Selections from the Grossman/Nicholson Magic … & Potter Auctions, Inc. 3759 N. Ravenswood Ave.-Suite 121-Chicago, IL 60613 Selections from the Grossman/Nicholson Magic Collection - [PDF Document] (2024)

Potter & Potter Auctions, Inc.

3759 N. Ravenswood Ave.

-Suite 121-

Chicago, IL 60613

Selections from the Grossman/Nicholson

Magic Collection Including Apparatus, Books, Ephemera,

Posters and Conjuring Curiosa

Public Auction #034

Auction Saturday, October 31, 2015 v 10:00 am

Exhibition October 28 - 30 v 10:00 am - 5:00 pm


Phone: 773-472-1442

Trained as a surgeon at the University of Rochester, Grossman became a member of the medical faculty at Yale until starting his private practice in Bridgeport, Conn. His medical career spanned half a century and brought him accolades from patients and peers alike.

In the realm of magic, the doctor’s reputation was made as a collector, historian, and writer. In 1967 he became the honorary lifetime president of the Magic Collectors Association, and for some 30 years, he wrote a popular column, “Ask the Doctor” for the Society of American Magicians magazine. Offering information and advice regarding collecting, history, and performance, Grossman’s vast collection of magical literature, coupled with his impressive knowledge of the subject made him an answer man for magicians worldwide.

Though known in the trade as a storehouse of information and collector par excellence, few magicians realized that Grossman was also a skilled sleight-of-hand performer, having been trained by Cardini, Walter Gibson, and John Mulholland – three well-known magicians he could also call close personal friends.

Grossman also developed a close friendship with the Petrie family, owners and operators of the famous Petrie & Lewis magic company. Many of the treasures in the Grossman collection came to him from the Petries, whose careers intersected most stars of magic’s golden age.

In a roundabout way, the Petrie family was also responsible for forging the friendship between Grossman and Nicholson, at a meeting of the New Haven Magical Society in the 1960s. The exclusive club held its monthly meetings at the “House Where Tricks are Born,” the Petrie & Lewis factory. During Nicholson’s first performance for the group, he borrowed a magic wand from a member of the audience. That man was Dr. John Henry Grossman.

Though he grew up less than three miles from the fabled P&L factory in New Haven, it was at a Harry Blackstone performance that Nicholson was introduced to magic. Joining other children on stage, “I put my hand on the bird cage in his hands, and even so, it vanished,” he recalls. With help from his family during the lean years of World War II, he acquired props and books on magic, and studied with vaudeville magician Wilbur Weber.

Nicholson did not become a serious collector until ten or fifteen years later, when an introduction to another member of the New Haven club, Chet Karkut, sparked his initial interest in magic history. Not long thereafter, Nicholson's collecting broadened to include vintage magic posters, books, and ephemera. Trips to Al Flosso’s New York magic shop and gifts from friends like Arnold Furst helped set the seal.

Though the New Haven Magical Society folded with the closing of the P&L factory, Nicholson and Grossman’s friendship flourished. Bonded by a shared interest not only in magic shows, but also magic history, by the late 1980s the two men were the closest of friends. When the time came to sell Grossman’s renowned collection, Nicholson was the logical buyer. The books, posters, apparatus, ephemera, and periodicals he purchased from Grossman found a new and safe resting place in the Nicholson home, where, over the course of the last 25 years, the collection was expertly cared for and substantially grown.

We are pleased to have the opportunity to offer a strong selection of pieces from this bedrock American collection, and we proceed with great respect for the rare kind of friendship that allowed so much of it to have been kept together.

John Henry Grossman (right) and Nelson Nicholson

Dr. John Henry Grossman told his friend Nelson Nicholson that he he had three great

loves in his life. “All of them start with the letter ‘M’. The first is Mayra, my wife. The second is medicine, and the third is magic.”

The Grossman/Nicholson Collection October 31, 2015 • 5


1. Animated Hand. New York, Hornmann Magic Co., ca. 1918. A carved wooden hand, resting on a sheet of glass, raps out answers to questions posed by the audience. Requires no special board. 9” long. Black lace cuff. Likely repainted.


2. The Atom. Norwood, John Snyder, Jr., ca. 1936. A steel ball passes through a sheet of glass locked securely in a handsome wooden frame. In a felt-lined wooden carrying case for the ball and frame, as issued. Frame 4 ¼ x 6 ¼”. With original instructions. Very good. uncommon.


3. Bird Box. Martinka & Co., ca. 1890. A chosen card is placed into a wooden box and the lid is closed. When opened, the card has transformed into a live bird and the card is discovered elsewhere. Handsome bird’s-eye maple box with glass insert in lid. 5 ¼ x 3 ¾ x 5 ½”. Good working condition; short crack in glass at corner.


4. Books of Ching Soo. Four faux wooden books are tied in a wooden frame with a length of ribbon. The books then penetrate the ribbon visibly. Folk art look with faux Chinese characters, dragons, and the word “magic” hand painted on books and frame. Frame 8 x 3 x 8”. Finish worn; good.


5. Bonus Genius (Vanishing Doll). American, ca. 1910 [?]. Hand painted turned wooden doll vanishes from under a small tartan cloak. 4 ¾” high. Folk art look. Cloth worn, else very good.






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6. Bowl of Water Production. New Haven, Petrie & Lewis (P&L), ca. 1950. A glass bowl filled with water is produced from thin air. Complete with bowl, wooden table and drapes. Hallmarked. Table 33” high. Good.


7. Relighting Candle Trick. German, ca. 1910. Specially manufactured candle allows the flame to be blown out, but a moment later, re-lights itself. The effect can be repeated ad-infinitum. Controlled offstage by a hidden assistant. 15” high. Finely crafted. uncommon.


8. Card Changing Box. European, ca. 1870 [?]. A torn card is restored when placed inside the box. All-metal construction. Mirror inside lid. Lovely hand-painted finish with mother-of-pearl-like flowers and gold borders. Good working order. 4 3⁄8 x 3 1⁄8 x 4”. Minor chipping, wear, and craquelure to the finish, but very good condition overall.


9. Hathaway Card in Balloon. Chicago, Sedghill Industries, ca. 1947. A signed chosen card appears inside a balloon on a small chrome stand when the balloon bursts. Gleaming metal prop in fitted hardwood case. Hallmarked. Box stamped with the initials of John Henry Grossman. Very good.


10. Rising Card “Machine”. London, John Martin, 1965. Selected cards rise from a pack isolated in a glass. Complete with covering cards, tension plate, intricate mechanical pack, and accessories. Mechanism includes a time delay feature, allowing for a pause of several seconds between the rise of each card. Pack 2 ¼ x 3 ½ x 5⁄8”. Winding key and pack hallmarked. With original wooden shipping case, key, Martin invoice, mailing label, and ALS with original mailing cover from Martin to Dr. Grossman extending an offer to the doctor to visit Martin’s home. Rubber wheels dried, extremities show wear; very good working condition.






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11. Rising Card Tray. Los Angeles, F.G. Thayer & Co., ca. 1935. Selected cards magically rise from the pack isolated in a goblet on a shallow wooden tray. Tray 9 ¾” diameter. Light wear, but overall very good.


12. Ultra Rising Cards (Jumbo). New Haven, Petrie & Lewis, ca. 1930. Giant version of this classic effect. Cards selected from a giant pack rise from the deck sitting in a holder on the magician’s table. Nickel plated brass stand 18 ¾” high. Hallmarked. Very good. uncommon.


13. Card Ladle. American, ca. 1900 [?]. Plated brass ladle switches billets or one playing card for another. 12” long. Minor repairs evident; good.


14. Card Sword. North Hollywood, Merv Taylor, ca. 1955. Handsome metal sword with bronze handle. Magician skewers selected cards on the sword as the pack cascades through the air. 33" long. With original wooden carrying case, painted brown, with brass corner fixtures. Hallmarked. Very good.


15. Cardini (Richard Valentine Pitchford). Tube for Carrying

Human Hair. Brass tube painted black with end caps and exterior clip housed in cloth-lined leather case. Apparently used to house lengths of human hair for use in various magic tricks. 10 ¾” long.


