1905 Kellar's Wonders lithograph makes $7,500

A 1905 Kellar's Wonders lithograph advertising a guest spot from magician Paul Valadon headlined a sale at Potter & Potter in Chicago.

The piece realised $7,500 in the May 31 auction.

Kellars Wonders Potter
Harry Kellar groomed Paul Valadon to become his successor

Valadon was a highly respected sleight of hand expert who studied under the legendary British magician John Maskelyne. However, he soon left Maskelyne's employ for a shot at the big time with Harry Kellar - then one of the world's biggest magicians.

The auction house explains: "Eventually, on the promise of becoming Kellar's successor, he left Maskelyne and toured with Kellar - bringing with him the secret to Maskelyne's famous levitation.

"In the end, however, it was Howard Thurston who succeeded Kellar, not Valadon."

Valadon died broke in Phoenix, Arizona, unable to afford even a gravestone.

A rare copy of Professor Hoffmann's Wizard's Pocket Book (1912) sold for $6,500.

The lot included the author's own draft manuscript and proof. Hoffmann, born Angelo John Lewis, was a prolific English writer on magic. He wrote under a pseudonym as he worried that his skill in deception could affect his reputation as a lawyer.

We have a fascinating selection of books and manuscripts for sale, click here to take a look.

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