A few years ago I went to Frankfurt to visit magician Jeff Sheridan. He was working on some art collages and new magic illusions which were very amazing. Recently I spoke to him on the phone and he mentioned the Youtube video that he made in 2005. I have attached it below. Also, I created this slide show from photographs I have taken of Jeff Sheridan performing in Central Park and images taken from book covers and magazines where he was featured.
It was projected during Jeff’s performance at Monday Night Magic in 2005 which was hosted by Todd Robbins. During the past several decades, Jeff has made Frankfurt his home and during this time he has performed at the legendary variety club Tiger Palast as well as many private engagements (Mercedes, Deutsch bank, etc). He has created many pieces of art/collages during his time in Frankfurt as well as invent many new magic illusions for Milton Bradley Magic Works, Japanese company Tenyo, and Viking Magic.
Society of American Magicians – Early Society of American Magicians Banquet Photograph. New York: ca. 1910. Handsome Large-format boudoir/cabinet card panoramic silver print sepia-toned photograph of an early gathering of the S.A.M., each attendee dressed in formal jackets and ties. Among those in the image are Frank Ducrot, Oscar Teale, Harry Rouclere, W. Golden Mortimer, J.W. Sargent, and others. Festive ribbons dot the floor and tables. 16 ½ x 22”. Mount chipped, corners of image bear remnants of old mat, central image clean. Rare.
Includes large framed posters, magazine clippings (“How I Escape a Strait Jacket” from the Ladies Home Journal (1918), an original), various pieces about handcuffs and escapism, Dean Gunnarson signed poster, broadsides (some framed), periodicals, and many more. Various conditions.
Orson Welles/Mercury Productions Letter to Berg’s Magic Studio. 1944. Letter to Berg’s Magic Studio concerning Welles’ order of “Here’s New Magic” and “Berg’s Ultra-Mental Deck” on Mercury Productions letterhead. Browning, soiling.
Devant, David and Nevil Maskelyne. Our Magic. New York: Dutton, 1911. Publisher’s navy cloth stamped in gilt and white. Illustrated photographically. 8vo. Bamberg Magic & Novelty over-slip to title page. 8vo. 487 + pp. Minor rubbing and fraying at ends; an attractive, tight copy.
Robert-Houdin, Jean Eugène (trans. Professor Hoffmann). The Secrets of Conjuring & Magic. London: George Routledge & Sons, 1878. First edition. Red cloth stamped in black and gold, all edges gilt. Frontis. Illustrated. 8vo. 373,  pp. ads. Binding broken with several loose gatherings, covers rubbed, bumped, and soiled; needs re-sewing, sold as is.
Chung Ling Soo (William E. Robinson). Two Chung Ling Soo Marvellous Chinese Conjurer Letterheads. Circa 1900. Two copies of Soo’s colorfully lithographed letterhead, one overprinting “Direction/Maurce E. Bandman” and both signed at the lower right by Soo’s grandsom, Mike Robinson. Light creases, second copy with losses along top and bottom margins.
Thurston, Howard. Portrait of Howard Thurston and Family. Baltimore: Thos. C. Worthington, ca. 1910s. Linen-finish silver print portrait of Thurston with his daughter, Jane, and wife, Leotha. Original studio folder, signed by Worthington outside frame. 6 x 4”. Fine.
These are but a few of the wonderful collectables going to be auctioned on Dec. 15th.
Here is the link to the catalog and more information about the auction.
Wyatt, Snap. King of Swords. Sideshow Banner. Tampa: Snap Wyatt Studios, ca. 1947. Attractive canvas sideshow banner bears a full-length portrait of a sword swallower in performance, with a handful of shiny blades in one outstretched hand. 103 x 119”. Soiled and worn from use.
Wyatt, Snap. Headless Girl. Sideshow Banner. Tampa: Snap Wyatt Studios, ca. 1965. Bright banner shows a comely lady’s body that lacks a head, yet remains “Alive” and is able to answer questions and communicate through hand gestures. 101 x 118 ½”. Minor wear and tears evident, but overall well preserved. See lot 646 for a sturdy and functional version of the apparatus used to create this classic sideshow attraction.
Wyatt, Snap. Frank Lentini. 3 Legged Man Sideshow Banner. Tampa: Snap Wyatt Studios, ca. 1950. Vibrant orange and red canvas banner advertises the man with “3 Legs, 4 Feet, 16 Toes.” 97 x 115”. Worn but very good condition. Wyatt (1905 – 1984) created many iconic banner designs. He worked quickly, claiming he could paint at least one banner per day at a retail cost of $85 each. In his heyday, he reportedly produced as many as 400 banners per year.
Johnson, Fred. Human Dynamo Sideshow Banner. Chicago: O’Henry Tent and Awning, ca. 1950. Vibrant painted canvas banner depicting the classic Electric Chair sideshow illusion. 91 x 111”. Scattered holes, wear, and soiling from use, primarily in borders.
Circassian Enchantress Magic Program. Gardiner: Fountain Printing, ca. 1842. Early American program advertising a lecture by Dr. Shattuck on the Mysteries in Nature, Miracles of Indian Bramins, Hindoo Jugglers and Chinese Magi, followed by the performance of Mrs. Shattuck, the Circassian Enchantress, The Original and Greatest Lady Magician in America. Light creases and stains consistent with age, else very good.
One of my favorite magicians of all time! Cardini. Here is an item of his.
