Page 1 of 2

UNIQUE MAGIC OF ROBERT HARBIN ON EBAY

Posted: May 2nd, 2006, 12:47 pm
by Guest
Unique copy, review only and given to Masoni by Robert Harbin, click here

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?Vi ... %3AIT&rd=1

Re: UNIQUE MAGIC OF ROBERT HARBIN ON EBAY

Posted: May 2nd, 2006, 10:22 pm
by Guest
Since we are on the subject of the Harbin book, I have an original copy of this book without number or inscription. If anybody wants to make me an offer, I am ready to sell. Please email to wasshuber@lybrary.com

Does anybody know if there is a connection between Robert Harbin and Al Mann? Were these men friends? Did they do business with each other? I am curious if anybody knows anything on this subject.

Best,
Chris....

Re: UNIQUE MAGIC OF ROBERT HARBIN ON EBAY

Posted: May 5th, 2006, 3:53 pm
by Guest
Originally posted by Chris Wasshuber:
Does anybody know if there is a connection between Robert Harbin and Al Mann? Were these men friends? Did they do business with each other? I am curious if anybody knows anything on this subject.
Christoph, I doubt that they were friends, as it is well known that Al Mann sold pirated "facsimile" copies of THE MAGIC OF ROBERT HARBIN. I don't think a friend of Harbin's would have done that. The copies were reportedly printed for Mann in Mexico. I'm curious why you raised the question. Is it possible your unnumbered copy is one of the facsimile editions? They used a somewhat thicker paper and are easily distinguished from an original when compared side by side...

Re: UNIQUE MAGIC OF ROBERT HARBIN ON EBAY

Posted: May 5th, 2006, 4:11 pm
by Richard Kaufman
Only items that have a price on them can be sold on the Forum. No "offers" may be solicited.

Re: UNIQUE MAGIC OF ROBERT HARBIN ON EBAY

Posted: May 6th, 2006, 6:30 am
by Guest
I didn't know anything about the Al Mann counterfeit books, but now I do, and yes, the ones I have are the Al Mann counterfeit versions. At this point I am not selling.

Re: UNIQUE MAGIC OF ROBERT HARBIN ON EBAY

Posted: May 6th, 2006, 6:36 am
by Rick Ruhl
What's funny, is I've seen people on ebay pay more for the Al Mann version than the real one. It's more 'collectable', they say.

What a load of crap.

Robert Harbin was most upset abour piracy of the Zig Xag Lady. Ask Pete Biro, he was there, he knows the whole story.

I was 10 when the book came out, and 18 when Harbin died. I wish I was able to meet him, but alas, time and fate got in the way. I can still know him, through all of his books, and the audio interview he did. That goodness for that in our world today.

Re: UNIQUE MAGIC OF ROBERT HARBIN ON EBAY

Posted: May 6th, 2006, 8:18 am
by Pete Biro
Harbin, while upset at the ripoffs of Zig Zag, was equally upset at those that had the book and the rights to make and perform it, who didn't follow the routine (which made it more convincing) or painted it wrong, losing the real effect of the illusion.

Oh well...

Re: UNIQUE MAGIC OF ROBERT HARBIN ON EBAY

Posted: May 6th, 2006, 8:47 am
by Guest
I second Pete's observation about Harbin's routine. Too many "illusionists" performed it to music and almost do it as a throw away.

With Harbin's original presentation it was a real mystery, the audience brought in by the use of an audience volunteer. I remember seeing Harbin perform it on the Palladium TV show. It was unique and a real mystery.

Unfortunately, it was also the most practical new illusion to come along in 40 years. Because of performing conditions most club date performers are restricted to using a Lester Lake Guillotine, a Sword Basket, a Sub Trunk or Canvas Covered Box, a Sword Suspension or Broom Suspension.

Harbin's illusion was pirated and butchered probably more than any illusion of the last 40 years, ending up being exposed on national television by the Arch-Weasel, Lenny Valentine aka the Masked Magician.

Re: UNIQUE MAGIC OF ROBERT HARBIN ON EBAY

Posted: May 6th, 2006, 8:58 am
by Pete Biro
Zig Zag could be performed surrounded. Harbin even had a way (with his) to walk in to a Cabaret show with two large canvas bags slung over each shoulder. Set up the illusion as he spoke to the audience, and perform it.