A holographic note in the hand of Dr. John Henry Grossman accompanying the tube states: “Tube for human hair presented [to] JHG by Dick Cardini 6/13/71. TED ARNOLD’S/to Cardini from Dai Vernon.” Arnold was a noted New York amateur magician and close friend of Ted Annemann. He died in 1938.

Hilt detail






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17. Cardini. Cardini’s Royal Command Performance Gloves

and Cards. Including a pack of 51 silver Peau Doux-back playing cards and a pair of white kid leather gloves used by Cardini in his May 1933 appearance at the London Palladium before British royalty. Housed in a black cardboard box with a label affixed to the exterior on the letterhead of Dr. John Henry Grossman stating, “Equipment used by Dick Cardini for English Royal Command Performance.” Slight wear from use.


A second typed note enclosed states, “These are the actual cards used by Dick Cardini at his royal command performance for the royal family of England.” The note is signed, “This is correct / Cardini / Sept. 30th 1967.” Additionally, a note in Dr. Grossman’s hand pasted inside the lid of the box housing the cards and gloves relates an interesting tidbit about Cardini: “There is a drop in the Palladium Theatre London, England called the “Cardini Blues” since this was the drop he worked in front of at this theatre. At various times he played engagements there for six weeks to nine months.” The note is signed, “This is correct / Cardini / Sept. 30th 1967.”

16. Cardini (Richard Valentine Pitchford). Cardini’s Billiard

Balls. Set of eleven turned wooden billiard balls and four shells (two wooden, two metal) owned and used by Cardini, the greatest magician of the nightclub era. Consisting of six white, one green, one marbled, two red, and one black ball; three white shells and one unpainted metal shell. Housed in a plush-lined case covered in black pebbled cloth with Cardini’s name stamped in gilt on the lid. The balls measure 2 ¼” in diameter, and all show wear and chipping from use. The case measures 14 ½ x 9 x 2 ¾”. The billiard balls were presented to Dr. Grossman by the Cardinis.


Accompanying the Billiard Balls is a holographic letter from Swan Cardini to Dr. Grossman which describes the various billiard balls Cardini used, including those crafted of ivory and wooden sets made by Thayer. She adds, “…these are all I have left except the four he last used, which I’ll keep.”

Lid detail



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18. Changing Tray. Los Angeles, F.G. Thayer & Co., ca. 1930. Mechanical wooden tray facilitates the switch of one deck of cards or one small object for another. 11 x 9 ½”. Good.


19. Sliding Clock Box. Alhambra, Owen Magic Supreme, ca. 1960. After considerable by-play, an alarm clock vanishes from a four-door mahogany cabinet. It is reproduced from a previously empty hat. Cabinet 10 x 3 ¾ x 6”. Very good. uncommon.


20. Coffee, Milk, and Sugar Trick. Sweden, Harries Magic [?], ca. 1940. Cotton, silk, and confetti placed in the separate pieces of a metal coffee service transform into hot coffee, sugar, and cream. Handsome construction, the largest item 9 ¼” high. Includes specially prepared coffee pot, creamer, and sugar bowl with lid, and tray. With instructions. Very good.


21. Coin Casket. London, J. Bland [?], ca. 1880. Handsome cloth-covered casket vanishes English half-crowns one at a time as the lid is opened and closed. 3 x 3 x 3 ½”. Gold plated ornaments.


22. Coin Tray. New Haven, Petrie & Lewis (P&L), ca. 1950. Round metal tray causes coins to multiply in quantity as if by magic. Uncommon blue and gold paint. 8” diameter. Paint worn.







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23. Commando Screen. New Haven, Petrie & Lewis (for Max Holden), ca. 1935. Small metal tri-fold screen is shown on both sides and formed into a triangular tube. Silk handkerchiefs are produced from inside. Panels 3 x 7”. With original box. Fine.


24. Davenport Cabinet. Martinka & Company [?], ca. 1880. A coin or small object placed in the drawer vanishes. Hardwood with ebony handle and finial. 2 ¾ x 2 ¾ x 3 ¾”. Good.


25. De Vega (Alexander Mackay Stewart). Fire Bowl. Scottish, ca. 1910. A small brass bowl filled with flames is produced from a shawl. Owned and used by De Vega. 6” diameter. With cork stopper. A letter of provenance from magic author and historian Dr. Edwin Dawes accompanies the bowl.


26. Die Box Effect. New Haven, Petrie & Lewis (P&L), ca. 1939. Unusual transposition effect in which a die magically passes from a small box to a larger, longer box. All components made of sturdy paper-covered board. Includes two solid dice, two shells (one with hinged “lid”), short orange tube, and oblong box with hinged lid. 2 ½” die. Very good. rAre.


27. Divination Box. German, ca. 1920. The order of four numbered blocks arranged in a box is divined by the magician even though the box is closed. Lacquered wooden box with gold accents and paper-covered wooden blocks. Box 6 ¼ x 2”.







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28. Doctor Q Prediction Chest. Los Angeles, Owen Brothers, ca. 1959. A cleverly-designed chest that allows the magician to secretly introduce a billet inside even though it is locked. Hallmarked with the initials of John Henry Grossman. Includes a vintage padlock and key, the latter on a chain marked with the return address label of Tod Petrie, owner of the P&L magic factory. Finish scratched. Good.


29. Dragon Table. New Haven, Petrie & Lewis (P&L), ca. 1939. Portable magician’s table with legs in the shape of dragons. With cloth-covered top including black art wells. 29” high. Very good.


30. Fox The Magician Wind-Up Toy. NGT, Japan, 1950s. Minor wear to fabric. Working but slightly out-of-sequence. 6 ¾” high. Original box with minor wear. Very good overall.


31. Glass Penetration. American, ca. 1940. A pencil or spike penetrates a sheet of glass housed in a hardwood frame. Hardwood and brass, with display stand. Frame 10 ½ x 8 ½”. Very good.


Sometimes called the DeMuth Glass Penetration, this prop was manufactured by a number of builders, and has become a popular beginner’s magic trick since Ludwig Krug miniaturized it and patented his pocket-size version.





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32. Glass Through Hat. New Haven, Petrie & Lewis (P&L), ca. 1950. A glass placed on a brass candlestick is covered with a cloth, then visibly penetrates the crown of a borrowed hat. With original box. Hallmarked. Very good.


33. Herrmann, Adelaide. Die Casket. European, ca. 1890. A wooden die placed in a burled wooden chest transforms into a bird or any other small object when the box is re-opened. Owned and used by Adelaide Herrmann, and possibly Alexander and Compars Herrmann. 3 ½” die. With key. Minor wear to finish; very good.


A letter of provenance from Dr. Victor Trask to Dr. John Henry Grossman accompanies the prop. It states, in part, “I am sending you the Die Box…it was given to my father by Adelaide Herrman[n] during one of her visits at our home. Dad had a string of theaters in the Northwest known as the “Blue Mouse Theaters.” I was just a kid at that time but from what Dad told me, the box was first used by [C]arl Herrmann, later by Alexander, then he took it out of the act. I first thought of sending it to the Magic Circle, but after our visit felt that you might like to have it….”

34. The Jumping Peg. Los Angeles, F.G. Thayer, 1914. Miniature wooden sword, crafted to represent a small letter opener. A peg running through one of three holes in the blade magically jumps from hole to hole. 5 ¼” long, with original envelope, indicating the trick was a souvenir distributed at the annual S.A.M. banquet held in New York in 1914. Envelope worn and with flap detached, prop in fine condition.


The Jumping Peg was offered in two grades. This, the “paddle of superior make,” was meant to resemble a small wooden paper knife “of California wood,” and retailed for twenty-five cents. The lesser version sold for fifteen cents.

35. Leon’s Improved Glass Penetration. North Hollywood, Merv Taylor, ca. 1955. A sheet of glass is placed in a wooden box. The box (and glass, apparently) is then perforated by metal spikes, yet the glass is unharmed. Box 4 5/8 x 4 5/8 x 5 ½”. With six (of 14) spikes (one hallmarked), original box and instructions.





