Tag Archive for: Harry Houdini

Potter & Potter plans one more magicana sale before summer disappears, Aug. 26

1898 poster Harry Houdini, King of Cards, estimated at $10,000-$20,000

1898 poster Harry Houdini, King of Cards, estimated at $10,000-$20,000

CHICAGO  – Potter & Potter Auctions will conduct a 379-lot Vintage and Modern Magicana Auction on Saturday, August 26 starting at 10 am Central time. It will showcase Harry Houdini-related materials, including inscribed and signed books, images, posters and ephemera, as well as century-spanning magic props from the most respected firms and artisans. Absentee and Internet live bidding will be available through LiveAuctioneers.

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Gallery Report: Pegge Hopper painting lent Hawaiian vibe to Andrew Jones sale


ATLANTA – At the beginning of the month, ACN columnist Ken Hall collects and presents the most interesting auction results from the United States and the world at large. His Gallery Report for August 2023 features many standout sales. All prices quoted include the buyer’s premium, except where noted.

Pegge Hopper painting, $23,750, Andrew Jones Auctions

A 1984 acrylic on canvas by Pegge Hopper (American, b. 1936-), titled Three Strand Ilima, sold for $23,750 at a Design for the Home & Garden auction held June 21 by Andrew Jones Auctions in Los Angeles. Also, a limestone portrait bust of an Egyptian pharaoh on a white metal pedestal went for $52,500, and a portrait of a Moor in traditional robes by a follower of Horace Vernet (French, 1789-1863) brought $16,250.

1909 15-cent U.S. stamp, $1,080, Ahlers & Ogletree

A 1909 15-cent U.S. stamp (Scott #366) on bluish paper, mint and hinged, in fine condition, sold for $1,080 at a U.S. & World Stamps auction held July 13 by Ahlers & Ogletree in Atlanta. Also, an 1863 10-cent Confederate States of America stamp (Scott #10), blue, graded extremely fine, attained $1,020; a collection of British and Australian 1st issue stamps garnered $2,700; and an 1867 3-cent U.S. stamp (Scott #79), rose colored, in average condition, went for $960.

Sterling silver parade saddle, $50,820, Brian Lebel’s and Morphy Auctions

A circa-1930s Edward H. Bohlin sterling silver parade saddle with leather and silver carving sold for $50,820 at Brian Lebel’s 33rd annual Cody Old West Show & Auction, held June 23-25 in association with Morphy Auctions at the Community Convention Center in Santa Fe, N.M. Also, a two-page  Nov. 14, 1904-dated Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid pictorial ‘wanted’ poster brought $19,965, and a painting by Will James (1892-1942) of a cowboy roping a steer lassoed $36,300.

Gold and diamond evening clutch, $20,160, Doyle

A two-color gold and diamond evening clutch sold for $20,160 at a Fine Jewelry & Luxury Handbags auction held July 20 by Doyle in New York City. Also, an antique platinum, gold and diamond crossover ring slipped onto a new finger for $16,380; a wide gold and diamond bracelet finished at $11,970; a French gold, star sapphire and diamond clip brooch hit $9,450; and a Patek Philippe gentleman’s gold Gondolo wristwatch (ref. 1488) found a new owner for $7,560.

Tribal door carving, $20,000, Clars Auction Gallery

A dynamic figural door made in Toradia, Sulawesi Island, centering a monkey carved in high relief, sold for $20,000 at a Tribal Arts, Interiors, Art & Jewelry auction held July 14 by Clars Auction Gallery in Oakland, Calif. Also, a painting by Arthur Hill Gilbert (American, 1894-1970), titled Monterey Oaks, brought $8,750; and a Bakota reliquary from Gabon, overall 22 ½in including stand, left the room for $8,750.

Howard Terpning painting, $2.36 million, Coeur d’Alene Art Auction

A 2008 painting by Howard Terpning titled Paper That Talks Two Ways – The Treaty Signing sold for $2.36 million at the Coeur d’Alene Art Auction held July 15 in Reno, Nev. It was a record price for a work by the artist. Also, Maynard Dixon’s The Pony Boy commanded $2.13 million, also a record for the artist; Gerald Curtis Delano’s Evening settled at $786,500; and William Herbert Dunton’s A Race for the Chuckwagon ($786,500) and Two Braves ($574,750) both did well.

