Books, Props, Posters, More: Auction on July 27

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Books, Props, Posters, More: Auction on July 27

Postby Potterauctions » July 21st, 2013, 5:51 pm

There are posts in this forum requesting books by Juan Tamariz, David P. Abbott, and many more.

Titles by all of those authors - and nearly 1000 more (no joke!) - go up for auction on Saturday, July 27th. This, our summer "shelf sale," starts at 10am (Central Time), and includes over 300 lots in all.



Collectible books (by Forte, Berglas, and Fulves)?

Check. Check. Check.

Herrmann ephemera?




Unusual apparatus?


You get the idea.

Long story short: we have many items in the auction, and most of them have low starting bids and no reserve. There are lots that include over 100 books, with a starting bid of just $50.

A digital version of the catalog is on our website:

If you would prefer to bid online, you can do so at Liveauctioneers: ... more/page1

Questions can be directed to our office:, or 773-472-1442. Oh, and remember, if you bid directly with us (in the room on auction day, or on the phone or absentee), you save 3%.

Good luck to everyone that bids!

Gabe Fajuri
Potter & Potter Auctions

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Dustin Stinett
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Re: Books, Props, Posters, More: Auction on July 27

Postby Dustin Stinett » August 5th, 2013, 6:28 pm

Normally by now I would have posted my analysis of this auction. However, due to a format change at Live Auctioneers, I am unable to (with some relative ease versus impractical manual labor) get the low and high estimate data. It was that data--other than just the prices realized--that made doing the analysis of interest to me. Without that, I'm not going to put in the considerable work required when it was "easy" to do.

So I apologize to those of you who always enjoyed my forays into Auction Analysis Geekdom. I always appreciated your comments.


Bill Mullins
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Re: Books, Props, Posters, More: Auction on July 27

Postby Bill Mullins » August 6th, 2013, 12:23 am

Why should Dustin get all the fun?

The Potter and Potter auction of 27 July 2013 had 316 lots advertised. The auction did not have the marquee items that some have had (no Vernon silhouettes, no 1st ed. Erdnase, no huge files of correspondence), nor did it liquidate a major collection, but there was a lot of interesting material.

The prices realized sheet records final bids for 300 of the 316 lots. I don't know if the other 16 were withdrawn or failed to meet the reserve.

Amounts below in the form of "$200/250" are auctioneer's low to high estimates of the eventual winning bid.

Buyer's premium was 20%. I discuss only the bid recorded in the "Prices Realized" here; the actual price paid by the winning bidder was in fact 20% higher. In at least two lots (#304 and 315), the prices realized PDF page on the Potter and Potter website does not match the winning bid given at Liveauctioneers. I presume these are typos at P&P, and take the Liveauctioneers value to be correct.

The 300 lots with recorded prices realized totaled $65515, against a total estimate of $50335/77645. (these numbers are the sums of a lot of numbers transcribed by hand -- I'd be surprised if I did them all perfectly, so the totals may be off a little)

142 lots hammered for an amount between the high and low estimates. 92 lots went below the low estimate, and 65 went for above the high estimate. Gabe is pretty good at this . . .

The lot with the highest estimate was #305, a nice Kellar poster at $6000/7000, which went for $6500.

The lot which exceeded the high estimate by the greatest percentage was #274, an Alexander Herrmann program, which hammered for $600 on an estimate of $100/150. The lot which exceed the high estimate by the greatest dollar amount was #276, a signed portrait postcard of Leon Herrmann which went for $2800 against $700/900.

The lots with the lowest estimate were single book lots: lots #234 (Steimeyer's _The Science Behind the Ghost) and #237 (Stowers's _The Unsinkable Titanic Thompson_), both of which were estimated at $25/50, and went for $125 and $40, respectively. The lot for which the low estimate was too high by the greatest dollar amount was #31, a Thayer Incubator apparatus trick, which was sold for $200 against $400/500.

A number of lots went for only 1/2 of the low estimate. I suspect lots which failed to exceed that were passed.

There were several lots of Karl Fulves material which went for what struck me as low amounts, given the interest in his out-of-print material. Other lots of general magic books, not particularly collectible, went for low amounts (less than I would have bid if I had been on site at the live auction). No doubt some bidders are pleasantly surprised at how they did.

An unsigned photo of Harry and Bess Houdini went for $800. It was a nice, candid photo, but I suspect that interest in it was driven somewhat by discussion on John Cox's "Wild about Houdini" blog.

There were a couple of lots I regret not having bid against, including some books by William Lindsay Gresham (Nightmare Alley and Monster Midway), and a collection of science puzzle books that included Magical Experiments by Arthur Good.

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