Biblio
Swann Galleries
Rochester Antiquarian Book Fair
Leslie Hindman Auctineers
Potter Auctions
Addison & Sarova, the Rare Book Auctioneers
40th Annual Rocky Mountain Book & Paper Fair
Vermont Summer Book Fair 2024
PRB&M/SessaBks at The Arsenal
Booksellers’ Gulch
Freeman

Booked Up
Back of Beyond Books
Always something to discover at Quill & Brush

Old Edition Book Shop & Gallery
Gibson’s Books
Hillsdale College Online Courses
D & D Galleries
Hobart Book Village

The Economist
www.antiwar.com
Jekyll Island Club Hotel
Austin’s Antiquarian Books
Fulton County Historical Society & Museum

Rochester Antiquarian Book Fair
40th Annual Rocky Mountain Book & Paper Fair
Vermont Summer Book Fair 2024
Booksellers’ Gulch
Leslie Hindman Auctineers
Swann Galleries
Biblio
Addison & Sarova, the Rare Book Auctioneers
Potter Auctions
PRB&M/SessaBks at The Arsenal
Freeman

Outstanding Results at Potter & Potter Auctions Magicana Sale

Potter & Potter Auctions' December 9th sale had a 99.3% sell through rate, with prices noted including the company's 20% buyer's premium.

The top lot in this sale was Harry Houdini's (Erik Weisz) Death-Defying Mystery. Estimated at $40,000 - 60,000, it brought $180,000 - three times the high estimate. The linen backed rarity, one of perhaps five extant, measured 40" x 30” Houdini’s Death-Defying Mystery poster, was estimated at $40,000-60,000 and sold for $180,000.and was published in Cincinnati & New York by Russell-Morgan Litho. in 1908. The one sheet color lithograph depicted Houdini in his Milk Can escape, crouched down inside the metal container with water pouring down over his body. The poster, acquired at the Houdini Estate Sale held in New Jersey in 1981 by a former owner, was removed from one of many trunks found in the basement of Houdini’s home at 278 West 113th Street in Harlem, where it had been stored in the decades following the magician’s death.

Thurston (Kellar’s Successor) - Invested with the Mantle of Magic, was estimated at $15,000-25,000 and realized $48,000. The half-sheet lithograph promoting magician Howard Thurston was published in Cincinnati by The Strobridge Litho. Co. in 1908. Measuring 30" x 20” and depicting Thurston and fellow magician Harry Kellar side-by-side, with Mephistopheles looking on at the historic scene on the stage of Ford’s Theatre in Baltimore, when Thurston was presented with Kellar’s “mantle” of magic.

A collection of Suzy Wandas' (Jeanne Van Dyk) performing apparatus, estimated at $5,000-8,000, sold for $38,400. The case held virtually all of the props used by Wandas for the act she presented in variety theaters around the world. These include pails, holders, metal stands, a vanishing cane and an appearing cane; palming coins; multiplying billiard balls, her make-up bag and makeup; silks and flags; dummy cigarettes and gimmicked matchboxes; a breakaway fan; playing cards; and many others. According to Potter's experts, this was "a remarkable time capsule of one of the few female performers to excel as a variety artist in the twentieth century as a magician – not to mention as part of a family act, on circus, and as a musician, on two sides of the Atlantic."

Jean Eugène Robert-Houdin's Quadrille Mignonette des Soirées Fantastiques de Robert-Houdin, estimated at $1,000-2,000, fetched $28,800. This book of miniature souvenir sheet music bound in gilt-decorated maroon textured paper was printed in Paris by Chez Chabal around 1845 and included five pieces of music composed by Aristide Le Carpentier within, each headed by a charming engraving of a feat from the magician’s repertoire. These tiny musical sheets were distributed to attendees of Robert-Houdin’s performances after being produced from apparent nothingness, from a prop known as the Cone of Abundance. Robert-Houdin considered Le Carpentier, “one of my best and closest friends”.

Harry Houdini's A Magician Among the Spirits, estimated at $3,000-6,000, brought $26,400. This first edition with amazing ownership provenance was published in New York by Harper & Brothers in 1924 and was boldly inscribed and signed on the flyleaf in ink: “To my friend / Carl Germain / with “sincere best” / wishes / HOUDINI / March 19/1925 / “and its all true”.” Affixed to the spine of the jacket was a strip of raised braille letters, used by fellow magician and colleague Carl Germain, to read the title of the book in his later years when he was legally blind.

According to Gabe Fajuri, President of Potter & Potter Auctions, "From the first lot to the last, this sale had its sights set on the stratosphere. The exceptional results across the board speak not only to the strength of the market, but also the deep interest in the rich history of the art of magic." For more information contact Gabe Fajuri at (713) 472-1442 or gabe@potterauctions.com.