The top lot at Potter & Potter’s Winter Magic Auction is this Houdini-Slade-Weiss Locked Book. The tome was created by Remigius Weiss and used in a trial to expose Henry Slade, a supposed spirit medium. Years later, Weiss gave the book to his friend and fellow spiritualism researcher and debunker, Harry Houdini. The 19th century tooled black leather volume is accompanied by a handsomely framed collage of Houdini memorabilia at top right. Estimate: $10,000-$15,000.
CHICAGO, IL. —
Potter & Potter Auctions’ Winter Magic Auction on December 14 features selections from the collection of Giovanni Pasqua — aka Roxy.
Items for bid include rare conjuring books from the sixteenth century to the present day, other books, an assortment of collectible props, Houdiniana, choice posters, prints and other ephemera, and assorted apparatus.
Previews will be held in Potter & Potter’s gallery at 3759 N. Ravenswood Ave. Suite 121, Chicago, IL, Thursday and Friday, December 12-13, from 10 am to 5 pm CST or by appointment.
The auction will be Saturday, December 14, at 10 am CST.
For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org, call 773-472-1442 or visit
Harry Kellar, “A Walk in the Woods” lithograph, Cincinnati & New York: Strobridge Litho, ca. 1900. Half-sheet color lithograph depicting the famous American magician strolling through the forest as the demons so popular in his posters peek out from behind trees, framed to 37” x 27”; estimate: $9,000-$12,000.
Half-sheet color lithograph of Chung Ling Soo, The Marvelous Chinese Conjurer, by Ashton-Under-Lyne: Horrocks & Co, Ltd., ca. 1915. Features a willow plate motif, with Chung’s face at the center of each plate, on a patterned background, 30” x 20”; estimate: $4,000-$6,000.
W.J. “Doc” Nixon checker cabinet, ca. 1925, sturdy wooden cabinet with two curtains at front finished in bright gold, accompanied by plush-covered cylinder bearing a turned wooden top, a stack of checkers and a glass tumbler transpose locations at the command of the magician, 17-1/2” x 15” x 7”. Nixon’s version of the Checker Cabinet effect popularized by Thayer and Okito, with purple curtains in the place of wooden doors, and including the appearance of water and goldfish in the tumbler placed in the cabinet, an interesting touch and refinement. Estimate: $1,500-$2,000.
One of the featured lots at the Potter & Potter Winter Magic Auction on Dec. 14 is this poster of T. Nelson Downs, known as the King of Koins. The circa 1905 poster by Carqueville Litho of Chicago is an artistically rendered color lithograph bearing a central bust portrait of Downs, surrounded by vignettes of his coin manipulation act, ribbons of silver coins, and soft red flowers. A filmstrip-like sequence from his famous Miser’s Dream fills the bottom of the poster, showing six poses from Downs’ famous feat; 28-1/2” x 42”. Estimate: $8,000-$10,000.