Bloomsbury’s Magical Mysteries
On 1st March 2007 Bloomsbury Auctions reveals its first Magic sale – the Properties of a Magical Gentleman!
This spell-binding sale encompasses a huge variety of vintage apparatus, costumes, props, antiquarian and modern books, publicity material, articles, catalogues and autographed items as well as scarce memorabilia from the private collection of a renowned magician. Many of the items for sale are in fact, from magicians who delighted their audiences almost a century ago.
Aficionados of the world of magic will be able to bid for Honan’s Gong as presented and developed by the Maskelyne family and Oswald Williams at England’s Home of Mystery; Dante’s Duck Tub which released a stageful of ducks, his Japanese Water Fountain which will be sold for historical interest rather than a working prop and Dante’s original Backstage with a Magician backcloth, complete with holes in strategic places so that real hands could applaud or even smoke a cigar! This backcloth comes in its original skip/basket trunk upon which Dante’s name is still discernible. Another group of items to whet a collector’s appetite is Murray the Escapologist’s copper Dove Pan, his distinctive orange Rabbit Presentation Pan and his Dancing Handkerchief. Even the world renowned Harry Houdini is represented in this remarkable sale with his Flower and Fishbowl Production, as seen on his European tour shortly after the First World War. American magicians too are in evidence, such as the early 20th century Howard Hurston and his Floating Ball and Flag Vase. The sale also includes later material like David Nixon’s Chair Suspension, an apparatus used by the popular performer who became the face of television magic in the 60s and 70s.
The plethora of magician’s names represented in Bloomsbury’s first ever Magic sale even embraces The Great Levante, Al Flosso, John Mulholland, The Great Masoni and George Grimmond to name but a few. The names of the manufacturers and dealers of the distinctive apparatus used, will thrill collectors and include Merv Taylor, Thayer, Massey, Ken Brooke, Richard Himber and Collectors’ Workshop.
© Bloomsbury Auctions, January 2007.