Albert Einstein manuscript, $43,750, RR Auction

A one-page scientific working manuscript with equations handwritten and signed by the legendary physicist Albert Einstein sold for $43,750 in an online Fine Autographs and Artifacts auction held June 23-July 12 by RR Auction, based in Boston. Also, the Dr. Martin Breckstein presidential collection of 41 autographs, spanning Washington to Clinton, went for $47,768; and a Napoleon document from 1812, signed amid the disastrous Russian campaign, changed hands for $39,214.

Chinese porcelain vase, $20,910, Neue Auctions

A 17in-tall Chinese blue and white porcelain vase, probably early 20th century, sold for $20,910 in an online-only Fine Art & Antiques auction held June 24 by Neue Auctions in Beachwood, Ohio. Also, a pair of late 19th-century Aesthetic Movement leaded glass windows realized $7,995, and an early 20th-century carved and painted carousel giraffe, restored and attributed to Herschell-Spillman, sauntered away for $7,380.

Edison electric pen, $12,800, Nye & Company Auctioneers

A late 1800s Edison electric pen, No. 8263 on wheel, including stand, wire and stencil, sold for $12,800 at a Chic and Antique Estate Treasures auction held April 26-28 by Nye & Company Auctioneers in Bloomfield, N.J. Also, a circa-1440 framed portion of a leaf from the Sloan-Krech copy of the Catholicon, published by Gutenberg in 1459, secured $7,680; and a 19th- or 20th-century Louis XVI-style chinoiserie-decorated chest rose to $3,520.

Lalique chandelier, $14,080, Nadeau’s Auction Gallery

A Lalique Champs-Elysee chandelier sold for $14,080 at a Spring Outdoor, Mid-Century, Art and Furnishings auction held June 10 by Nadeau’s Auction Gallery in Windsor, Conn. Also, a painting titled End of Night by Arpana Caur (Indian, b. 1954-) achieved $7,680; a pair of Charles and Ray Eames Potato Chip chairs settled at $7,680; an Eames 670 lounge chair and rosewood ottoman went for $5,120; and a gilt metal cut glass and ruby glass eight-light chandelier attained $9,840.

Babe Ruth 1916 rookie card, $645,000, Heritage Auctions

Babe Ruth’s 1916 Famous & Barr Co. rookie baseball card, graded PSA Very Good / Excellent 4, sold for $645,000 at a Summer Sports Card Catalog Auction held July 14-15 by Heritage Auctions in Dallas. Also, another Ruth card, the 1917 E135 Collins-McCarthy example, graded PSA Very Good 3, realized $144,000; a 1952 Mickey Mantle Topps card, graded PSA Excellent 5, made $162,000; and a signed 1952 Bowman Mickey Mantle card brought $99,000.

Jean-Baptiste Corot painting, $120,000, Thomaston Place Auction Galleries

A painting by the French Impressionist Jean-Baptiste Corot, titled Le Chariot d’Arras, sold for $120,000 at a July Splendor Sale held July 7-9 by Thomaston Place Art Galleries in Thomaston, Maine. Also, an untitled painting by Etel Adnan brought $68,750; a folk-art painting by Bill Traylor secured $51,000; an inscribed original watercolor remarque by Andrew Wyeth on a book endpaper from Christina’s World earned $34,375; and a Hans Wegner Papa Bear chair finished at $19,200.

Harry Houdini poster, $45,600, Potter & Potter Auctions

A 1911 poster colloquially known as the Houdini for President poster sold for $45,600 at a Summer Magic Auction held June 17 by Potter & Potter Auctions in Chicago. Also, a Ouija prediction watch magic apparatus changed hands for $21,600; a circa-1902 German Harry Houdini poster attained $36,000; a Thurston poster from 1928 achieved $5,280; a ringing alarm clock production stand earned $13,200; and a butterfly silk production illusion by Jon Martin made $9,000.

