19th century mystery clock may bring $60,000

CHICAGO — Potter & Potter Auctions will present the 435-lot David Baldwin Magic Collection II sale Saturday, June 16th, 2018.

Mystery Clock and Magic Memorabilia

The auction begins at 10 a.m. at the company’s gallery, at 3759 N. Ravenswood Ave., Chicago, Illinois. David M. Baldwin (1928-2014) enjoyed a lifelong passion for magic and had a remarkable eye for the extraordinary. Professionally, he worked in New York real estate with Harry Helmsley. He also assembled one of the most finely curated collections of antique magic apparatus and memorabilia. All lots from this upcoming sale from are on display and available for public preview on Wednesday, June 13th, Thursday, June 14th, and Friday, June 15th from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the Potter & Potter facility.

Baldwin’s interest in mystery clocks is keen, especially those made or inspired by 19th-century French magician and clockmaker Jean Eugene Robert-Houdin. Furthermore, Robert-Houdin was the ‘father of modern magic’ and the inspiration behind Harry Houdini’s professional name. Plus, this sale features several examples of these mind-bending timekeepers.

Timepieces With Ties to ‘Father of Modern Magic’

Among the featured lots is a Robert-Houdin glass column mystery clock, estimated at $40,000 to $60,000. This lavish rarity tells the time via a single arrow-shaped hand. It appears against a gilt-brass frame glass dial with Roman numerals. Also on offer is a marked, two handled Robert-Houdin square dial mystery clock, which carries an estimate of $30,000 to $50,000. In addition, bidders will also have a chance to bid on a circa 1860 French magician automaton mantel clock, estimated at $10,000 to $20,000.

Furthermore, this sale also features a full spectrum of old to new magic apparatus including:
• The Great Raymond’s Matter Through Matter device ($4,000-$6,000).
• Early 20th century spirit bell and clock dial combination ($5,000-$7,000).
• Circa 1890 European card bouquet ($6,000-$8,000). This mechanically complex device is the only example of its kind.

Additional Featured Lots

In addition, another key category in this sale is magic-themed photography. Furthermore, several important images of Harry Houdini take the spotlight, including a 1925 glossy silver print of Houdini with eight of Teddy Roosevelt’s grandchildren, is estimated at $500-700.

For more information, visit Potter & Potter Auctions online at www. potterauctions.com.

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