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36. The Little Bosco. German, ca. 1840. One of fifteen symbols on one of five cards is mentally selected, yet the magician instantly knows the chosen symbol. Six engraved cards in two colors, housed in an embossed folder with printed instructions in three languages. 4 ½ x 7”. Blind stamp inside folder, else very good. scArce.


37. Miller, Welsh. Welsh Miller’s Wrist Reel, Given to Cardini. Being a faux wristwatch and leather band used by Miller, a vaudeville magician, to conceal a thread reel used in his act. Accompanied by a Harry Stanley-made reel (case only, not working) owned by Cardini, and a letter of provenance in Cardini’s hand describing how Miller used the reel and gave it to him, while also referring to the Stanley reel sarcastically as the “world’s greatest.” Also included is a diagram of a reel spring drawn by Cardini and the original mailing label from Cardini to Dr. Grossman. An unusual relic of two vaudeville magicians.


38. Nest of Boxes. Chicago, Joe Berg, ca. 1948. A borrowed ring vanishes, and reappears in the innermost of four locked, nested boxes. Four nesting hardwood boxes, the largest 6” square. With original keys.


39. Nest of Boxes. New Haven, Petrie & Lewis (P&L), ca. 1940. Set of five nesting cardboard boxes, each covered with a different patterned paper. A vanished coin appears inside the smallest of the boxes, which are bound together. The largest 3 x 3 x 1 ¾”. Fine. rAre.






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40. [Le Paul, Paul and Johnny Paul] Cards Owned and Used by

Johnny Paul and Paul LePaul. Being a subtly-gaffed “locator” card, the Four of Hearts, likely made by Paul LePaul, the vaudeville manipulator, accompanied by a holographic note stating “Paul L. Paul/Gaffed Card”; and a folded Bee-back card signed by Johnny Paul accompanied by a note stating, “John Paul’s T&R Card in paper napkin done for Roley Winder (as a favor to JHG) in Las Vegas…March 1967 – card sent to JHG by Roley.”


41. One-Hand Production Box. Los Angeles, F.G. Thayer & Co., ca. 1935. A quantity of handkerchiefs is produced from a small cabinet that was shown empty a moment before. Finely made. 5 x 3 ½ x 7”. Very good.


42. Production Lanterns. European, ca. 1880. Four nesting lanterns, to be produced by a magician from a borrowed hat. Each includes a candle-holder at the rear. The largest 4 x 4 x 6 ½”. The smallest lacking one side panel and in need of repair, else good. An unusual and outstanding set.


43. Production Lanterns & Reticules. European, 1900s – 20s. Set of seven collapsible cardboard “reticules” and 18 brass “lanterns” used by a magician as production items from borrowed hats. Generally good condition.







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44. [P&L] Dream Tube trick. New Haven, Petrie & Lewis (P&L) for Steen, ca. 1932. Handkerchiefs or a billiard ball are produced from an empty tube. Objects can also vanish or be changed when placed in the tube. Heavy brass construction, lacquered in red and gold. Load chamber features a spring loaded lid. 3 x 3 x 8”. Paint chipping, otherwise very good. rAre.


P&L manufactured this trick for Steen, a magic dealer based in New York City.

mAgic sets

45. Handy Box of Tricks. London, Lewis Davenport & Co., ca. 1928. Unusual petite magic set housed in an elaborate folding case made of paper-covered boards, containing card, coin, and dice tricks. Complete with original instructions and outer cardboard sleeve. 2 ¾ x 2 ¾ x 4 ¼”. Very good condition. uncommon.


46. Mysto Magic Parcel Post Magic Set. New Haven, A.C. Gilbert Co., ca. 1917. Magic set composed of Multiplying Billiard Balls and Grandmother’s Necklace. With instructions and original mailing tube. 4 ½” high. Label wrinkled, else very good. scArce.


47. Mysto Magic Set No. 1. New Haven, A.C. Gilbert Co., ca. 1938. Attractive and complete magic set from the Mysto line. With instructions and original inspector’s voucher. 18 x 10 x 1 ½”. Very good.


44 45



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48. Mysto Magic Set No. 2006. New Haven, A.C. Gilbert Co., ca. 1939. Attractive and apparently complete magic set from the Mysto line. Two trays of apparatus inside, including metal coin box, Mysto slates, pull, wand, coins and shells, DeLand tricks, booklets, poster, and more. With instructions and original inspector’s voucher. 18 x 10 x 2 ¼”. Very good.


49. [P&L] P&L “Deluxe” Magic Set. New Haven, Petrie & Lewis (P&L), ca. 1939. Large and elaborate magic set includes many P&L products, among them the Passe Passe Bottles, Phantom Die (though hat), Boom-E-Rang, Vanishing Wand, Patriotic Rockets, Mora ring trick, and many others. Case 23 x 16 ½”. Several props hallmarked. Most items in near mint condition.


This, perhaps the last surviving example of the largest and most expensive magic set produced by Petrie & Lewis, was one of several sold by the firm’s magician-demonstrators at the Abercrombie & Fitch sporting goods store in Manhattan. For several holiday seasons, P&L supplied merchandise and in-store demonstrations of various toys and magic tricks to the storied retailer. In 1939, a 20-year-old Jay Marshall, future Dean of American Magicians, helped manufacture these P&L sets and also demonstrated them at Abercrombie & Fitch. The wooden cases housing these sets were manufactured by the same craftsman who built cases for the P&L Flowering Rosebush apparatus.

50. Sphinx Puzzle Set. New Haven, Petrie & Lewis (P&L), ca. 1930. Counter display model of this set of puzzles, with glass replacing the standard lithographed box top. Includes paper, wooden, and metal puzzles. With instructions. 14 x 9 ½ x 1”. Very good.





Lower tray detail

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51. Silk Pistol. Dresden, Manfredo, ca. 1920 [?]. A silk handkerchief draped over the barrel of the gun vanishes when the trigger is pulled. Wooden handle, plated brass mechanism. 7 ½” long. With original key. Good.


Similar to a pistol manufactured by Willmann.

52. Solid Gold Gimmick. New York, Richard Himber, ca. 1959. Any number of chosen cards rise from the case. 14-karat gold plated gimmick, cards, and original instructions. Very good.


53. Soot Whistle. European, ca. 1900 [?]. Those who know the secret can make the whistle sound; those who do not blow soot into their faces. Turned wood, 4” long. Finish worn; good.


A handwritten note bearing the initials “H.L.C” (possibly Harry Clapham) states that the magician Keene owned this whistle.

54. No lot.

55. Spirit Bell. Chicago, National Magic Co., ca. 1945. Chrome-plated bell on skeleton stand, glass tumbler, ringing device, and carrying case. The bell, though isolated under the glass, rings out answers to questions. Case 6 x 5 x 7 ½”. With original instructions. Gimmick hallmarked.


56. Spirit Clock Dial. After Martinka & Co., ca. 1890. The dial is spun and stops on any number the magician desires. Brass hand, glass dial with gilded Roman numerals. Dial 12 ½” in diameter. Stand 44” tall.



5355 56


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57. Tipsy Turvy Passe Bottles. New Haven, Petrie & Lewis (P&L), ca. 1948. A bottle and a glass transpose – magically – from one tube to another. Then a “tipsy-turvy” routine can be performed with a clever mechanical bottle in one of the tubes. Two nesting bottles, one mechanical “tipsy-turvy” bottle, and two tubes. Tubes 9 ¼” high. Very good. rAre.


According to The P&L Book (Walker, 1992), this prop was never advertised or cataloged by P&L, and no instruction sheets were issued. Dr. Grossman acquired this set directly from the P&L factory.

58. Watch Box. Circa 1920. A pocket watch or other small object vanishes from inside the locked box. Inlaid hardwood design, lined with velvet. Finely made. 4 ½ x 3 ¼ x 2 ½”. Lacking key (easily replaced).


59. Watch Pistol. Berlin, Conradi, ca. 1930. A borrowed pocket watch hung from the barrel vanishes when the trigger is pulled. Composition handle. 7 ¼” long. Tarnished; good working condition.


