NEW YORK – Swann Auction Galleries will offer part three of the Christian Fechner collection of American and European magic memorabilia on Oct. 25. In Swann’s two previous auctions, several record prices were set, particularly for scarce magic posters.
The diverse selection of posters and magic ephemera includes several Houdini-related lots. Two rare images, The Houdini’s, Original Introducers of Metamorphosis, Exchanging Places in 3 Seconds, featuring the escape artist and his wife Bess, 1897 (estimate $30,000-$40,000); and Harry Houdini, King of Cards, with a signed note in the margin by Houdini’s brother, Hardeen, 1938, $12,000-$15,000.
Posters promoting the performer Chung Ling Soo include Chung Ling Soo and His Ten Assistants, showing the magician holding up his 10 fingers, ($5,000-$7,500); and Chung Ling Soo, Chinese Conjurer, ($6,000-$9,000).
Other exotic Asian acts promoted by posters are Okito, in what is believed to be a unique image, ($8,000 to $10,000); and Linga Sing, Royal Indian Magician, ($1,000-$1,500).
Female mystic Ionia is represented in two bust portraits, one wearing a tiara and beaded gown, ($7,000-$10,000); the other unadorned, ($2,000-$3,000). There are also posters for Carter the Great, Horace Goldin, Alexander Herrmann, Kellar, Thorn, Thurston, and more.
Magic apparatus and art objects decorated with magic motifs, including plates, clocks and bronzes, will also be up for bid.
Copper magic set, designed for parlor performances, France, circa 1870, estimate $900-$1,000.
For more information, call 212-254-4710 or visit www.swanngalleries.com.