Okito's mat magic trick headlines April 26 sale at Potter & Potter

Okito's mat trick proved the top lot of a sale of magic memorabilia at Potter & Potter in Chicago on April 26, when it sold for $16,000.

The rare lot dates to 1915 and was used onstage by Okito (aka Tobias Bamberg) during the climax of his performances. From an apparently empty rolled mat would appear a number of items - from flowers to live ducks.  

Okito mat trick
Okito was the alter ego of Dutch magician Tobias Bamberg

Bamberg (1875-1963) was a Dutch magician, the sixth generation of the famous Bamberg dynasty - which began with alchemist and necromancer Jasper Bamberg in the 1700s.

He was one of many magicians to exploit public fascination with the Orient. His son, David Bamberg (1904-1974), would go on to eclipse his father in his role as Fu Manchu.

A silk costume worn onstage by Okito made $11,000.

It was produced in 1890 and worn regularly by the magician during his act. It displays a dragon motif with elaborate brocading and was sold alongside a photograph of him wearing it.

A robe worn onstage by David Bamberg under the guise of Fu Manchu made $8,000.

David made his first appearance in showbiz at the age of four, when he was conjured from a cloth during one of his father's performances.

He became one of the wealthiest performers of his era, regularly selling out huge venues across Europe and the Americas.

We have this signed photograph of Harry Houdini, who was a friend to both Tobias and David Bamberg.

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