60. X-Ray Vision Chest. Alhambra, Owen Magic Supreme, ca. 1960. The mindreader discerns the contents of the chest even though it is closed and bound with string. 8 x 5 x 5 ½”. With instructions. Very good.


Laid in is a greeting card from David Lustig to John Henry Grossman. Presumably Lustig gave the box to Grossman.





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61. Valadon, Paul. Paul Valadon’s Card Manipulation Table

and Cards. British, ca. 1904. Metal and wooden with intricately hand painted top. At least three mechanisms have been built in to the table top which, when combined with the specially prepared cards, facilitate the production and vanish of playing cards at the fingertips of the magician. Together with a small wooden case to accommodate the specially prepared cards. 35” high. Worn from use, but good condition overall.


Dr. Grossman acquired the table from Paul Fleming, a professional magician and later a successful economics professor. Valadon was well known for his abilities as a card manipulator, and posed for several photographs demonstrating his skills in C. Lang Neil’s classic book, The Modern Conjurer. His use of camouflage as an aid in card manipulation is not widely known. At one time, Valadon was slated to succeed the famous American magician Harry Kellar, having left his post at Maskelyne & Cooke’s Egyptian Hall on the pretence that he would take over upon Kellar’s retirement. Instead, after giving Kellar the secret of Maskelyne’s famous levitation and touring with Kellar for a short time, personality clashes ended their partnership. Howard Thurston struck a deal with Kellar and was presented with the “mantle” of magic in 1908. Valadon continued performing, but died virtually penniless in 1913.

62. Vanishing Birdcage. German, ca. 1930. Handsome nickel plated cage vanishes from between the magician’s hands. Semi-rigid model. 7 x 4 ¼ x 6”. Stamped “Germany.” Tarnished, else very good.


63. Vanishing Birdcage. American, ca. 1940. Semi-rigid model. Brass and chrome bars. 5 ¾ x 4 ¾ x 4 ¾”. With interesting tubular brass carrying case. Very good.


Table top detail





64. Rogers, John (American, 1829 – 1904). The Traveling

Magician. New York, 1878. Fine unglazed plaster sculpture of an itinerant magician producing a rabbit from a hat. A father and son watch enraptured, while a young girl dozes against the conjurer’s table. Meanwhile, a secret assistant holds a pigeon behind the table, in readiness for the next trick. 15 x 15 ½ x 23”. Minor surface chips and flakes not affecting overall quality; rear corner of the stage platform chipped.


Rightfully described by The New York Times in 2012 as “the Norman Rockwell of his time,” Rogers’ works powerfully captured everyday scenes and characters of the late nineteenth century. Cast from bronze originals, the relatively inexpensive sculptures were also readily available to a large swath of buyers whose times were represented. Of the more than 80 “groups” that make up Rogers’ oeuvre, The Traveling Magician is perhaps the most sought-after.

Books And periodicAls

65. Alexander, C. (Claude Alexander Conlin). Alexander’s

Book of Mystery. Los Angeles: Author, 1919. Pictorial wraps printed in color. Illustrated advts. at rear. 8vo. 48 pages. Spine reinforced, with short tears and minor creases around edges, ownership label on front, but very good overall. Together with: an incomplete copy of Alexander’s Crystal Gazing (ca. 1920s), lacking approximately eight leaves.


66. Art of Conjuring Made Easy, (The); or Instructions for

Performing the Most Astonishing Sleight-of-Hand Feats.

Davenport: Printed for Samuel and John Keys, (ca. 1840). Yellow pictorial wraps. 12mo. Six leaves, p. [1] 2 – 12. Very good. Toole Stott 65.


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67. Aspin, Jehoshaphat. A Picture of the Manners, Customs,

Sports and Pastimes of the Inhabitants of England. London: J. Harris, St. Paul’s Church-Yard, 1825. Publisher’s pictorial boards, heavily rubbed, rebacked. Engraved frontispiece and title page. Illustrated by numerous engravings, from Strutt and others. Plates. 12mo. Light marginal soiling to a few leaves; Cambridge Library stamp on title page; and other light internal wear. Toole Stott 756.


68. Aubrey, John. Miscellanies, Upon the Following Subjects.

London: Printed for A. Bettesworth, and J. Battley in Paternoster Row, 1721. second edition. Nineteenth century half crimson leather, ornamented in gilt, raised spine, with marbled sides and endsheets. Frontispiece, woodcut devices. 8vo. p. [i] ii – x, 1 – 236 + 1 – 16 advts. G4 clipped at corner not affecting text, else very good. Ex-libris John Albree. Toole Stott 1224.


69. Bamberg, David L. and Theo (Okito). Nieuw Goochelboekje.

Circa 1861. Modern brown buckram stamped in gilt. 8vo. 8 pages, with two Typed Letters Signed (TLS) and one typed note signed by Okito laid in, dated 1952, 1956, and 1962. Theo Bamberg business card (ca. 1950) tipped-in on front pastedown. Ex-libris John Henry Grossman. Very good.


The TLSs are addressed to Grossman. The first is a postcard with a short greeting, dated Nov. 4, 1956, and signed “Theo;” the other, dated June 15, 1962, on one sheet of hotel stationery, relates to Bamberg’s ill health, namely the discovery of a “cancerous growth back of my throat,” and signed “Theo.” In the third, on a slip dated July 1952, Bamberg writes of Nieuw Goochelboekje, “This little booklet was published by my great grandfather David L. Bamberg… It was sold by my father (his grandson) who assisted his grandfather during his performances,” and signed, “Theo Bamberg/Okito.”



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70. Blackstone, Harry. Blackstone’s Modern Card Tricks and

Secrets of Magic. New York: Garden City, 1941. Black cloth, stamped in red, with jacket. Illustrated. 8vo. With a caricature self-portrait signed by Blackstone on flyleaf. inscriBed And signed by ghostwriter Walter Gibson to John Henry Grossman on FFEP verso. Together with: a 1939 envelope addressed to David Beardslee from Blackstone, bearing a portrait sketch of Beardslee in pencil signed by Blackstone, in a tipped-in sleeve; and a 1960 Blackstone Christmas card printed in color, laid down on the flyleaf. Jacket worn, else good.


71. Blitz, Signor (Antonio van Zandt). Life and Adventures

of Signor Blitz. Hartford: Belknap, 1872. Publisher’s printed covers, housed in a black buckram clamshell box stamped in gold. Steel-cut portrait frontispiece opposite an engraving, with replacement tissue; illustrated with engravings. 8vo. p. [i-v] vi – xviii, [19] 20 – 432. Spine chipped, other light wear, but very good overall. scArce.


72. [Blow Book] Humpty Dumpty. New York: A.W. Frauenthal, 1869. Publisher’s original colored wraps, backed with red cloth, possibly later. Eight changes, the images printed in colors. 8vo. Minor creasing at fore-edge from use, but very good overall.


The book is dedicated to George L. Fox (1825 – 1877), the American comedian, pantomimist, and clown who performed as “the original Humpty Dumpty,” an illustration of whom appears as one of the series of images within. He is represented in a clown costume matching what he was pictured in for a portrait by the New York photographers J. Gurney & Son.

73. Book of Wonders, Mysteries, and Disclosures. New York: O.A. Roarbach, 1867. Plain brown wraps. 16mo. Includes a section entitled “Gambler’s Tricks With Cards,” among an array of topics. Light soiling at upper right edge internally, else good.





The Grossman/Nicholson Collection October 31, 2015 • 23

74. Boy’s Own Book Extended, (The). New York and Boston: C.S. Francis & Co., 1853. improved edition. Publisher’s pictorial marbled cloth ornately stamped in gilt and blind. Frontispiece behind tissue; embellished with plates, illustrations, decorative page borders. 8vo. Three parts in one volume, paginated separately: p. 354, 191, 168. Binding a trifle weak at middle, else a fine copy. Close variant of Toole Stott 991.


75. Boy’s Own Conjuring Book, (The). New York: Dick & Fitzgerald, ca. 1890. Brown cloth stamped in black and gold. Frontispiece of a young Max Malini (misspelled "Maline"). Illustrated. 8vo. Spine bumped at center, pencil notations on pastedowns; overall very good. Collates same as Toole Stott 115, but printing date not shown here.