One day Mike Caldwell had picked Pat Page up at the Burbank Airport (California) and as they were driving along they were discussing the Zig Zag being ripped off... and just then a pick up truck went by with six of them... and Mike said, "See, there goes another load!"

Actually it was a shipment of Mark Wilson's being readied to go out to the show units he had put together at some theme parks.

Re: UNIQUE MAGIC OF ROBERT HARBIN ON EBAY

Posted: May 6th, 2006, 9:00 am
by Pete Biro
Holy Cow it's up over 1200 bux and "reserve not met" ??????? Hmmmm... might have to sell mine.

Re: UNIQUE MAGIC OF ROBERT HARBIN ON EBAY

Posted: May 6th, 2006, 9:13 am
by Guest
Pete, be sure to advertise your copy as unique. I'm guessing it has a different number than any of the other copies!

Re: UNIQUE MAGIC OF ROBERT HARBIN ON EBAY

Posted: May 6th, 2006, 9:14 am
by Rick Ruhl
No Pete, dont. It needs to stay in the magic community.

Let one of us care for it when you're gone.

Rick - who will NEVER sell his books, they we go to Matt, my 15 year old prodigy. (he's not my son, but loves magic as much as we do).

Re: UNIQUE MAGIC OF ROBERT HARBIN ON EBAY

Posted: May 6th, 2006, 2:33 pm
by Guest
Originally posted by Richard Hatch:
Pete, be sure to advertise your copy as unique. I'm guessing it has a different number than any of the other copies!
Richard, UNIQUE in the sense that 1-It is a REVIEW COPY (first one I've ever seen)2- Personally presentd by Harbin to Eric Mason that was a close friend of Harbin and who wrote the intro.

That is UNIQUE, not a different number as you stated.

Insofar as the Mann copy, you don't have to place it side by side, it is so cheaply bound and reproduced that a lay person would notice it!

Mann sold them for $75, highest I saw sold was some 8/9 years ago for $250.00

Pete, this particular copy (fmly ex libris John Ergaoudis) sold in London a couple of months ago for $2,700, I was the purchasing agent. Buyer has decided to sell it for less.

Another copy sold sometime 3/4 months ago on eBay for some $2,300, so $1,200 is nothing to be impressed by!

Re: UNIQUE MAGIC OF ROBERT HARBIN ON EBAY

Posted: May 6th, 2006, 2:44 pm
by Rick Ruhl
Did anyone ever find out the 'reason' Al Mann made the copies of the book?

Did he have something against Harbin. From what I know, Al Mann did alot of mentalism books.

Re: UNIQUE MAGIC OF ROBERT HARBIN ON EBAY

Posted: May 6th, 2006, 2:51 pm
by Pete Biro
Mario: Thanks for the information. Very interesting. I know the "reviews" copy signed the way it is would be worth more than any others.

Bob Lund collection has (when I last was there) the original art and pages that went to printer in the archives.

Re: UNIQUE MAGIC OF ROBERT HARBIN ON EBAY

Posted: May 6th, 2006, 4:46 pm
by Guest
Mario:

Perhaps Richard Hatch, like me, has seen other copies marked review copy by Harbin; Ive seen at least one other, and it was clear from Harbins accompanying correspondence that he didnt mean it as a review copy per se that was just Harbins way of saying out of series copy. The guy he inscribed it to had never done a book review in his life, and perhaps the same could be said of Mason. I could be wrong, but I highly doubt that Harbin was actually sending Mason a copy to be used for review only. And there are dozens of copies personally inscribed by Harbin floating around in magicdom. So Hatchs point probably was that this copy is no more unique than any other copy inscribed by Harbin, and Id tend to agree. Theres also the danger of a bald statement that a book is unique, without qualifying it as the only copy Ive seen, etc. Many a reputable collector has been proven wrong on claims like that, including H. Adrian Smith.

That said, even if some would say the copy you are offering isnt unique, IMHO that doesnt detract one iota from its desirability as a very nice association copy.

Anent zig zag and Mark Wilson, some time ago on GF I posted a clip of Wilson performing the zig zag illusion. Alas, Marks website no longer offers this clip for viewing.

Clay

Re: UNIQUE MAGIC OF ROBERT HARBIN ON EBAY

Posted: May 6th, 2006, 8:30 pm
by Guest
Originally posted by Rick Ruhl:
What's funny, is I've seen people on ebay pay more for the Al Mann version than the real one. It's more 'collectable', they say.

