Swann Magic Auction From A To Z

Your doorway to those rare collectibles that everyone is searching for: books, props, posters, cards, and paper ephemera are all here for you to buy and sell.

Postby Kevin Connolly » 10/27/08 01:55 PM

There will be more than just Houdini in tomorrow's Swann auction. There will be something for most magic collectors. There will be 300 lots from A to Z. Here's the the link to the catalog:


Swann Catalog Click Here <----

From what I've seen, the quality is much better than the same old, relisted year-after-year, over-priced material you may see on Ebay. It's nice to see better condition items for a change.

Good Luck to all,
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 10/27/08 02:04 PM

Your link doesn't work. A lot of it looks to be from Mario's collection or stock to me.
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Postby Kurt Lee Flickner » 10/27/08 03:44 PM

Kurt Lee Flickner
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Postby Kevin Connolly » 10/27/08 04:14 PM

I just checked it and it worked. How is this one?

http://swanngalleries.rfcsystems.com/as ... h.asp?st=U
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Postby Kevin Connolly » 10/27/08 04:19 PM

I THINK that many of the items are coming from your side of the pond. There is more than one consignor to this auction is what I have heard.
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Postby Ray T. Stott » 10/27/08 04:21 PM

Kevin Connolly wrote:I just checked it and it worked. How is this one?

http://swanngalleries.rfcsystems.com/as ... h.asp?st=U




[size:11pt]Still leads to empty page.[/size]
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Postby Kevin Connolly » 10/27/08 04:25 PM

And the other one I posted? Hit refresh. If that doesn't work, apply hammer to keyboard.
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Postby Ray T. Stott » 10/27/08 04:27 PM

Kevin Connolly wrote:I THINK that many of the items are coming from your side of the pond. There is more than one consignor to this auction is what I have heard.


[size:11pt]Hello Mr. Connolly,
A large % of the posters are being sold framed.

Overseas shipping costs to NYC would have been horrendous for those. :o

Sounds like personal stuff to me***again just my opinion
[/size]
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Postby Ray T. Stott » 10/27/08 04:30 PM

Kevin Connolly wrote:And the other one I posted? Hit refresh. If that doesn't work, apply hammer to keyboard.



:D
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Postby Kevin Connolly » 10/27/08 04:36 PM

But I THINK there are more than just framed posters. But either way, it never said a gentleman's "complete" collection. ;)
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Postby Ray T. Stott » 10/27/08 04:46 PM

Kevin Connolly wrote:But I THINK there are more than just framed posters. But either way, it never said a gentleman's "complete" collection. ;)


[size:11pt]But it did say [color:#000099]"Gentleman"[/color].[/size] :/
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 10/27/08 05:26 PM

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Postby Kevin Connolly » 10/27/08 05:38 PM

Maybe it was a typo. Maybe it was supposed to be Gentile.

All I do know is that I need a magic fix and hopefully will OD tomorrow.
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Postby Ray T. Stott » 10/27/08 05:56 PM

[size:11pt]Gentile[/size]


[font:Comic Sans MS] [size:14pt] :D Now that's funny mate! :D
[/size][/font]

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Postby GAMOLO » 10/27/08 10:01 PM

I went to the preview today. I think Mr. Stotte might be disappointed because most of the items are American authors and performers (posters); save for the clocks there is little of European origin.

However, what is there is quite wonderful...certainly more genuine Houdini material than anyone has seen in one auction in a very long time! I am not a book maven, but there appears to be first & second editions which should be of considerable interest.

I like posters.....any auction that features Strobridge Kellars & hard to find Soo pieces, plus a slew of other vintage performers merits my attention! Add a nice selection of magic sets, and it seems quite a nice auction. Even if I return home without winning a single item, it was worth the trip to see the stuff.
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Postby Kevin Connolly » 10/27/08 10:13 PM

Gamolo,

You should concentrate on the posters. They look great on the wall. Most of the Houdini material you just dust off and stick in a binder. I can't see why people buy it. Give me a 10 sheet Sorcar or Irving billboard anytime. ;)

Good Luck tomorrow,

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Postby Ray T. Stott » 10/27/08 10:42 PM

[size:11pt]A fool and his money...
[/size]

[size:11pt]On the other hand...
[/size]
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 10/27/08 10:51 PM

Speaking of fools, anyone trying to use eBay Live for bidding is a fool. If you want to bid on something, get on the phone!
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Postby Kevin Connolly » 10/27/08 10:52 PM

Just trying to stimulate the economy. :)
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Postby Ray T. Stott » 10/27/08 11:39 PM

Richard Kaufman wrote:Speaking of fools, anyone trying to use eBay Live for bidding is a fool. If you want to bid on something, get on the phone!