76. Boy’s Treasury of Sports and Pastimes, (The). London: D. Bogue, 1847. new edition. Red cloth stamped in gilt. Frontispiece. Over 400 Illustrations by Samuel Williams. 12mo. p. [i – v] vi – viii, [1] 2 – 464. Upper right edge mildly darkened and soiled, ownership signatures on first two flyleaves, scattered wear elsewhere; good. Toole Stott 117 (with variant pagination).


77. Breslaw, Philip. Breslaw’s Last Legacy; or, The Conjurer

Unmasked. London: J. Barker, Russell-Court, Drury Lane, 1792. tenth edition. Modern half maroon leather stamped in gilt. Engraved frontispiece (remargined). 12mo. p. [i – iii] iv, [9] 10 – 112. Light to mild spotting and some rust-spots; other light wear, but good overall. Ex-libris Stanley Collins.





24 • Potter & Potter Auctions

81. [Clempert, John]. Thrilling Episodes of John Clempert. [London], ca. 1910. Pictorial wrappers. Small 4to. Edges of wrappers chipped and repaired with archival tape, but very good internally. Illustrated on the rear and inside covers with depictions of Clempert handcuffed, caged, or noosed, the rear illustration showing him “taking a drop of 15 feet with a rope round his neck.”


82. Conjurers’ Monthly Magazine. Harry Houdini. V1 N1 (Sep. 1906) – V2 N12 (Aug. 1908). complete File. Bound in two contemporary black and red cloth volumes, spines lettered, as issued by Houdini. Portraits of Houdini in chains laid down on front pastedowns of both volumes. Rear cover of first volume chipped at top, affecting a few leaves; trimmed close to margins for binding; other scattered light wear. Housed in a custom cloth clamshell box. Alfredson/Daily 1725.


78. Brewster, David. Letters on Natural Magic addressed to

Sir Walter Scott. London: John Murray, Albemarle-Street, 1834. Olive half-leather, raised spine, stamped in gilt, with marbled sides. Illustrated. 8vo. Very good. Toole Stott 138.


79. Christmas Entertainments 1740 (The Vellum-Parchment

Shilling Series of Miscellaneous Literature). London: Field & Tuer, Leadenhalle Press, ca. 1884. Modern quarter crushed black leather, marbled sides. Publisher’s printed wrappers retained. Illustrated with woodcuts. 16mo. Very good.


Chapter III: Of Witches, Wizards, Conjurers, and Such Trifles.

80. [Clarke, William] Boy’s Own Book. New York: Allen Brothers, 1869. FiFth edition, revised. Mid-twentieth century three quarter black buckram, raised spine stamped in gilt, with green cloth boards. Profusely illustrated with engravings. 8vo. Three volumes in one, with some sections bound out of order. Title page punctured and torn at corners, otherwise generally bright and clean. Toole Stott 169.



81 82

79 80

The Grossman/Nicholson Collection October 31, 2015 • 25

83. Conjuror’s Repository, (The); or, The Whole Art and

Mystery of Magic Displayed. London: J.D. Dewick, for T. & R. Hughes, (ca. 1805). Modern quarter leather, stamped in gilt. Hand-colored frontispiece behind replaced tissue guard. 12mo. p. [1 – 3] 4 – 73, 76 – 146 (74 – 75 omitted from pagination by printer’s error). Internally fine. Toole Stott 181.


84. Corner Cupboard, (The). New York: Dick & Fitzgerald, 1859. Pictorial, embossed brown cloth stamped in gold and black. Frontispiece behind tissue. Illustrated with over 1,000 engravings. 12mo. Mildly foxed, light wear to cloth. Toole Stott 1010.


85. (Crouch, Nathaniel) Robert Burton, pseud. Winter-Evening

Entertainments; In Two Parts. London: A. Bettesworth and C. Hitch, at the Red-Lyon, 1737. sixth edition. Nineteenth century Scottish binding, half chocolate brown leather with buckram sides, raised spine stamped in gilt and blind, with maroon title compartment. Marbled endsheets. Woodcut frontispiece (remargined), profusely illustrated with woodcut vignettes. 16mo. C3 torn at the corner, affecting the text, with marginal soiling to a handful of leaves and other light to mild internal wear.


86. Cruikshank, George. A Discovery Concerning Ghosts;

With a Rap at the “Spirit-Rappers.” London: Frederick Arnold, 1863. Quarter morocco with marbled sides, spine gilt stamped, board edges reinforced with tape. Original blue printed wrappers bound in. With engravings by the author. 8vo. With an Autograph Letter Signed (ALS) by Cruikshank laid down on the flyleaf, dated Nov. 6, 1870, to Edwin Truman, with the mailing envelope, also laid down and addressed in Cruikshank’s hand. Very good. Ex-libris John Henry Grossman. Toole Stott 794.



84 85


26 • Potter & Potter Auctions

87. Curious Amusem*nts, Fitted for the Entertainment of

the Ingenious of Both Sexes; Writ In Imitation of the Count

de Roche Foucault, and Render’d Into English from the

15th. Edition… To Which is Added Some Translations from

Greek, Latin, and Italian Poetry… by T. Rymer. London, 1714. Old paneled calf, rebacked, raised spine with morocco title compartment in gilt. 12mo. Mild to heavy foxing.


Sales History: Swann Galleries, Sale 947 (Mar. 28, 1974), Lot 181. Amusem*nt X: Of Gaming.

88. Curiosities for the Ingenious: Selected from the Most

Authentic Treasures of Nature, Science, and Art. London: Thomas Boys, 1821. Contemporary quarter patterned cloth, marbled paper sides. Frontispiece. Illustrated with 11 plates, including “How to Make a Statue Speak.” 12mo. Scattered light or mild foxing, a few short marginal tears. Very good. Toole Stott 1018.


89. David, Uncle (pseudo.). Our Holiday Annual. Philadelphia: Presented by James W Queen & Co., D. Scattergood, Engraver and Printer, ca. 1880. Engraved pictorial wrappers printed in blue. Rear wrap bearing an advertisem*nt for optical instruments including Spy Glasses and Magic Lanterns. 24 pp. Illustrated with engravings, some of which appear to have been drawn from Hoffmann’s Modern Magic and other contemporary sources. A gift book, comprising a holiday narrative with descriptions of parlor illusions performed over two nights on Christmas Eve and Christmas Night. rAre.


90. Dean, Henry. The Whole Art of Legerdemain; or, Hocus

Pocus In Perfection. London: L. Hawes and Co. and S. Crowder,… and R. Ware and Co., 1763. seventh edition. Modern quarter maroon leather stamped in gilt, marbled sides. Woodcut frontispiece, woodcuts in text. 12mo. 2 leaves, p. 5 – 132. Scattered minor worming, otherwise very good. Toole Stott 207, with Preface signed “Henery Dean” and p. 96 misprinted 69, p. 29 numeral printed upside-down.


87 89



91. Dean, Henry. The Whole Art of Legerdemain; or, Hocus Pocus

in Perfection. London: J. Hollis, No. 21, Shoemaker-Road, Black-Friars, ca. 1795. eleventh edition. Old half maroon leather, raised spine stamped in gilt. Top edge gilt. Woodcut frontispiece, woodcuts in text. 12mo. p. [5] 6 – 120. Interleaved with blanks. Lacking one leaf (D12). With a section of nineteenth century instruction sheets added at the rear, laid down, of unknown origin. Similar to Toole Stott 219, although page count differs considerably.


92. [Decremps, Henri] The Conjurer Unmasked. London: Printed for C. Stalker, Stationer’s Court, 1790. third edition, with large additions and alterations, by Denton and others. Nineteenth century three-quarter crimson leather with marbled sides, gilt title. Top edge gilded. Marbled endsheets. Engraved frontispiece, “The Professor of amusing philosophy” nailing a card to the wall with a pistol. 12mo. Two leaves, p. [i] ii – viii, [1] 2 – 128 + 2 leaves advts. Scattered light foxing at start, small corner chip on frontis. repaired, else very good. Ex-libris John Streatfield, George Johnson, and John Henry Grossman. Toole Stott 237.