Have you, really? I haven't ever seen that happen. I've seen the fakes go for about $150. I've seen real ones go for around $1200. I've never seen a real one go for less than $750.

Re: UNIQUE MAGIC OF ROBERT HARBIN ON EBAY

Posted: May 6th, 2006, 8:41 pm
by Kevin Connolly
I'm almost positive that I saw the Mann repro sell in excess of $1,000 within the last two years. It may have sold for more than original. Technically, there a less of them, than the originals. Here lies the rub.

I'll stick to Houdini. :o

Re: UNIQUE MAGIC OF ROBERT HARBIN ON EBAY

Posted: May 7th, 2006, 2:32 pm
by Rick Ruhl
Originally posted by Bill Palmer:
Originally posted by Rick Ruhl:
[b] What's funny, is I've seen people on ebay pay more for the Al Mann version than the real one. It's more 'collectable', they say.

Have you, really? I haven't ever seen that happen. I've seen the fakes go for about $150. I've seen real ones go for around $1200. I've never seen a real one go for less than $750. [/b]
Yes, a couple years back on eBay, the Al Mann copy went for about $1000 or so. I remember that in the description he even said it was the copy version so that made it even 'rarer'.

Re: UNIQUE MAGIC OF ROBERT HARBIN ON EBAY

Posted: May 8th, 2006, 5:59 am
by Rick Ruhl
Pete, either here on or TMC, you said you had never seen anyone perform the zigzag with the Harbin routien.

I did it at the Christmas show here in the Shoals.

There's the video, as Harbin would have liked it presented and as Harbin did it in it book.

Rick and Syd perform Zig Zag lady, Harbin Style.

Re: UNIQUE MAGIC OF ROBERT HARBIN ON EBAY

Posted: May 8th, 2006, 10:57 am
by Pete Biro
Thanks, nice to see... One nitpik... Harbin had the spectator push the section over at the beginning.

Re: UNIQUE MAGIC OF ROBERT HARBIN ON EBAY

Posted: May 8th, 2006, 11:46 am
by Rick Ruhl
Hmmm, on the vid I have (from 1965), he pushes the center himself until he puts the blades in. The he has her put her thumbs there and she pushes when he pulls.

I'll reread the section tonight in the book. I've been doing it for 3 years this way you saw, but if he let the girl push the center first, then I should do it that way. :)

Re: UNIQUE MAGIC OF ROBERT HARBIN ON EBAY

Posted: May 8th, 2006, 3:38 pm
by Rick Ruhl
Pete, look at page 122. It reads that the magician does the first pushing to show the middle box moves.

I wonder if Harbin did a modified version when you saw him perform live. All ive ever seen is the one tape from 1965 and what's in the book. You saw him live and knew him, so you know what he really wanted.

Re: UNIQUE MAGIC OF ROBERT HARBIN ON EBAY

Posted: May 8th, 2006, 7:42 pm
by Guest
Originally posted by Magicam:
Mario:

So Hatchs point probably was that this copy is no more unique than any other copy inscribed by Harbin, and Id tend to agree. Theres also the danger of a bald statement that a book is unique, without qualifying it as the only copy Ive seen, etc. Many a reputable collector has been proven wrong on claims like that, including H. Adrian Smith.

That said, even if some would say the copy you are offering isnt unique, IMHO that doesnt detract one iota from its desirability as a very nice association copy.

Clay
Clay, in Mario's defense, (not that he needs any defending), this copy DOES appear to be unique, at least by the strictest definition of the word, and it's usual application in the rare book world.

As you remarked, the book is a very nice "Inscribed, Association Copy". In my limited experience in the rare book world all those terms would apply, including the disputed "unique" modifier.

This due to the fact that the recipient wrote the "Introduction" to the book in question. Since there was only the one introduction, and just the one author of it, then unless Harbin gave Mason TWO copies of the book, this would indeed be a "Unique, Inscribed, Association Copy, marked for "Review Only", and un-numbered". At least that would have been my summary of the tome.

That it is to Eric Mason, a man well-known in the magic community, may also enhance the association to some small degree, at least in some eyes.

