Okito's mat magic trick to highlight Potter & Potter's April 26 sale

Okito's mat trick is the highlight of a sale of magic memorabilia at Potter & Potter in Chicago on April 26.

The lot dates to 1915 and carries an estimate of $15,000-18,000.

Okito was the alter ego of Dutchman Tobias Bamberg (1875-1963), the sixth generation of the famous Bamberg Magical Dynasty - which began with necromancer Jasper Bamberg in the early 1700s.

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

Like many magicians of the era, Tobias took advantage of Western fascination with the orient. His son, David Bamberg, would become famous in the 1930s under the stage name Fu Manchu.

The mat trick was the finale of Okito's act. From an empty rolled up mat he would produce a huge variety of materials - including bouquets of flowers and live ducks.

A silk costume worn onstage by Okito is valued at $10,000-12,000.

The silk robe was produced in around 1890 and worn by Okito throughout his career. It is elaborately embroidered with a motif of dragons and is accompanied by a photograph of him wearing it during a performance.

A robe worn onstage by Fu Manchu is estimated at $8,000-9,000.

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

He went on to become one of the world's best-paid magicians, performing to audiences across Europe and the Americas. He eventually retired to Buenos Aires, where he opened a magic shop.

We have this signed photograph of Harry Houdini, whom Fu Manchu met while on tour with the great Howard Thurston.

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