93. (Defoe, Daniel) Andrew Moreton, pseud. A Compleat System of

Magick: or, The History of the Black Art. London: J. Clarke, at the Royal Exchange,… 1730. second edition, with Additions. Modern quarter leather, gilt-stamped, with patterned cloth sides. Engraved frontispiece after Vandergucht. Woodcut devices, floriated initials. 8vo. 6 leaves, p. [1] 2 – 403. Generally clean and bright; very good. Collates same as Toole Stott 1262.


94. Dircks, Henry. The Ghost! As Produced in the Spectre Drama…

by the Apparatus called the Dircksian Phantasmagoria. London: E. and F.N. Spon, 1863. second edition, Revised and Enlarged. Pictorial cobalt blue cloth stamped in gold and blind. 8vo. p. [1] 2 – 124 + 2 leaves advts. Very good. scArce. Toole Stott 246.


The Grossman/Nicholson Collection October 31, 2015 • 27





28 • Potter & Potter Auctions

95. Downs, T. Nelson. The Art of Magic. Chicago: Arthur P. Felsman, 1921. second edition. Bright pictorial red cloth stamped in black. Illustrated with plates and line drawings. 8vo. Sturdy and clean, a fine copy.


96. Downs, T. Nelson. The Art of Magic. Buffalo: Downs-Edwards, 1909. “spurious” edition. Red cloth stamped in black. Illustrated. 8vo. Together with: two 1957 Typed Letters Signed (TLS) by Jay Marshall to Dr. Grossman, laid on the pastedown and flyleaf, discussing this pirated edition of the book that lacks the dedication to A.M. Wilson and the photographic plates. Cloth darkened, binding somewhat weak, else good.


97. Downs, T. Nelson. Modern Coin Manipulation. London, 1900. First edition. Red cloth stamped in gold, silver, and black. Illustrated. 8vo. Hamley’s Magical Saloon overslip over imprint; contemporary news clipping on coin manipulator Allan Shaw laid on title page verso; minor wear to cloth, else very good.


98. Downs, T. Nelson. Tricks With Coins. Chicago: Frederick J. Drake & Co., 1902. Pictorial cream cloth stamped in red and black. Illustrated. 8vo. Light soiling and scuffing to cloth, else very good. scArce Binding.


99. Driver, Thos W. The Delusion of Modern Spiritualism and

the “Rochester Knockings.” Wellington: Watkins, Tyer & Tolan, 1916. Publisher’s pictorial brown wraps. Illustrated. 12mo. 24 pages. Wrapper chipped at edges, else good. inscriBed And signed by Oscar Teale to Frederick Eugene Powell, with annotations by Teale in red crayon, either attesting to the accuracy of the accounts or pointing to minor factual errors. scArce.



97 98



The Grossman/Nicholson Collection October 31, 2015 • 29

100. Lemoine, Henry and James Caulfield (eds.). The Eccentric

Magazine; or, Lives and Portraits of Remarkable Characters,

Vols. I – II. London: G. Smeeton, St. Martin’s Lane, Charing Cross, 1812 – 14. Two volumes in one. Old one-third brown calf, morocco title label in gilt. First volume illustrated with engraved portrait plates, including Jeffrey Hudson, “the most famous English dwarf,” Francis Battalia, “the Stone Eater,” Buckhorse, “denominated for his extreme Ugliness,” and other eccentrics including healers, a man of extreme old age, and a rope dancer. Benjamin Franklin profiled, with an engraved portrait, in the second volume. 8vo. Irregular pagination throughout; first volume: 38 leaves, p. 49 – 280 (lacking pp. 123 – 130); second volume: p. 1 – 71 [72], plus nine portrait plates. Light or mild foxing; a few leaves chipped, but generally good. rAre.


An itinerant bookseller, pamphleteer, and translator, Lemoine (1756 – 1812) also edited The Conjuror’s Magazine (1792 – 94), which Toole Stott calls “the first periodical known to include conjuring” (179). The Eccentric Magazine was his final project; in the preface, the publisher

notes that Lemoine was “blessed with an education and abilities of the most superior order,” but was also “unfortunately too eccentric.”

101. Endless Amusem*nts. London: Henry Washbourne, 1834. Brown cloth stamped in gold. Illustrated, including a large folding engraved fronstispiece. 12mo. Binding cracked but holding, very good internally. Toole Stott 263.


102. Endless Amusem*nts: or, The Art of Legerdemain Made

Easy to Young Persons. Boston: Theodore Abbot, 418 Washington Street, 1846. twelFth edition. Publisher’s tan pictorial boards, bearing the title The Art of Legerdemain, rebacked. Woodcut frontispiece of a drawing room conjuror performing the cups and balls, as on cover. Illustrated with figures and woodcuts. 12mo. p. [1 –5] 6 – 108. Covers chipped and soiled, hinges reinforced, heavily foxed. Toole Stott 273.



100 102

30 • Potter & Potter Auctions

103. Engstrom, A.B. The Humorous Magician Unmasked.

[Philadelphia]: Author, 1836. Modern half brown leather, gilt stamped. Marbled endsheets. Nine plates at rear. 12mo. p. [1 – 3] 4 – 90. Internally fine. Ex-libris Roland Winder, John Henry Grossman. Toole Stott 278.


This is the earliest work known to explain how to produce a live rabbit from a borrowed hat.

104. Erdnase, S.W. The Expert at the Card Table. Chicago: Frederick J. Drake, 1905. Maroon cloth decoratively stamped in gilt and blind. Illustrated by M.D. Smith. 16mo. Cloth lightly spotted at edges, light bump at head; clean internally. Very good overall.


105. Every Little Boy’s Book. London: George Routledge, ca. 1862. new edition. Pictorial green cloth with red leather oval inlay, ornately decorated in gilt, black, and blind. Embossed spine lettering. All edges gilded. Frontispiece behind tissue. Illustrated. 8vo. Light wear. Toole Stott 1042. nice copy.


106. Fireside Amusem*nts. Edinburgh: William and Robert Chambers, (ca. 1873). Publisher’s decorative crimson cloth stamped in black and gilt, with colored onlay on front cover. Colored frontispiece behind tissue, colored title page vignette. 8vo. Front cloth soiled at edge, else very good. Toole Stott 298.


103 104 105


The Grossman/Nicholson Collection October 31, 2015 • 31

107. Francis, Day. Stanislas Outdone. The New Hocus Pocus,

or The Whole Art of Legerdemain. Philadelphia: Nathaniel Hickman, No. 148, South Front Street, 1818. Modern quarter leather, gilt-stamped. 12mo. p. [1 – 3] 4 – 48. Burn mark on title, small marginal chip from one leaf, other scattered light wear; lacking frontispiece; good. Ex-libris James Edw. Harris. Toole Stott 301.


108. Frost, Thomas. The Old Showmen and the Old London

Fairs. London: Tinsley Brothers, 1875. second edition. Publisher’s pictorial blue cloth stamped in black and gilt. 8vo. Minor shelf wear, else very good. Toole Stott 303.


109. Games of Skill and Conjuring. London: George Routledge, (ca. 1870). Publisher’s pictorial yellow boards printed in red and black. With 151 illustrations. 8vo. p. [i – iii] iv, [375] 376 – 502 + 3 leaves advts. Minor chipping to spine ends and edges, some discoloration, but fine internally. Ex-libris Stanley Collins, John Henry Grossman. Toole Stott 317.


110. Gay, John. Fables. London: J. and R. Tonson and J. Watts, 1737. FiFth edition. Modern quarter maroon leather stamped in gilt with marbled sides. Engraved title page, woodcut devices, strikingly illustrated with half-page engravings accompanying the fables by Kent and Wooton. 8vo. Generally clean and bright. nice copy. Toole Stott 1276.






32 • Potter & Potter Auctions

111. Gay, John. Gay’s Fables, With a Memoir by Austin

Dobson. London: Kegan Paul, Trench & Co., 1884. Publisher’s cream vellum, stamped in red and black. Top edge gilt. Portrait frontispiece behind tissue. 8vo. Minor external wear, very good overall.