I agree that a simple "review" copy might have had less impact on the value, given that there could have been as many "review copies" as there were un-numbered books in the run. In the circumstances, though, the review appellation MAY add some polish to an already highly desireable little gem in the rare (magic) book field.

Just my two cents worth,
Best, PSC

Re: UNIQUE MAGIC OF ROBERT HARBIN ON EBAY

Posted: May 8th, 2006, 10:47 pm
by Guest
If someone did, indeed, pay $1000 for a copy of the copy, I want to know who he is. I have a set of very rare Paul Fox cups that are rarer than the originals, because they are copies, as well.

The trouble with these copies is that nobody knows how many there were. So, unless you have an original copy, signed by Al Mann and Craige Snader, you really don't have a rare book.

OTOH, there is a fellow who is selling a photocopy of Bob Read's book on cups and balls in graphics in the 19th century for a mega-giga-shipload right now.

Re: UNIQUE MAGIC OF ROBERT HARBIN ON EBAY

Posted: May 8th, 2006, 10:55 pm
by Guest
Bill, I thought ALL copies of Reads compilation were photocopies (alas, generally not great ones at that), including his Second Spasm. Is that not the case?

Paul, the bottom line for me is that the word "unique" has to mean something. And you're right, of course, Mario doesnt need defending. He'll continue to be successful at what he does no matter what I say as it should be.

ATB,
Clay

Re: UNIQUE MAGIC OF ROBERT HARBIN ON EBAY

Posted: May 8th, 2006, 11:38 pm
by Pete Biro
I'll sell my Harbin original for $1800.00 right now.

Re: UNIQUE MAGIC OF ROBERT HARBIN ON EBAY

Posted: May 9th, 2006, 7:11 am
by Rick Ruhl
Pete,

Yours is worth alot more than that. In Ron Cartilges Blue Book of Magic Price Guide, 2005 edition, it lists copy #449 going for $1897.50.

Yours is a one owner, the orginal, with the story behind it. That makes the value MUCH greater!

Rick

Re: UNIQUE MAGIC OF ROBERT HARBIN ON EBAY

Posted: May 9th, 2006, 11:07 am
by Pete Biro
I'll get 'em on shipping and handling :D :D :D

Re: UNIQUE MAGIC OF ROBERT HARBIN ON EBAY

Posted: May 9th, 2006, 3:23 pm
by Guest
Originally posted by Pete Biro:
I'll sell my Harbin original for $1800.00 right now.
Pete: it was $1,200 as of midnight last night before your edit. :p

I know 'cause I almost pulled the trigger...

CHS

Re: UNIQUE MAGIC OF ROBERT HARBIN ON EBAY

Posted: May 10th, 2006, 7:00 pm
by Pete Biro
A mere typo... :D

Re: UNIQUE MAGIC OF ROBERT HARBIN ON EBAY

Posted: May 11th, 2006, 3:47 pm
by Rafael
I'm in the market for a Harbin book (a real one - not the Al Mann version) but with these prices...
It looks like only collectors will have the Harbin book and we, the new generation of magic, don't have a chance to study the complete work of this great inventor!

Re: UNIQUE MAGIC OF ROBERT HARBIN ON EBAY

Posted: May 11th, 2006, 4:44 pm
by Guest
Originally posted by rafael:
I'm in the market for a Harbin book (a real one - not the Al Mann version) but with these prices... It looks like only collectors will have the Harbin book and we, the new generation of magic, don't have a chance to study the complete work of this great inventor!
Blame the Britsh Origami Society for your inability to read a new edition at a reasonable price. They were Harbin's literary heirs. Some years back I was in contact with them to purchase the rights to reprint the Harbin book again in a limited edition for magicians only. At that time Al Mann and his partner in Mexico had produced their fake and Xeroxes of varying quality were available at magic conventions in three-ring binders.

Harbin never envisioned the explosion of interest in magic that happened after his death, nor did he predict the interest his then-expensive book would create. Of course, his literary heirs did nothing to block the distribution of the fakes and did nothing to try and stem the tide of Xerox copies.

I wanted to put out a legitimate edition so I could advertise, make money for Harbin's literary heirs, spoil the sales of the pirate copies and, of course, make a few bucks for myself in the process. I saw it as a Win-Win situation.