I disagree, sir.

[color:#FF0000] [b]
KC wrote:Just trying to stimulate the economy.

[/color]
I agree, sir.


In economic times such as these, one must do all that one can to bolster earnings thus propping up the sagging price of eBay common, which, even as this is written, is plumbing the depths of financial waters formerly only navigable by a bathyscaph, in order that all of those funds that are long in this stock will not be forced to realize unconscionable and bonus threatening losses upon the disposition of their holdings.

I encourage everyone to bid through eBay as that 2 % additional BP will go a long way towards insuring that the eBay corporate honchos will not be forced to cut their all expense paid goal achievement outing in the Caymans from two weeks to ten days.

After all, even as the corporate ship is sinking like the Titanic, appearances must be kept up.

When you strike a blow at eBay's 2 % vigorish, you are striking at the very heart of the velocity of M1 & M2.

Shades of John Maynard Keynes and Alan Greenspan - This is still America, you know![/b]
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Postby Kevin Connolly » 10/27/08 11:55 PM

I think it's the auction company that adds the extra 2 1/2% to Ebay live vig.

If you are bidding, use the phone. Ebay can't keep up with phone and floor bidding.


Either way, Ebay Live has just two months to go before Ebay shuts it down.
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Postby Ray T. Stott » 10/28/08 01:26 AM

I think it's the auction company that adds the extra 2 1/2% to Ebay live vig.


Not so, KC.
I refer you to the revenue breakdown and footnoted references to this premium as INCOME on their last annual statements.

Here is a little tidbit copied and pasted verbatim from eBay's SEC 10-Q for the quarter ended September 30, 2008.

It tangentially addresses their stewardship of PayPal members' monies, that stewardship that many of us have come to know and "love" -

"PayPals failure to manage customer funds properly would harm its business.
PayPals ability to manage and account accurately for customer funds requires a high level of internal controls. In some of the markets that PayPal serves and currencies that PayPal offers, [color:#FF0000]PayPal has a limited operating history and limited management experience in managing these internal controls.[/color] As PayPals business continues to grow, it must strengthen its internal controls accordingly. PayPals success requires significant public confidence in its ability to handle large and growing transaction volumes and amounts of customer funds. Any failure to maintain necessary controls or to manage accurately customer funds could diminish customer use of PayPals product severely."


The operational sentence being, " In some of the markets that PayPal serves and currencies that PayPal offers...," is non-specific and based upon the myriads of complaints, on legions of forums, boards other websites around the world and straight from the conversational horses' mouths of unhappy PayPal campers, it would be reasonable to include the United States of America among those unnamed markets.

Perhaps, in future reports, non-private correspondence and effervescent press releases, problems experienced in US operations could be referred to in a Harry Potteresque fashion as "Problems experienced by you know who in you know where."

Anyone interested at taking an insider peek at the Wizard of Oz, "Pay no interest to that man behind the curtains" like operations, written in their own obfuscating style, need only apply HERE.

The tragic part of all of this is that eBay was one of the few dot com start ups that not only a great concept, but was also able to synthesize a successful business model to carry that concept to stellar fruition.

Enter the gaggle of inexperienced and over compensated M.B.A.s who, collectively, could not run a pay toilet in a diarrhea ward in the black, decide, without benefit of any modicum of a plebiscite, to initiate a program of micromanagement that Robert S. McNamara would have loved and then enthusiastically proceed to implement a maniacal grand plan to repair something what ain't broken, with an end result being a corporate contraption worthy of the best efforts of Rube Goldberg.

If there is any justice on the planet, the parties responsible for this entire sorry set of events will find themselves inside a courtroom full of angry shareholders facing charges of fiduciary incapacity. And with a guy on the bench wearing a big black robe and carrying a bag full of time.
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Postby Kevin Connolly » 10/28/08 01:37 AM

Nice post, but I missed it. Maybe it's me. If the auction company charges 20% commision for floor or phone bids and 23% for Ebay Live bids, who added the the extra 3%? I always thought it was the auction house.

With the end of Ebay Live coming to an end, this will be a trivia question by January 1st.
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Postby Ray T. Stott » 10/28/08 02:51 AM

It is not a question of who adds it, KC, but a question of who receives it.

I have supplied ironclad cites as to who actually receives the proceeds - eBay.

I will concede that after year's end the point becomes moot but what exactly does that say about their management?

Let me see now, in the face of declining revenues and successful listing closings, let's pi$$ away a viable source of revenue in order to....What??

I can tell you some of the what - when they wind up this fool's paradise of thirty-five cent BIN listings with a seeming perpetual lifetime that was proffered from on high to the peon sellers in exchange for ratcheting up the FVFs to a nose bleeding high and expecting corporate beatification for the hosing.