112. Glen, Laurance. The Magician’s Road to Fame. London: Ludo Press, (ca. 1921). Green cloth stamped in gold, with the uncommon dust-jacket. Illustrated with reproductions of magic posters, advertisem*nts, and hand-tipped plates. Tissue guarded. 8vo. Flyleaf lacking, jacket repaired with tape at head of spine with other short tears, else good.


113. Godwin, William. Lives of the Necromancers. London: Frederick J. Mason, 444, West Strand, 1834. First edition. 8vo. p. [i – v] vi – xx, [1] 2 – 465 [466] + 1 leaf advt. Modern three-quarter olive oilskin, maroon title compartments in gilt, marbled boards and endleaves. A fine copy, handsomely bound. Toole Stott 834.


114. Hand-Book of Amusing and Instructive Experiments,

(The). London: Cassell, Petter, and Galapin, 1861. Publisher’s brown cloth stamped in gilt and blind. Tables. 8vo. p. [i-iii] iv-vi, [7] 8 – 88 + 1 – 8 advts. Ownership signature on flyleaf. Very good. Ex-libris John Henry Grossman. Toole Stott 329.


115. Harbin, Robert and Peter Warlock (ed.). Magic of Robert

Harbin. London: Author, 1970. First edition. Pebbled green cloth, gilt stamped. Numerous illustrations. 4to. Number 304 of a limited edition of 500 copies. signed And numBered by Harbin on the limitation page. Very good, one leaf with a minor chip in the margin.


111 112



The Grossman/Nicholson Collection October 31, 2015 • 33

116. Haselmayer, Louis. New Book of Magic. Cape Town (?), ca. 1878. eighth edition. Modern quarter leather, spine lettered in gilt. A few engravings. 12mo. 45 + [1 – 3] advts., including a magic and novelty shop, in Cape Town, South Africa. The widely-traveled Haselmayer is known to have worked and performed there. Lacking wrappers, title page soiled, else good. See Toole Stott 1078.


117. Herr Schlam, Prestidigitateur. The Somatic Conjurer.

New York (?), ca. 1870. Pictorial wraps, trimmed and laid down on modern boards. 16 pp. Ex-libris C.A. George Newmann. Together with two Typed Letters Signed (TLS) by J.B. Findlay to John Henry Grossman discussing bibliography of this work. scArce.


118. Hertz, Carl. A Modern Mystery Merchant. London: Hutchinson & Co., 1924. Blue cloth, scarce pictorial jacket. Photographic portrait frontispiece. Illustrated with plates. 8vo. Jacket chipped and torn, ownership signature and pasted-down news clipping on flyleaf.


119. Hocus Pocus; or, The Whole Art of Conjuring. New York and Philadelphia: Turner & Fisher, (ca. 1846). Modern quarter leather stamped in gilt. Frontispiece. Woodcut of a conjuror on title page, illustrated with woodcuts. 12mo. p. [1 – 5] 6 – 72. Mild soiling at bottom margin throughout, final leaf torn marginally at edge, remargined at bottom, neither affecting the text; other scattered wear, good overall. Toole Stott 382.





34 • Potter & Potter Auctions

120. How to Amuse an Evening Party. New York: Dick & Fitzgerald, 1869. Colored pictorial wraps, expertly rebacked. Illustrated with 197 woodcuts. 8vo. Very good. Toole Stott 398. nice copy.


121. Houdini, Harry. The Right Way to Do Wrong. Boston: Author, 1906. Red pictorial wrappers. Portrait frontispiece. Illustrated. 8vo. Spine reinforced at foot, minor chipping and other external wear, else very good.


122. Houdini, Harry. The Unmasking of Robert-Houdin. New York: Publisher’s Ptg. Co., 1908. First edition. Brown cloth stamped in white and black. Portrait frontispiece behind tissue. Illustrated with plates. List of illustrations and index tipped-in at rear, as issued. 8vo. Plastic sleeve taped onto front pastedown, containing a bust portrait of Houdini trimmed from a personal check. Minor shelf-wear; near fine. presentAtion copy, inscriBed And signed on the FlyleAF: “To Alfred F. Goldsmith, with compliments and best wishes of the author/ Harry Houdini/ June 25 – 1916.”


Goldsmith (1881 – 1947) was an antiquarian bookseller and bibliographer from New York (see Dickinson’s Dictionary of American Antiquarian Bookdealers).

123. [Houdini, Harry] Blitz, Signor. Fifty Years in the Magic

Circle. San Francisco: A.L. Bancroft, 1871. Pictorial green cloth stamped in gold and black. Portrait frontispiece behind tissue. Illustrated with engravings. 12mo. Cloth a trifle rubbed, front hinge a bit weak, but very good overall. Ex-libris Harry Houdini, bearing his portrait bookplate. Toole Stott 99.


120 121123


The Grossman/Nicholson Collection October 31, 2015 • 35


124. [Houdini, Harry] Cumberland, Stuart. People I Have Read.

London: C. Arthur Pearson, 1905. Pictorial yellow wrappers printed in black and red. 8vo. signed By houdini on the front cover. Ex-libris Oscar Teale. Wrappers chipped and scuffed; upper wrap remargined at top; light spotting toward rear, else very good internally.


125. Ingleby, Thomas. Ingleby’s Whole Art of Legerdemain.

London: T. Hughes, Ludgate-Street, and C. Chaple, Pall-Mall, 1815. Original printed paper covers retained over new boards. Hand-colored frontispiece behind new tissue. 12mo. p. [i – v] vi – xxiv, [1] 2 – 106 + blank leaf. Untrimmed, clean and unmarked internally. nice copy. Toole Stott 410.


126. Inner Mysteries of Clairvoyance, (The). Rochester, NY: New York State Publishing, ca. 1900. Pictorial wrappers retained in modern plain brown cloth. Illustrated. 60 pp. + advts. uncommon. Very good.


rAre presentAtion copy with extrAs

127. Jarrett, Guy. Jarrett. Magic and Stage Craft Technical.

[New York]: Author, 1936. Light blue textured cloth stamped in black. Illustrated with plates. 8vo. A fine copy, the hinges neatly repaired. Ex-libris John Henry Grossman. inscriBed And signed By JArrett to george newmAnn, “the mAn who knows”: N.Y. Dec. 26th, ‘36/ I hope this book comes up to your expectation, if not, I’ll have to to [sic] tell you some more to make up, the next time we meet, I sure do want to meet you again./ Guy Jarrett.” Together with: a 1956 photograph of Jarrett, on the front pastedown, with a note underneath by Grossman, reading, “Picture of Guy Jarrett reading a photostatic of his letter to George Newmann... Jay (Marshall) had photo made and sent to me. Jarrett 75 yrs old, 9/15/56”; on the opposite flyleaf, a 1945 snapshot of George Newmann holding this copy of Jarrett, with a note by Grossman on the reverse giving the date on which this photo of Newmann with his “favorite book” was taken; and an issue of the National Amateur Press Association publication Campane (N85, May 1979), featuring the article “Gold in Your Press?” on Jarrett, with the mailing envelope addressed to Grossman.




36 • Potter & Potter Auctions

128. Lathram, E.W. Wyman’s Hand-Book of Magic. New York: Published for the Author, by T.W. Strong, 1855. Twentieth century pink half leather with marbled sides, publisher’s pictorial wraps retained. Marbled endsheets. Portrait frontispiece, illustrations. 8vo. p. [1 – 5] 6 – 72. Minor marginal soiling to a few leaves at start, final leaf with a hole affecting one word, some marginalia. Ex-libris Oscar Teale, Roland Winder, John Henry Grossman. Toole Stott 427.


A memo by Grossman tucked inside the book states that this copy was in Houdini’s library and includes his underlining, initialed HH – “typical of Houdini!” Grossman writes. Teale served as Houdini’s librarian around the time of his death.