The head of the British Origami Society was, as I recall, a lawyer who endlessly dithered over my offer. I was more than willing to pay a 15% royalty. He told me he was "going to bring it up at the next meeting." Well, that story played for over two years....always the "next meeting" whenever I wrote to ask how things were going. I even offered to give them exclusive sales in Great Britain just to get them to make a decision, but that did nothing.

Finally, I called him transAtlantic. He was somewhat non-plussed that I would do that, but, true to form, dithered again, and said they'd have a decision "shortly." Well, it had been dragging for something like two years at that point, but he assured me I'd hear soon.

Some months later I received a letter from him informing me that they'd signed the rights over to the Magic Circle and that if I wanted to proceed, I'd have to deal with them.

All this while, of course, the Mann pirated version and the Xerox copies kept flowing. At that point I gave up and went on to other things.

Re: UNIQUE MAGIC OF ROBERT HARBIN ON EBAY

Posted: May 11th, 2006, 5:30 pm
by Guest
Originally posted by rafael:
I'm in the market for a Harbin book (a real one - not the Al Mann version) but with these prices...
It looks like only collectors will have the Harbin book and we, the new generation of magic, don't have a chance to study the complete work of this great inventor!
Rafael;
Not all of us who have an original are collectors having seemingly endless amounts of cash. The book was never cheap. When it came out, it cost $70. This was when the higher priced magic books were priced at $12.50.

I was in the Army when I ordered mine. The most money I ever made in the Army as a scientific glass blower at Walter Reed Army Institute of Research was $168 per month. Read that again - $168! The only way I could afford to get the book was by making MANY glass animals for the various generals' wives.

It's like anything else in life, if you really want it - you find a way to get it. The price of the originals varies greatly. One like mine in the original mailer and having the original docs with it is worth more than a scuffed up original. If you want a pristine book, it will be costly. If you want an original for reference and condition is not too important, you may be pleasantly surprised at the price. Ask the magic book dealers to let you know when they run across an original in the condition you require.
Jim

Re: UNIQUE MAGIC OF ROBERT HARBIN ON EBAY

Posted: May 11th, 2006, 6:57 pm
by Guest
Originally posted by rafael:
I'm in the market for a Harbin book (a real one - not the Al Mann version) but with these prices... It looks like only collectors will have the Harbin book and we, the new generation of magic, don't have a chance to study the complete work of this great inventor!
By no means is everything Harbin did in that book. His work is also documented in Harbincadabra. You can buy the newly published 2 volume set from Magico Magazine which combines Harbincadabra and other writings by and about Harbin.

If you want the information, you can buy one of the old pirated copies. The fact that you want an original suggests that you might be somewhat of a collector yourself. I'd guess that only a small minority of original buyers were "collectors" only.

Clay

Re: UNIQUE MAGIC OF ROBERT HARBIN ON EBAY

Posted: May 27th, 2006, 12:18 pm
by Rick Ruhl
Pete,

Here's the latest show I did with the Harbin Zig Zag Presentation. Take a look at the spectators reaction after she helps Zag Sydney.

Maybe someday I can perform it for a Castle Brunch or something, to show how it should be done.

http://media.putfile.com/Zig-Zag-Harbin-style

Rick

Re: UNIQUE MAGIC OF ROBERT HARBIN ON EBAY

Posted: May 27th, 2006, 2:19 pm
by Pete Biro
You got most of it... you really need to let the assisting spectator do the initial part way push. When it stops you say, "You know why you couldn't push it any farther? Cuz there's a lady inside." Then you put the blades in.

Were you not abot to rotate it so the audience could see it all the way around? And could you have worked farther downstage?

Re: UNIQUE MAGIC OF ROBERT HARBIN ON EBAY

Posted: May 27th, 2006, 4:12 pm
by Rick Ruhl
Thats true, when I looked at the vid, we were WAY too far upstage.

Good idea for the line about the lady there when I have her put her thumbs on the center box. That wasn't in the vid of have of him, which was from 1965

Have you got any later videos of him performing it?

Re: UNIQUE MAGIC OF ROBERT HARBIN ON EBAY

Posted: May 27th, 2006, 4:32 pm
by Pete Biro
NO video of Harbin, but I saw him do it live twice, read the book carefully and discussed it thoroughly with him.

Re: UNIQUE MAGIC OF ROBERT HARBIN ON EBAY

Posted: May 27th, 2006, 4:50 pm
by Rick Ruhl
Sent you an email about this.