When the sellers are now facing these same gut busting FVFs and miserly capped shipping (in some cases) charges without the "offset" of "cheap listing fees" they will then be tendered the bill for services rendered in the past by an eBay hand, in a chain mail glove, as small business incubator, and that bill will be stamped [color:#FF0000]PAST DUE! - REMIT IMMEDIATELY![/color] and then the real twisting of the screws will begin.

"Therefore, send not to know for whom the bell tolls, it tolls for thee."
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Postby Kevin Connolly » 10/28/08 07:08 AM

I have to agree with you that Ebay is going down the wrong path with many of these changes. It looks to me that are trying to kill the Golden Goose. From what I have read on other sites, I'm not alone.

Now to get even farther away from the original subject, I can list my item with Swann or on Ebay for the same overall percentage. Why should I stay with Ebay, when Swann does all the heavy lifting? Swann will write a listing, take the photos and ship it. To me, I'll stick with Swann.
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Postby martinka » 10/28/08 12:56 PM

You raise a good point Kevin, it does seem difficult to justify listing on ebay when companies like Swann & Martinka :) will do the work for you and provide a better buying audience for nearly the same price.

We are seeing a trend of more and more frustrated ebay sellers sending their better items to Martinka. Perhaps those ebay executives are just trying to help out a little old magic company?
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Postby Kevin Connolly » 10/28/08 07:48 PM

OK. So how did the auction go? I was stuck at home with food poisoning, so I was bidding by phone and watching on the net. The prices seemed reasonable. I heard the room was crowded. Any other info?
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 10/28/08 07:52 PM

The things I was watching: magic sets, Mercury Wonder show broadside, and file of Edward's Monthly all went cheaply, in line with the condition of the economy. Many items sold with one bid. Many others with 2 or three bids.
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Postby Kevin Connolly » 10/28/08 08:10 PM

Were the ones with only one bid wind up as a passed lot/item?
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 10/28/08 08:31 PM

If the single bid meets the reserve (if the item has a reserve) then it sells on that bid.
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Postby Kevin Connolly » 10/28/08 08:55 PM

So many of the lots could be unsold. I've been there and seen an items receive bids and go unsold. As I remember it, the first bid had to be half of the low estimate plus one more bid(increment) to sell.
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Postby David Ben » 10/28/08 09:04 PM

Approximately 69 of 300 lots went unsold.
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Postby Kevin Connolly » 10/28/08 09:08 PM

Thanks David. That's what I thought I saw when I was watching it from here.

I'm not an apparatus guy, but the Taytelbaum items seemed to do fairly well.
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Postby Brad Henderson » 10/29/08 02:19 PM

I called in with an absentee bid for one of the Teytelbaum lots - one piece I have always wanted. So, the price I put in was an "emotional connection price." Even then, someone on the floor knocked me out. In the long run, I am probably better off.

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Postby Kevin Connolly » 10/29/08 02:50 PM

That's how I'm trying console myself when I got knocked out by phone. I think I'll live. :)
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Postby George Guerra » 10/29/08 04:37 PM

Considering the economy, the Taytelbaum pieces did well. I put in some decent absentee bids for several, not expecting to win anything, so I was surprised to win one of the paddle sets, even though I missed the entire live bidding on the items.
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Postby Dustin Stinett » 10/29/08 10:06 PM

Because Im a numbers geek, I slapped together a quick analysis of the numbers just for grins and giggles. Keep in mind that these numbers do not include any premiums and that the low and high estimates are only used for reference for the percentages (otherwise there is nothing to key the numbers on).

Total Lots: 301
Lots Sold: 229 76%
Lots unsold: 72 24%
Total $ Sold: $236,025
TTL Low Est.: $461,750
TTL High Est.: $683,450
% L/E Realized (all lots): 51%
% H/E Realized (all lots): 35%
% L/E Realized (sold lots): 100%
% H/E Realized (sold lots): 67%
# Sold Under L/E: 109 48% (of lots Sold: 36% vs. Total Lots)
# Sold at/in Est. Range: 74 32% (of Lots Sold: 25% vs. Total Lots)
# Sold Over H/E: 46 20% (of Lots Sold: 15% vs. Total Lots)

Highest price paid: Lot #128$8,500 for one of Houdinis magic wands (High Est.: $3,000).

Lowest price paid: Lot #138$60 for a subscription slip to Houdinis Conjurors Monthly (Low Est. $100).