The Legend of Zelda, $7,188, Bruneau & Co. Auctioneers

A 1989 copy of The Legend of Zelda, a video game for the Nintendo Entertainment System, factory-sealed and graded CGC 9.2, sold for $7,188 at a Comics, Toys & Video Games auction held May 6 by Bruneau & Co. Auctioneers in Cranston, R.I. Also, a copy of Science Comics #1 (Feb. 1940, Fox Features Syndicate), with a cover by George Tuska, secured $6,250; and a copy of Captain America Comics #36 (March 1944, Timely Comics), graded CGC 1.5, brought $4,000.


 Va. /N.C. corner cupboard, $96,000, Jeffrey S. Evans & Associates

A Roanoke River Basin (Va./N.C.) carved walnut corner cupboard sold for $96,000 at a Premier Americana Auction held June 15-17 by Jeffrey S. Evans & Associates in Mt. Crawford, Va. Also, a pair of emerald green Boston & Sandwich Glass Co. notch-cut and pressed vases climbed to $10,800; a Yosemite landscape painting by Thomas Hill (British and American, 1829-1908) settled at $30,000; and a Staffordshire platter bearing the arms of Pennsylvania found a new home for $15,600.

Sculpture after Troubetzkoy, $18,750, John Moran Auctioneers

A bronze sculpture after Prince Paul Troubetzkoy (1866-1938), titled Danseuse Jambe Droite Levee (Lady Constance Stewart Richardson), 1921, sold for $18,750 at a ReDesign Sale held July 11 by John Moran Auctioneers in Los Angeles. Also, Shane Guffogg’s (b. 1962-) A Second from Now, from 1999, realized $2,000; two Hollywood Regency gilt bronze and glass nesting tables brought $2,000; and a 1961 Leica single-stroke 33mm Rangefinder camera captured $2,813.

2007 4GB iPhone, $190,373, LCG Auctions

A factory-sealed 4GB original 2007 iPhone sold for $190,373 at a Summer Premier Auction held in July by LCG Auctions in Baton Rouge, La. It was the highest price ever paid at auction for an iPhone. Three other 2007 iPhones – an 8GB, a 16GB and an 8GB European version – also sold, with all four lots combining for $264,962. Also, a factory-sealed 1984 Transformers: Megatron AFA 85 made $57,596, and a 1978 Star Wars: vinyl cape Jawa AFA 85 brought $22,206.

George Hughes cover art, $103,700, Case Auctions

A summer beach scene created by artist George E. Hughes (1907-1990) and used as the cover illustration for the Aug. 2, 1952 issue of the Saturday Evening Post sold for $103,700 at a Summer Auction held July 8-9 by Case Auctions in Knoxville, Tenn. Also, an Andrew Clemens sand art bottle with a flag motif achieved $35,600; a Herter Brothers signed easel changed hands for $48,640; and an earthenware Great Road jug attributed to Thomas J. Myers (Smyth County, Va.) earned $29,280.

Click to view top auction results on LiveAuctioneers: https://www.liveauctioneers.com/pages/recent-auction-sales/

Ouija prediction watch magic apparatus, $21,600

It’s no illusion: Potter & Potter Summer Magic auction totals $425K

Ouija prediction watch magic apparatus, $21,600

Ouija prediction watch magic apparatus, $21,600

CHICAGO – Potter & Potter Auctions‘ Summer Magic Auction, held on June 17, was worthy of applause, totaling $425,000. The sale offered 568 lots and had a 99% sell through rate. Absentee and Internet live bidding was facilitated by LiveAuctioneers.

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Butterfly silk production magic apparatus by Jon Martin, dating to 1933, estimated at $4,000-$8,000

Potter & Potter to conjure Summer Magic with June 17 sale

Butterfly silk production magic apparatus by Jon Martin, dating to 1933, estimated at $4,000-$8,000

Butterfly silk production magic apparatus by Jon Martin, dating to 1933, estimated at $4,000-$8,000

CHICAGO – Potter & Potter Auctions will conduct a 560+ lot Summer Magic Auction on Saturday, June 17 starting at 10 am Central time. It will feature antique to contemporary magic apparatus, important posters, ephemera and research archives as well as selections from the collections of Jim Deloach, William Trotter, and Ken Klosterman’s Salon de Magie library. Absentee and Internet live bidding will be available through LiveAuctioneers.

