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Auction History Interview Magic Photography Posters Potter & Potter Auction Variety Arts Vaudevisuals Interview

Vaudevisuals Interview with Gabe Fajuri – Potter & Potter Auctions

I have been following this company’s auctions for quite some time. Always something for the circus, sideshow, magic, collector. I wanted to find out how this auction house got started so I contacted the owner Gabe Fajuri. He was very cooperative in giving me the following interview.

btw…the upcoming auction has many wonderful items for consideration!

1. Can you tell us the source of most of the items being auctioned in the upcoming auction?
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A large portion of the auction was consigned by the widow of Giovanni Pasqua, known as “Roxy,” to his colleagues in the magic field. Roxy was a performer, lecturer, and dealer in antiquarian books, prints, and related objects in the fields of magic and its allied arts. He lived in Italy.
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2. The Potter & Potter company has numerous auctions annually. Would you say that most of them are ‘magic’ or ‘circus’ related items?
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About half of our sales are magic related, maybe a bit less. It’s what we are known for, but we deal in objects in many other categories, including rare books, vintage posters, photographs and autographs, vintage advertising, coin-operated machines, comic books and movie memorabilia, and other unusual collectibles.
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3. What is the history of Potter & Potter auction company?
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The business started on my coffee table about twelve years ago. We started the business by offering just a single collection – but what a collection! Jay Marshall was a legendary performer, who worked on the Ed Sullivan show over a dozen times, and had an illustrious career as an entertainer (mostly performing as a magician and ventriloquist). He was also a very serious collector of antique magic memorabilia and books, and virtually everything else he could get his hands on, trash and treasure alike. Jay owned something like 250,000 books, and the best of them were magic and showbiz related. After conducting four auctions of material from his collection, we were most definitely on the map in the auction world.
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4. Are you a magic collector (or magician?) and has this fascination been the original impetus for Potter & Potter Auction?
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Yes, I’ve been collecting magic and interested in its history since about the age of 13, which is what led to my interest in the field in the first place. While in college, I helped pay my way through school by selling magic collectibles on eBay. In a way, I was training for a job I never knew I was going to have (being an auctioneer). I was primarily selling items on consignment at that time, which is exactly how we do things today. I continue to be a huge fan of magic and its history, and yes, I’m still a collector.
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5. Is Potter & Potter the only company to auction off magic collectibles? Is it the company that hosts most auctions of these items nationally?
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We are not the only company that auctions magic memorabilia, but we are certainly the largest and best-known. Other companies conduct regular online auctions of magic collectibles, and occasionally a few of the big players in the auction field offer significant objects or collections.
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Thank You, Gabe. I appreciate the insight into your company’s origins.
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For information and to peruse the Winter Magic Auction catalog click HERE!

Winter Magic Auction – Dec. 14, 2019

Featuring selections from the collection of Giovanni Pasqua – aka Roxy – our Winter sale features rare conjuring books from the sixteenth century to the present day. Complementing the books from Roxy’s collection will be an assortment of collectible props, Houdiniana, and choice posters.

Catalogs ship approximately three weeks before the auction. Previews will be held in our gallery December 12—13, 10—5 pm

Auction Highlights include:

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Categories
Magic Potter & Potter Auction

Potter & Potter Winter Magic Auction – Dec 15th Only!

Winter Magic Auction

Here are a few items that will be auctioned by Potter & Potter on Dec. 15th. Online Only!

[Playing Cards] 15 Souvenir Playing Cards Packs Collection. Includes Robert-Houdin Musee De La Magie (sealed), Tommy Cooper KP Nuts (sealed), Criss Angel (sealed), Al Koran, Jeff McBride, Impossible (sealed), Stars of Magic, Gamagic, Siegfried & Roy the Mirage Las Vegas (sealed), Le Grand David (sealed), Fogel, Silvan (signed), Davenports Centenary, Kellogg’s Frosties, and Magic Castle. Poker and bridge size. Very good.

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 + [1]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, [6] 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.

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Categories
Auction Book Shelf History Magic Photography

Blackstone Magic Auction – Potter & Potter – Oct 28th, 2017

Harry Bouton Blackstone (born Henry Boughton; September 27, 1885 – November 16, 1965) was a famed stage magician and illusionist of the 20th century. Blackstone was born Harry Bouton[1] in Chicago, Illinois,[2] he began his career as a magician in his teens and was popular through World War II as a USO entertainer.[3] He was often billed as The Great Blackstone. His son Harry Blackstone Jr. also became a famous magician. Blackstone Sr. was aided by his younger brother (2 years younger) Pete Bouton who was the stage manager in all his shows.[4]Blackstone Sr. was married three times. Blackstone Jr. was his son by his second wife.

This auction presented by auction house Potter & Potter is enormous! I have posted quite a few unique items and a link to the auction catalog.

Harry Blackstone Sr.

11. Salla, Salvatore (American, born Persia [Iran], 1903— 1991). Portrait of Harry Blackstone. Oil on canvas, depicting Blackstone forming a shadowgraph of a rabbit. Original gilt wooden frame with lamp attachment. 30 x 23 ½”. Signed “Salla”. Collection of George Hippisley (List No. B1250). 3,000/5,000

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138. Blackstone, Harry (Henry Boughton). Eclipses the Sun. Blackstone. Greatest Magician The World Has Ever Known. Long Island City: National Printing & Engraving Co., ca. 1928. Billboard-size poster bearing a bust portrait of Blackstone against a bright yellow sun, the majority of the poster filled with bright, bold text. 108 ½ x 80”. Minor expert restoration at old folds and tiny losses; A-. Linen backed. One of three examples known. 4,000/6,000

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164. Blackstone, Harry (Henry Boughton). Blackstone’s Own Magic Trick Bubble Gum. Havertown, Penn.: Philadelphia Chewing Gum Corp, 1962. Complete set in box (8 x 4 x 1 ½”) with five-cent gum packets in wax wrappers, instructions, apparatus, and folding advertising banner. Banner folded, some signs of use/handling, box creased; very good. 200/300

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213. Appearing Canary Cage. Circa 1900. Finely made antique cage. A canary appears inside, visibly, at the command of the performer. Based on a design of Okito. Lacquered in gold and red with brass bars and adornments. 13 ½ x 9 ¾ x 12”. Very good condition. 800/1,200

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There are hundreds of other items up for auction in this unique collection of magic ephemera. Here is the link to the catalog.

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