Here are some breakouts (by subject) that some might find interesting:

# Chung Ling Soo: 4
Sold: 2
Under L/E: 2
Dollars : $6,600 (3% of Total $)
L/E: $24,000
H/E: $36,000
% L/E: 28%
% H/E: 18%

# Dante: 8
Sold: 6
Over H/E: 2
Under L/E: 3
At/In Range: 1
Dollars : $6,750 (3% of Total $)
L/E: $13,800
H/E: $19,200
% L/E: 49%
% H/E: 35%

# Houdini: 84
Sold: 74
Over H/E: 17
Under L/E: 35
At/In Range: 22
Dollars: $98,170 (42% of Total $)
L/E: $97,150
H/E: $146,100
% L/E: 101%
% H/E: 67%

# Kellar: 7
Sold: 7
Under L/E: 3
At/In Range: 4
Dollars: $20,750 (9% of Total $)
L/E: $21,500
H/E: $32,250
% L/E: 97%
% H/E: 64%

# Magic Sets: 8
Sold: 6
Under L/E: 4
At/In Range: 2
Dollars: $4,700 (2% of Total $)
L/E: $9,200
H/E: $14,100
% L/E: 51%
% H/E: 33%

# Tokens: 3
Sold: 3
Over H/E: 3
Dollars: $1,175 (0.5% of Total $)
L/E: $700
H/E: $1,000
% L/E: 168%
% H/E: 118%

# Taytlebaum: 20
Sold: 20
Over H/E: 16
At/In Range: 4
Dollars: $10,975 (5% of Total $)
L/E: $4,500
H/E: $6,600
% L/E: 244%
% H/E: 166%

# Thurston: 6
Sold: 4
Over H/E: 1
Under L/E: 1
At/In Range: 2
Dollars: $3,775 (2% of Total $)
L/E: $16,300
H/E: $24,650
% L/E: 23%
% H/E: 15%

# Posters: 69
Sold: 45
Over H/E: 5
Under L/E: 31
At/In Range: 9
Dollars: $67,425 (29% of Total $)
L/E: $144,050
H/E: $213,800
% L/E: 47%
% H/E: 32%

The posters could be slightly off since I decided what was and what was not a poster (I included window cards but not playbills, etc.) and I could have been in error in some of those choices. At 29% of the sales (while only 23% of the total lots for sale) but realizing only 47% of the low estimate, and only 65% of the available poster lots actually selling does not bode well for the estimates and/or the lithograph market in general. Some people still want them, but not as badly as they once did.

The Taytlebaum items were the best in regard to percent realized versus estimate, garnering 166% of the high estimate. All 20 lots sold (7% of the total lots available) but only garnered 5% of the total dollars. I suspect the seller wishes he had more Taytlebaum stuff in this auction.

Tokens also did well versus estimate. But there were only three lots (all of which sold).

Houdini, of course, garnered a whopping 42% of the total dollars realized versus just 28% of the lots available (32% of what was sold). 88% of the available Houdini lots sold, but there must be a little disappointment in the fact that it was a mere 1% over the low estimate.

Bottom line: 76% of what was put on the auction block actually sold. While the total dollars realized was only 51% of the total low estimate, of what did sell ($236,025 worth) the low estimate was $236,700. So the seller realized virtually 100% of the low estimate. Its up to more knowledgeable folks than I whether or not all these numbers are good, but I have to think that coming in at 100% of the low estimate is a pretty good outcome.

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Postby Kevin Connolly » 10/29/08 11:24 PM

What a freakin' post!! My jaw is still on the keyboard. I'm really impressed with what you did there. You brought this topic to such a level I couldn't have imagined it rising this high. I enjoy everyone's opinion, but your black and white analysis of it is to be commended.

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Postby Ray T. Stott » 10/29/08 11:44 PM

[size:11pt]Now that is what I call a magnificent example of statistical analysis.

In recognition of your fine work (really) on this project and in the sincere hope of future calculations of the same caliber, It is with great pride that, we the regents of The University of Cincinnati and the faculty of The College Of Business Administration, Hereby bestow upon you the honorary degree of Philosophi Doctor In Number Crunching appendaged with the level of academic distinction - Sooner Cum Later.

Image

You are also hereby granted full membership, with all of the rights and privileges thereto, in Beta Alpha Psi - &#914;&#913;&#936; - The honorary organization for accounting, finance and information systems students and professionals, UC Alpha Sigma &#913;&#931; Chapter.

Image

We extend to your our heartiest congratulations.

Please promptly remit $350.00 USD through PayPal for your illuminated diploma, Society certificate of membership (Suitable for framing), Balfour Society pin w/chapter guard and your first year's dues.

And remember that your Geneva gown and mortarboard are rentals and must be returned before 12:00 PM on Monday to avoid the $5.00 per day late charge.

The tassel is yours at N/C.

[/size]
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Postby Kevin Connolly » 10/29/08 11:53 PM

LMAO!!!! Great one! I would love to see our Most Illustrious Dustin's face when he sees his award.
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