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Gallery Report: Ted Williams, Uncle Sam and a prize pumpkin made headlines in May

ATLANTA – At the beginning of each month, ACN columnist Ken Hall compiles the most notable auction highlights from across the United States and the world as well. The June 2023 edition of Ken’s Gallery Report showcases a wealth of compelling results. All prices quoted include the buyer’s premium, except where noted.

Kusama’s A Pumpkin (RT), $56,250, John Moran Auctioneers

A 2004 painting by Yayoi Kusama (b. 1929-), titled A Pumpkin (RT), sold for $56,250 at a California Living auction held April 11 by John Moran Auctioneers in Los Angeles. Also, a 1958 Fender Stratocaster electric guitar played a sweet tune for $32,500; Edouardo Sarabia’s (b. 1976-) Painted Memories 2 from 2008 made $18,750; four topiary lounge chairs with ottoman by Richard Schultz for Knoll earned $6,500; and a circa-1980s-90s Art Deco Revival credenza settled at $5,850.

Houdini’s strait jacket, $43,200, Potter & Potter Auctions

Legendary magician Harry Houdini’s strait jacket escape, a heavy canvas jacket reinforced with leather across the neck, back, arms and waist, sold for $43,200 at a dedicated Harry Houdini event held April 8 by Potter & Potter Auctions in Chicago. Also, Houdini’s spirit cabinet escape realized $50,400; a circa-1925 poster advertising The World Famous Houdini /Master Mystifier, commanded $11,400; and a circa-1891 tintype portrait of a young Houdini, probably taken at Coney Island, New York, reached $21,600.

John Wilkes Booth reward poster, $166,375, Nate D. Sanders Auctions

The first printing of the reward poster for the capture of John Wilkes Booth and two other conspirators in the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln – issued by the War Department in Washington, D.C. on April 20, 1865, five days after President Lincoln died and six days before Booth was killed – sold for $166,375 at an auction held April 27 by Nate D. Sanders Auctions in Los Angeles. The poster, originally displayed on a tree, had never been auctioned before.

Tiffany Studios Nasturtium lamp, $71,500, Woody Auction

A Tiffany Studios table lamp with a 32in Nasturtium shade sold for $71,500 in the auction of Part 2 of the Ron Blessing collection, held March 18 by Woody Auction in Douglass, Kan. Also, an R.J. Horner china cabinet in the Atlas pattern climbed to $22,000; a French cameo art glass vase marked Daum Nancy, with penguin decor, waddled off with $17,000; and a Brilliant Period Cut Glass amethyst cut to clear water pitcher attributed to Stevens and Williams brought $9,200.

Gilt Bronze Tibetan Buddha, $200,000, Briggs Auction

A gilt bronze Tibetan Buddha sold for $200,000 at a Fine Estates Auction held March 24 by Briggs Auction in Garnet Valley, Penn. It was the most ever paid for a single item at a Briggs Auction event. Also, a nearly life-size portrait of a seated beauty, titled Lorelai, changed hands for $32,000; and a pocket watch by the 18th-century Delaware clockmaker Thomas Crow earned $5,500. These sums are hammer prices, exclusive of the buyer’s premium.

German World War II machine gun, $456,000, Morphy Auctions

A German World War II Model FG-42 machine gun, Model E 1st Model, one of only about 2,000 made, sold for $456,000 at a Firearms & Militaria Auction held April 11-13 by Morphy Auctions in Denver, Penn. Also, a British-made WWII silenced Sten Mark IV (SD) machine gun went for $129,000; a mid-1950s American-made Harrington & Richardson T48 (FAL) machine gun with box achieved $114,000; and a circa-2000 David McKay Brown (Scotland) 20-gauge shotgun attained $61,200.

Ted Williams’ Baseball Hall of Fame ring, $444,000, Heritage Auctions

Boston Red Sox immortal Ted Williams’s Baseball Hall of Fame induction ring, given to him upon his entry into Cooperstown on July 25, 1966, sold for $444,000 at a Spring Sports Catalog Auction held May 11-13 by Heritage Auctions in Dallas. Also, a Mickey Mantle Topps rookie card from 1952, graded SGC Near Mint+ 7.5, earned $384,00, a record for the grade; and a 1916 M101-5 (blank back) Babe Ruth card also set a new record for its graded (SGC Fair 1.5) when it achieved the home-run price of $276,000.

Andrew Clemens sand bottles, $151,200, Hindman

A pair of Sweetheart sand bottles from 1883 by Andrew Clemens (1857-1894) sold for $151,200 at an American Furniture, Folk & Decorative Arts auction held March 30 by Hindman in Chicago. Also, a Tiffany & Co. seven-piece silver tea and coffee service with matching tray made $18,000; a Baltimore Federal mahogany tall case clock realized $11,970; and a Renaissance Revival etagere attributed to John Henry Belter went to a determined bidder for $22,800.

Uncle Sam clockwork toy, $72,000, Bertoia Auctions

An Ives (USA) Uncle Sam clockwork preambulator, one of two known, sold for $72,000 at a Spring Signature Sale held March 24-25 by Bertoia Auctions in Vineland, N.J. Also, an oversized Ives horse-drawn fire hose reel in pristine condition went for $14,400; a Kenton Speed Truck, the largest of its series, rolled away with $16,800; and a Kyser & Rex (USA) Chimpanzee cast-iron mechanical bank brought $34,800.

George Washington-owned book, $441,000, Freeman’s

A volume from the personal library of George Washington, titled The Transactions of the Royal Humane Society, a first edition copy given to Washington during his second presidential term by physician Dr. John Coakley Lettsom and featuring Washington’s bold signature at the top of the half-title page, sold for $441,000 at a Books and Manuscripts auction held May 3 by Freeman’s in Philadelphia. In addition, a 1787 land grant signed by Benjamin Franklin finished at $17,640.

1854 US $1 coin, $91,062, Legend Rare Coin Auctions

An 1854 US $1 coin, graded MS65 CAC, sold for $91,062 at the Central States Numismatic Society’s 84th Anniversary Convention held April 27 in Schaumburg, Illinois by Legend Rare Coin Auctions, based in Red Bank, N.J. Also, an 1837 US $2.50 coin, graded MS65 CAC, went for $88,125; a 1942-S US 50-cent coin, graded MS 67 CAC, hit $70,500; a 1935-S US 50-cent coin, MS 67 CAC, brought $67,562; and a 1795 US 1-cent coin, PCGS MS 65 BN CAC, made $61,687.

Jefferson Davis revolver, $470,000, Rock Island Auction Company

The Jefferson Davis surrender Beaumont-Adams double action revolver, one of the most important war trophies of the Civil War, sold for $470,000 at Premier Firearms Auction #88, held May 19-21 by Rock Island Auction Company in Rock Island, Ill. Also, the engraved gold and Winchester Model 1895 belonging to Zane Grey realized $440,625; a Krieghoff FH42 Type 1 changed hands for $411,250; and the cased Colt 1861 Navy revolver presented to Capt. George Williams rose to $258,500.

Circa-1820 Armoire Crocodile, CA$29,500, Miller & Miller Auctions, Ltd.

A circa-1820 Quebec armoire in a strong alligatored yellow paint that earned it the family nickname “Armoire Crocodile” sold for $29,500 at the sale of the Belzile collection held in Quebec, Canada by Miller & Miller Auctions, Ltd., based in New Hamburg. Also, a Louis XIII armchair in old green paint realized $21,240, and an 18th-century Quebec pine armoire with four Louis XIV hourglass-shaped panels won $17,700.

Kurt Cobain Fender Stratocaster electric guitar, $595,000, Julien’s Auctions

Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain’s Nevermind smashed and signed black Fender Stratocaster electric guitar sold for $595,900 at a Music Icons auction held May 19-20 by Julien’s Auctions in New York City. Also, Bono’s 2002 U2 stage-played Gretsch Irish Falcon electric guitar achieved $238,125; Eddie Van Halen’s 2004 Charvel EVH Art Series 78 electric guitar settled at $114,300; and Michael Jackson’s Dangerous world tour jacket made $117,000.

