John McKinven magic collection led by catalogue's 372% increase
The magic collection of illusionist John McKinven was highlighted by a 372% increase for Crambrook's Catalogue
A rare copy of Crambrook's Catalogue highlighted the sale of John McKinven's magic collection on May 16.
McKiven was an advertising executive by day and an accomplished illusionist by night, who used old books and patent records to recreate magic tricks which were thought to have been forgotten. He died in 2006, prompting the Chicago auction. Crambrook's Catalogue is noted as the first in the English language to offer conjuring tricks. It was first published in 1843 with this, the third edition, published in 1844. Aside from offering "mechanical puzzles, deceptions and magical curiosities",the cataloguealso provides a "complete expos of the baneful arts by which unwary youth too often become the prey of professed gamesters". The catalogue was sold in excellent condition for $26,000, demonstrating a 372% increase on estimate. Among other highlights in the sale was a coin pail and coins from Coney Island performer Al Flosso. The coin pail was used in Flosso's reputation-making act known as The Miser's Dream, in which he would produce six coins from nowhere. The superb set, which was obtained by Flosso's son, sold for $11,000, against an estimate of just $1,250-$1,500 -a 633% increase. Collectors should view the brilliant range of unique items in PFC Auctions' current sale. With less than 48 hours left to bid, the sale is offering some excellent opportunities at great value.Also featuring in the sale was Harry Houdini's 1926 membership card to the Society of American Magicians, which had been boldly signed by the master escapologist. This exciting piece of memorabilia sold for $850. Houdini memorabilia continually sells with strong results at auction. In 2011 a Houdini straightjacket brought 30,000 at Christie's, achieving a 112.3% increase in value following the sale ofa similar jacket in 2008, which made 22,000.Paul Fraser Collectibles is pleased to offer one of the finest items of Houdini memorabilia available on the private market. Our original escapology sack was a gift from Harry's brother and fellow magician, Hardeen, and was used by Houdini around 1915.