays, the magician, blinking his eyes and turning his head, raises cups held in each hand to show objects vanish, appear and transpose underneath them. The device features a fine period-type costume and accurately recreated draperies. The original clockwork mechanics have been professionally restored.

Five mystery clocks will be put up for bid, including two mid-19th-century Robert-Houdin originals. One is a two-handed model with a beveled glass dial bearing Roman and Arabic numerals and signed ‘Henry Robert (Houdin)/Rue De Vendome.’


Robert-Houdin square dial mystery clock, Paris, mid-19th century, signed ‘Henry Robert (Houdin)/Rue De Vendome,’ 12 in. high. Estimate: $30,000-$50,000. Potter & Potter Auction image

Posters include a dramatic tableau of Professor Samri S. and Miss Baldwin: The World’s Greatest Psychic Sensation. The 9-foot-tall poster depicts Miss Baldwin in “Oriental Hypnotic Dream Visions,” blindfolded and empowered with second sight by magical forces, surrounded by red imps rushing to her with questions.


Professor Samri S. and Miss Baldwin: The World’s Greatest Psychic Sensation, circa 1895, eight-sheet color lithograph, linen backed on two sheets, 109 x 82 in. Estimate: $3,000-$5,000. Potter & Potter Auction image

Choice examples of magic props manufactured by Okito, Thayer, Klingl, Willmann, Williams, Beadle, and others, will all be highlights of the sale.