Xavier de Charlevoix account, $5,700, Old World Auction

F. Xavier de Charlevoix’s Histoire et Description de la Nouvelle France – an account of French possessions in colonial North America, featuring 28 maps – sold for $5,700 in an online auction held April 12-26 by Old World Auctions in Richmond, Va. Also, The New Twelve Inch British Celestial Globe by William and T.M. Bardin, composed of 12 paper gores, a brass meridian and an engraved horizon ring, realized $5,100.

Marklin toy paddle boat, $250,000, Pook & Pook

The Marklin toy paddle wheel river boat New York, in exceptional condition, sold for $250,000 at an Americana auction held May 4-5 by Pook & Pook in Downingtown, Penn. Also, an English Staffordshire slipware doll cradle dating to 1698 brought $22,500; a Berks or Montgomery County (Penn.) painted poplar shrank, a robust example of early 18th-century German furniture design, earned $81,250; and a Mifflin County (Penn.) Samuel Plank-painted box brought $45,360.

Steve Jobs-signed check, $106,985, RR Auction

An Apple Computer check signed by Steve Jobs in 1976 – the year of the company’s founding – sold for $106,985 in an online auction held April 17-May 10 by RR Auction in Boston. The check was filled out in type and signed by Jobs himself, for $175.00, payable to Crampton, Remke & Miller, Inc., a provider of business processing consulting services to high-tech companies. Also, an early 1990s NeXT business card listing Jobs as chairman and CEO brought $3,076.

1897 experimental pistol, $72,000, Cowan’s Auctions

A Bergmann Schmeisser prototype 1897 model 5 experimental pistol with holster stock sold for $72,000 at an Arms, Armor & Militaria auction held May 3-4 by Cowan’s Auctions in Cincinnati. Also, a Peter Chapman 28 gauge sidelock hammerless side-by-side shotgun with straight English stock hit the mark for $36,000; a Parker GH grade 20 gauge shotgun with 32in barrels attained $25,200; and a Japanese model 1902 Grandpa Nambu holster stock rose to $15,600.

Maurice Prendergast beach scene, $162,500, Shannon’s Fine Art Auctioneers

A colorful oil-on-panel Boston beach scene by Maurice Prendergast (American, 1858-1924), painted circa 1907-1910, sold for $162,500 in a Spring Fine Art Auction held April 27 by Shannon’s Fine Art Auctioneers in Milford, Conn. Also, a circa-1880s oil on canvas by Martin Johnson Heade (American, 1819-1904), titled Vase of Red Roses, went for $125,000; and a 1904 oil on canvas by Richard Hayley Lever (American, 1876-1958) titled Sunshine in the Hills, brought $106,250.

Click to view top auction results on LiveAuctioneers: https://www.liveauctioneers.com/pages/recent-auction-sales/


Circa-1898 poster touting Harry Houdini as the King of Cards, $21,600

Potter & Potter’s spring Harry Houdini sale conjures $652K total

Circa-1898 poster touting Harry Houdini as the King of Cards, $21,600

Circa-1898 poster touting Harry Houdini as the King of Cards, $21,600

CHICAGO – Potter & Potter Auctions‘ early spring Harry Houdini sale, held on April 8, was a profound success. At the end of a long day of enthusiastic bidding, the 345-lot auction realized more than $652,000 and had a 98% sell through rate.

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Houdini set to mystify in dedicated sale at Potter & Potter, April 8

Left, Houdini’s canvas and leather strait jacket escape, estimated at $50,000-$100,000; Right, circa-1906 signed and inscribed portrait photo of Houdini, estimated at $4,000-$6,000

Left, Houdini’s canvas and leather strait jacket escape, estimated at $50,000-$100,000; Right, circa-1906 signed and inscribed portrait photo of Houdini, estimated at $4,000-$6,000

CHICAGO – Potter & Potter Auctions‘ Saturday, April 8 Houdiniana Sale will feature historically important materials from the legendary magician, including unpublished documents, props and personal relics. Also on offer are images of Houdini, early publicity posters and association copies of his most famous publications. The 345-lot sale will start at 10 am Central time. Absentee and Internet live bidding will be available through LiveAuctioneers.

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