Cardini Combination Watch/Finger Reel. New York: Richard Cardini, ca. 1965. Uncommon model of this thread reel with custom-made flexible watchband and metal housing. Lathe-turned device clips in to strap or is easily removed for use in either of two manners. Interior of case stamped “CARDINI.” An uncommon model. Cardini designed and built thread reels of many types – for the mouth, shoe, and hand. He also manufactured wristwatch reels of various styles. This is the first combination finger/wristwatch reel we have encountered. The device slips securely in to or out of the watch housing with a minimum of effort, for use in the hand, or strapped to the wrist.
Head on Sword Sideshow Illusion. A disembodied human head – alive, talking, and moving – sits on the blade of a sword resting across the arms of a large wooden throne-type chair. Black art. Breaks down for packing. 62” high. Used but good condition.
Houdini, Harry (Ehrich Weisz). Houdini Signed Letter, Houdini Key, and Houdini-Era Handcuffs. Framed presentation includes a TLS from Houdini to Remigius Weiss regarding books on alchemy, boldly signed “Houdini,” together with original mailing envelope bearing Houdini’s return address; flat metal Houdini-owned key, and a pair of Houdini-era Bean Cobb handcuffs. Handsomely framed with a later photo of Houdini in restraints and chains to 19 ¾ x 22 ½”.
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This auction takes place on Nov. 1st, 2018.
These are merely ‘scraping the surface’ of the collection. Go to the site to see all of the items up for auction.
How To Fly A Horse: The Secret History of Creation, Invention, and Discovery
by Kevin Ashton
To create is human. Technology pioneer Kevin Ashton has experienced firsthand the all-consuming challenge of creating something new. Now, in a tour-de-force narrative twenty years in the making, Ashton demystifies the sacred act, leading us on a journey through humanity’s greatest creations to uncover the surprising truth behind who creates and how they do it. From the crystallographer’s laboratory where the secrets of DNA were first revealed by a long forgotten woman, to the Ohio bicycle shop where the Wright brothers set out to “fly a horse,” Ashton showcases the seemingly unremarkable individuals, gradual steps, multiple failures, and countless ordinary and usually uncredited acts that lead to our most astounding breakthroughs. Drawing on examples from Mozart to the Muppets, Archimedes to Apple, Kandinsky to a can of Coke, How to Fly a Horse is essential reading for would-be creators and innovators, and also a passionate and immensely rewarding exploration of how “new” comes to be.
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“One of the most creative books on creativity I have ever read, a genuinely inspiring journey through the worlds of art, science, business and culture that will forever change how you think about where new ideas come from.”
William C. Taylor, co-founder, and editor of Fast Company and author of Practically Radical
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“[Ashton’s] is a democratic idea—a scientific version of the American dream. . . . [A]n approachable, thought-provoking book that encourages everyone to be the best they can be.”
—The Guardian (London)
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“An inspiring vision of creativity that’s littered with practical advice, and is a cracking read to boot.” —BBC Focus
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“How to Fly a Horse solves the mysteries of the invention. Kevin Ashton, the innovator who coined the ‘internet of things,’ shows that creativity is more often the result of ordinary steps than extraordinary leaps. With engrossing stories, provocative studies, and lucid writing, this book is not to be missed.”
—Adam Grant, professor of management at the Wharton School and New York Times bestselling author of Give and Take
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Kevin Ashton led pioneering work on RFID (radio frequency identification) networks, for which he coined the term “the Internet of Things,” and co-founded the Auto-ID Center at MIT. His writing about innovation and technology has appeared in Quartz, Medium, The Atlantic, and The New York Times.
The promise of magic has always commanded the human imagination, but the story of industrial modernity is usually seen as a process of disenchantment. Drawing on the writings and performances of the so-called ‘Golden Age Magicians’ from the turn of the twentieth century, Chris Goto-Jones unveils the ways in which European and North American encounters with (and representations of) Asia – the fabled Mystic East – worked to re-enchant experiences of the modern world. Beginning with a reconceptualization of the meaning of ‘modern magic’ itself – moving beyond conventional categories of ‘real’ and ‘fake’ magic – Goto-Jones‘ acclaimed book guides us on a magical mystery tour around India, China and Japan, showing us levitations and decapitations, magic duels and bullet catches, goldfish bowls and paper butterflies. In the end, this mesmerizing book reveals Orientalism as a kind of magic in itself, casting a spell over Western culture that leaves it transformed even today.
“If magic is the art of accomplishing the impossible, Goto-Jones emerges as a scholar-magician: a wonder-full book!” Derren Brown, mentalist and illusionist
Williamson offers an insightful, wide-ranging investigation of how the cinema has functioned as a “device of wonder” for more than a centurywhile also exploring how several key filmmakers, from Orson Welles to Christopher Nolan and Martin Scorsese, employ the rhetoric of magic. Examining pre-cinematic visual culture, animation, nonfiction film, and the digital trickery of today’s CGI spectacles, Hidden in Plain Sight provides an eye-opening look at the powerful ways that magic has shaped our modes of perception and our experiences of the cinema.
“Fresh and intriguing, Hidden in Plain Sight offers a wealth of fascinating historical information on the myriad ways and contexts in which moving images have evoked experiences of wonder from audiences. Williamson’s interest in the material is infectious.”
—Stephen Prince, author of Digital Visual Effects in Cinema: The Seduction of Reality
“In answering questions that date back, at least, a century in movie-making, Williamson looks at how movie magic has inspired people to learn more about the techniques and technology behind the images. “