129. [Leroy, Servais] Hoffmann, Professor (Angelo J. Lewis). Leroy’s Copy of Modern Magic. London: George Routledge, 1886. Red cloth stamped in black and gold. Illustrated. 8vo. signed on the title page by Leroy, and with more than 50 annotations, mostly approving comments on Hoffmann’s work – “good” – “very good” – “well explained.” Cloth soiled and well-worn but holding.


Grossman’s note on the title page traces ownership of the copy from publisher Paul Fleming to himself in 1971.

130. Lynn, Dr. H.S., (pseud.: Hugh Simmons). The Adventures

of the Strange Man, With A Supplement Showing “How

It’s Done.” London: Egyptian Hall, Piccadilly, 1873. Modern textured maroon cloth stamped in gold. Pictorial wraps retained in binding, with an additional illustrated title page. Diagrams in text. 8vo. One leaf, p. [1] 2 – 57 [58] + six pages advertisem*nts for Lynn’s entertainments at Egyptian Hall. Very good. Ex-libris John Henry Grossman. Toole Stott 456.





The Grossman/Nicholson Collection October 31, 2015 • 37

131. Lupton, Thomas. A Thousand Notable Things. London: Printed by John Haviland, for Robert Bird, 1631. Contemporary rebacked half-leather with marbled sides, morocco title label, housed in a custom red wooden box. 8vo. Three leaves, p. 1 – 336 (some pagination errors) + 13 leaves Table. Mild darkening along top margin through C5, other light wear internally; good. Ex-libris John Henry Grossman. Toole Stott 444.


132. Mackay, Charles. Memoirs of Extraordinary Popular

Delusions. London: Richard Bentley, 1841. Three volumes. First edition. Fine half burgundy leather, raised spines stamped and decorated in gilt. Marbled endsheets. Top edges gilded. Engraved frontispiece portraits, including Count Cagliostro, and James I, The Great Demonologist. Plates. Clean and bright internally. Sides with minor bubbling, second volume with chipping at spine head. Toole Stott 859.


133. Magic. Ellis Stanyon. Monthly. V1 N1 (Oct. 1900) – V15 N9 (Jun. 1920). complete File. Bound in two brown buckram volumes, gilt-stamped. Scattered light wear; very good.


134. Magic Lantern, (The). London: Houlston and Wright, 1870. Purple cloth stamped in gilt and blind. All edges gilded. Contemporary lantern advertisem*nts laid on pastedowns. Frontispiece a scene from the raising of Pepper’s Ghost. Illustrated. 8vo. Ex-libris John Henry Grossman and The Newmann Collection. Spine toned, else a fine copy. Toole Stott 862.





38 • Potter & Potter Auctions

135. Mahatma. George Little, et al. Monthly. V1 N1 (Mar. 1895) – V9 N8 (Feb. 1906). complete File. Bound in four black cloth volumes, spines lettered in gold. Alfredson/Daily 4655. Facsimiles of two leaves bound in place to complete the file. Top margin lightly soiled on some issues in the second bound volume (V3 – V5), scattered tape repairs, but very good overall.


136. March’s Illustrated (200) Conjuring Tricks and Easy Too.

London, ca. 1902. Pictorial orange wrappers. Illustrated. 48 pages. Minor wear around edges, else very good.


137. Mason Jr., Edward (Our Ned). Ventriloquism Made Easy.

Also, an Exposure of Magic, and the Second Sight Mystery.

Philadelphia: Wyman the Wizard, 1860. Engraved pictorial upper wrapper retained (lacking lower) in modern half-leather, bound out of order (after frontispiece portrait of the author). Illustrated with engravings. 8vo. Scattered light internal wear, frontis. and wrapper chipped around edges, both remargined with clear archival tape. Collates according to Toole Stott 489, but wrapper design differs.


138. Memoirs of Cassiel, the Norfolk Astrologer. Norwich: Thorndick & Co., 1844. Plain brown cloth. Portrait frontispiece, vignette on title page. Illustrated. 12mo. Cloth lightly frayed, else very good.


135 138



The Grossman/Nicholson Collection October 31, 2015 • 39

139. [Masonry] Memorial, or Brief, for the Comte de

Cagliostro, Defendant: Against the King’s Attorney-General.

First english edition. “From the French Original, published in Paris in February last; With an Introductory Preface by Parkyns Macmahon.” London, 1786. Modern quarter leather stamped in gilt. 8vo. p. [v] vi – xiii, [1] 2 – 86. Mild spotting affecting a few leaves, else a very good copy.


Cagliostro, along with his wife, was imprisoned at the Bastille in August 1785 for his alleged involvement in the Affair of the Diamond Necklace.

140. Midget Magician, (The). Wilf Huggins. V1 N1 (Jan. 1951) – V4 N2/3/4 (Sept. 1960). complete File. Bound in three custom matching leopard cloth boxes with arrow shaped clasps. Being numBer 40 oF 50 files issued, each signed And numBered by Huggins. Ex-libris John Henry Grossman. Fine. With all enclosures and indices enumerated in Alfredson/Daily 4840.


Together with John Henry Grossman’s certificate of membership in the Hocus Pocus Society, framed and matted to an overall size of 6 x 5”. A color snapshot of Grossman with fellow members Jay Marshall and Robert Lund is mounted in a sleeve on the backside, plus Grossman’s handwritten list of all nine members of the society.

141. Miss Annetta’s Handbook of Magic, or Parlour

Entertainment, and Fortune Telling by Cards. N.p., ca. 1910. Front cover bearing a portrait of the author. 8 pages. Old horizontal crease, some scuffing, else good. rAre.





40 • Potter & Potter Auctions

142. Modern Pastime Or, In-Door Amusem*nts. London: Frederick Warne & Co., ca. 1871. Brown cloth stamped in black. Illustrated. 16mo. Binding a bit shaken and spine rubbed at ends, but good overall. Rear cloth bearing an advertisem*nt for Messrs. Cremer, including Magic, Games for the Saloon or Lawn, and more. Toole Stott 1132.


143. Nickle, Robert. The Fashionable Science of Parlor Magic.

N.p., ca. 1875. Modern blue buckram stamped in gold. 8vo. 71 pages. Title leaf on laid paper. Front wrap lacking. Scattered light internal wear. Ex-libris John Henry Grossman. See Toole Stott 292.


A piracy of John Henry Anderson’s title of the same name, but unlike Toole Stott 292 both in the pagination and in that Nickle, not Hermann, is the author named.

144. [Paris, John Ayrton] Philosophy in Sport Made Science

in Earnest. London: Longman, Rees, Orme, Brown, and Green, 1827. First edition. Three volumes, exquisitely bound in nineteenth century English half leather, marbled sides, with raised spines stamped decoratively in gilt. Gilt titles, top edge gilded, marbled endsheets. Engraved titles, illustrated with figures and vignettes. 12mo. Scattered light browning, else very good. Ex-libris John Henry Grossman. Toole Stott 525.


145. [Paris, John Ayrton] Philosophy in Sport Made Science in

Earnest. London: Sherwood, Gilbert & Piper, 1833. new edition. Modern brown half leather stamped in gilt. Frontispiece, woodcuts in text by George Cruikshank. 8vo. Bright, clean copy. Toole Stott 1139.






The Grossman/Nicholson Collection October 31, 2015 • 41

146. Parlour Conjurer (No. 19 British Standard Hand Book).

London: J & R. Maxwell, (1884). Publisher’s colored pictorial wraps. Illustrated. 8vo. 32 pages. Inside covers and rear wrap bearing advertisem*nts for W. & F. Hamley Magical Depot. Old diagonal crease to front wrap, minor soiling to rear, other light wear, else very good.


147. Parlor Magician, (The). New York: Dick & Fitzgerald, ca. 1890. Pictorial color paper-backed cloth, lettered in gold on spine. Illustrated with 121 engravings. 8vo. Ex-libris label on front pastedown, pencil notations on preliminaries, else fine. nice copy.


148. Pepper, John Henry. The Playbook of Metals. London: Routledge, Warne, and Routledge, Farrington Street, 1861. Green cloth stamped decoratively in gilt and blind. Engraved frontispiece. Illustrated with 300 engravings. 8vo. Spine worn in a few spots at ends, some foxing initially, else very good. