Tommy Wonder Close Up Kit on ebay

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erdnasephile
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Tommy Wonder Close Up Kit on ebay

Postby erdnasephile » September 25th, 2015, 9:55 pm

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Tommy-Wonder-Es ... 2359a73b56

I have nothing to do with this auction, but I couldn't help but say "Whoa!" when I saw this. A piece of history from one of the greats.

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Re: Tommy Wonder Close Up Kit on ebay

Postby Dustin Stinett » September 25th, 2015, 10:06 pm

Holy and Moly!

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Re: Tommy Wonder Close Up Kit on ebay

Postby Richard Kaufman » September 25th, 2015, 10:37 pm

Doesn't it make you sad?
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Re: Tommy Wonder Close Up Kit on ebay

Postby Dustin Stinett » September 25th, 2015, 10:51 pm

Yes, and it makes me wish a had some serious dough. Those are his cups, their bag and pompom! I just hope someone who truly appreciates what's there gets it.

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Re: Tommy Wonder Close Up Kit on ebay

Postby MagicbyAlfred » September 26th, 2015, 12:28 am

Tommy, we love you and you will always be missed...

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Re: Tommy Wonder Close Up Kit on ebay

Postby erdnasephile » September 26th, 2015, 6:54 am

Richard Kaufman wrote:Doesn't it make you sad?


Yes, it does--but I take it as a reminder that the stuff I have in this life is simply that: just stuff.

I'm mostly sad for what we lost when Mr. Wonder left us.

One thing I think is cool, is that if you look at the pictures carefully, it's clear that Mr. Wonder actually used the wonderful effects he described in the books and videos. Tamed card, the Two Cups routine, Socked Coins, Squeeze, Card in Ring Box, Elizabeth IV, etc. He performed those for real people, and made a living with those routines. No pipe dreams--so unlike a lot of published material these days.
Last edited by erdnasephile on September 26th, 2015, 12:12 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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Re: Tommy Wonder Close Up Kit on ebay

Postby Marco Pusterla » September 26th, 2015, 8:50 am

And, at the end of the day, this box and the tools that once had created Wonder and mystery in the eyes and minds of audiences, will end up in somebody's collection: an anonymous box among many others, the magic of the objects never again to be shared with an audience.

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Re: Tommy Wonder Close Up Kit on ebay

Postby AJM » September 26th, 2015, 11:18 am

I suppose it will end up in Copperfield's warehouse (pictured above).

But what would be preferable?

Someone buying it and the seller benefitting financially from something that otherwise would be of no use. (At the price level involved, surely it will end up in the hands of a serious magic collector who will appreciate owning a piece of magic history.)

Or

Just letting it collect dust in a closet or potentially thrown out at the next spring clean.
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Re: Tommy Wonder Close Up Kit on ebay

Postby Richard Kaufman » September 26th, 2015, 12:04 pm

There is a worse fate: the buyer breaks it up and resells all the contents individually.
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Re: Tommy Wonder Close Up Kit on ebay

Postby erdnasephile » September 26th, 2015, 12:07 pm

Richard Kaufman wrote:There is a worse fate: the buyer breaks it up and resells all the contents individually.


Ugh...that would be a travesty.

I'd love for them to put it on display at the Castle or at a convention some time. However, that's up the buyer, of course.

I'm actually grateful for the auction pictures so I can at least get a look at his props. I like how well-used they look, especially the ring box.

I don't recognize the make of the cups though--does anyone know who spun those?

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Re: Tommy Wonder Close Up Kit on ebay

Postby Marco Pusterla » September 26th, 2015, 1:06 pm

AJM wrote:I suppose it will end up in Copperfield's warehouse (pictured above).


Other collectors apply :)

These objects, until Mr. Wonder was alive, were tools. They were used to create the illusion of magic. Without Mr. Wonder behind them, the cards, cups, box, etc. are just useless pieces of wood, tin, paper of no use: museum objects that may recall one day the greatness of Tommy Wonder, of whom, luckily, video performances still exist.

In the hands of a capable performer, these tools could still create the illusion of magic, but would a capable performer accept to have his personality obfuscated by the artistic choices of another performer? I doubt so. I suspect this box and its contents may end up in a collection (like that in the picture above :) ) in the large abode of a gentleman who, while able to perform part of the material, won't have the grace and the artistic skills of the original owner and whose greatest satisfaction from these objects would be to be able to say "This was Tommy Wonder's close-up box... and now, it's mine!"

But, yes, what is the use of this box of tricks for anybody but the late Tommy Wonder or a museum? The use is to remind us of one of the most magical artistes in magic in the last 50 years.
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Re: Tommy Wonder Close Up Kit on ebay

Postby Leonard Hevia » September 26th, 2015, 1:12 pm

erdnasephile wrote:
Richard Kaufman wrote:There is a worse fate: the buyer breaks it up and resells all the contents individually.


Ugh...that would be a travesty.

I'd love for them to put it on display at the Castle or at a convention some time. However, that's up the buyer, of course.

I'm actually grateful for the auction pictures so I can at least get a look at his props. I like how well-used they look, especially the ring box.

I don't recognize the make of the cups though--does anyone know who spun those?


I was on the phone with Mike Rose two weeks ago and we discussed that very topic. They appear to be copies of PF cups. Tommy preferred this style for his two cup routine. That photo of the warehouse from the end of Raiders of the Lost Ark had me in stitches. It looks like it could be DC's warehouse.

Did anyone read the ad description on that auction? This appears to be the last of Tommy's props to go on the block. Over the years, I have purchased authorized versions of the props in that box and I'm glad the props I have look pretty much exactly what I see in that case.

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Re: Tommy Wonder Close Up Kit on ebay

Postby Richard Kaufman » September 26th, 2015, 2:28 pm

You can date the case by the address inside the lid. It's from when Tommy lived in Venice, I believe.
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Re: Tommy Wonder Close Up Kit on ebay

Postby erdnasephile » September 26th, 2015, 2:54 pm

Leonard Hevia wrote:I was on the phone with Mike Rose two weeks ago and we discussed that very topic. They appear to be copies of PF cups. Tommy preferred this style for his two cup routine. That photo of the warehouse from the end of Raiders of the Lost Ark had me in stitches. It looks like it could be DC's warehouse.

Did anyone read the ad description on that auction? This appears to be the last of Tommy's props to go on the block. Over the years, I have purchased authorized versions of the props in that box and I'm glad the props I have look pretty much exactly what I see in that case.


Does the distance between the beads on TW's cups look a bit wide to you for PD cups? It may be a trick of the perspective that the auction photos were shot at, but they also look like cups with a bit more attic than the typical PF cups. Maybe they were variations of the PF chick cups?

I seem to remember that in those old Jeff Busby ads for his version of the PF cups, he listed Tommy Wonder as someone who used his PF cups. Perhaps he did at one time.

Interestingly, the authorized van Dokkum cups are of a completely different design.

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Re: Tommy Wonder Close Up Kit on ebay

Postby Dan LeFay » September 26th, 2015, 3:11 pm

They were Paul Fox cups he got from Jeff Busby. He told me when I laughed watching him cleaning them with lemon juice.

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Re: Tommy Wonder Close Up Kit on ebay

Postby Richard Kaufman » September 26th, 2015, 3:48 pm

Tommy was just one of many who were suckered by that crook Jeff Busby.
Statement as expected.
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Re: Tommy Wonder Close Up Kit on ebay

Postby erdnasephile » September 26th, 2015, 3:50 pm

Thanks, Dan.

Interesting. I just pulled out my Busby PF cups to compare--the bead configuration is definitely different (there is maybe only a millimeter of space between the beads on my cups).

I did a search on Bill Palmer's outstanding Cups and Balls Museum. The cup that looks most like TW's cups are the PF copies that Connie Hayden spun (although those were silver plated). None of the Busby stuff listed in the CBM looks like the cups in the auctions.

Perhaps TW had several different sets of cups he used or maybe he had them custom spun?
Last edited by erdnasephile on September 26th, 2015, 4:16 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Tommy Wonder Close Up Kit on ebay

Postby Leonard Hevia » September 26th, 2015, 3:51 pm

Thank you Dan for clearing up yet another Tommy Wonder another mystery. You're becoming the go to guy for all things TW. I agree with Erdnasephile that Tommy's cups looked a bit tall to be standard PF cups, but then again, Busby tinkered with the design of the PF cups when he was selling them. The PF style of cups works great with the pom pom balls for Tommy's two cup routine.

The highest bid for the close-up box is now $3,100.00.

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Re: Tommy Wonder Close Up Kit on ebay

Postby erdnasephile » September 26th, 2015, 4:00 pm

Leonard Hevia wrote:Thank you Dan for clearing up yet another Tommy Wonder another mystery. You're becoming the go to guy for all things TW. I agree with Erdnasephile that Tommy's cups looked a bit tall to be standard PF cups, but then again, Busby tinkered with the design of the PF cups when he was selling them.


Ah...that would certainly explain it. (I had always thought Busby used the chucks from Danny Dew to make his cups.) BTW, for those interested in the history of the PF design, I highly recommend the Magicol on Paul Fox that was published last year.

Leonard Hevia wrote:The highest bid for the close-up box is now $3,100.00.


Any guesses on the gavel price?

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Re: Tommy Wonder Close Up Kit on ebay

Postby Leonard Hevia » September 26th, 2015, 4:12 pm

erdnasephile wrote:Any guesses on the gavel price?


Too early to venture a guess. There's still almost 5 days left in this game. Busby started with the Danny Dew chucks and went from there. Later versions of his cups began to reflect his design changes. Donnie Buckley of RNT2 currently sells vintage specs PF cups that reflect the original Danny Dew/Paul Fox design.

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Re: Tommy Wonder Close Up Kit on ebay

Postby Leonard Hevia » September 27th, 2015, 1:17 pm

Does anyone know the make of those red backed playing cards we see in that close-up box? Tommy also used those red backed decks for his L & L performances. Have never seen them sold here in the U.S.

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Re: Tommy Wonder Close Up Kit on ebay

Postby Bill Mullins » September 27th, 2015, 1:47 pm

Piatnik Classic. Piatnik is a mostly European brand.

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Re: Tommy Wonder Close Up Kit on ebay

Postby Leonard Hevia » September 27th, 2015, 1:49 pm

Thank you Bill!

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Re: Tommy Wonder Close Up Kit on ebay

Postby MagicbyAlfred » September 27th, 2015, 2:27 pm

Yes, the Piatnik Classics are manufactured in Vienna, Austria, by Ferd Piatnik & Sons. They are a plastic coated finish, so not optimal for spreads or fans. They are pretty cost-efficient; I saw them advertised for $2.95 U.S. online on a couple sites.

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Re: Tommy Wonder Close Up Kit on ebay

Postby Leonard Hevia » September 27th, 2015, 4:15 pm

MagicbyAlfred wrote:Yes, the Piatnik Classics are manufactured in Vienna, Austria, by Ferd Piatnik & Sons. They are a plastic coated finish, so not optimal for spreads or fans. They are pretty cost-efficient; I saw them advertised for $2.95 U.S. online on a couple sites.


Thanks Alfred. They seem to be available only in bridge size, and the court cards aren't as attractive as the standard Bicycle 808s. We are spoiled here with our Bees, Bikes, and Tally-Hos. God bless the U.S. Playing Card Company.

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Re: Tommy Wonder Close Up Kit on ebay

Postby Dan LeFay » September 27th, 2015, 4:58 pm

Leonard Hevia wrote:Thank you Dan for clearing up yet another Tommy Wonder another mystery. You're becoming the go to guy for all things TW. I agree with Erdnasephile that Tommy's cups looked a bit tall to be standard PF cups, but then again, Busby tinkered with the design of the PF cups when he was selling them. The PF style of cups works great with the pom pom balls for Tommy's two cup routine.

The highest bid for the close-up box is now $3,100.00.



I think I am not. But I was involved a lot with Tommy in the last months of his life. We were working to put his Wandering Chimes set together. The props that are being sold in the original post were always lying around. That's why I remembered. I too thought the shape of those cups were odd so I asked him. The cups as I remember them looked more like those that are (or were) being sold as Cellini cups, only with a double bead. He told me they were Busby's.

Tommy had one final surprise up his sleeve after the Wandering Chimes. It was a final version of the Elizabeth trick. I have the prototypes of that trick. We were supposed to record and write down the explanation for it, but he passed away too soon. Because of that terrible time and chaotic aftermath I have forgotten, over the years, the intricate workings and methods of that trick.
After Tommy's death his ideas and props were scattered. Some were sold, some were given away. Some were lost. I always hoped to get his close-up case,purely for nostalgic personal reasons but I knew it was being sold to the highest bidder and out of my reach. I was surprised to see it pop up after all those years...

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Re: Tommy Wonder Close Up Kit on ebay

Postby MagicbyAlfred » September 27th, 2015, 5:46 pm

You are welcome, Leonard, and Amen to your blessing upon the U.S. Playing Card Company.

I know it's a bit far afield from the topic of this thread, but just as an aside, I have been using Bicycle Rider back lately. IMO, they are far superior in construction, handling and durability to the Bicycle Standard. And no tacky advertising on the box.

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Re: Tommy Wonder Close Up Kit on ebay

Postby Krenz » September 28th, 2015, 2:16 pm

Tommy's close-up kit should be in a museum. If only I had the money...

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Re: Tommy Wonder Close Up Kit on ebay

Postby Richard Kaufman » September 28th, 2015, 2:20 pm

It may well end up in one.
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Re: Tommy Wonder Close Up Kit on ebay

Postby Krenz » September 28th, 2015, 2:35 pm

Richard Kaufman wrote:It may well end up in one.


Let's hope so.

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Re: Tommy Wonder Close Up Kit on ebay

Postby Joe Naud » October 1st, 2015, 3:38 pm

Sold for $10,277.77.

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Re: Tommy Wonder Close Up Kit on ebay

Postby Leonard Hevia » October 3rd, 2015, 1:21 pm

Richard Kaufman wrote:Doesn't it make you sad?


No, every great artist has to leave behind his or her tools upon death. Thus it has always been. Thus it shall ever be.

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Re: Tommy Wonder Close Up Kit on ebay

Postby Richard Kaufman » October 4th, 2015, 11:27 am

The winner was not David Copperfield. I know who won it, a private individual and if he's a collector I don't know it.
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Re: Tommy Wonder Close Up Kit on ebay

Postby John McDonald » October 4th, 2015, 2:07 pm

Any significance in the amount?
Best John

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Re: Tommy Wonder Close Up Kit on ebay

Postby Richard Kaufman » October 4th, 2015, 2:50 pm

Just the high bid!
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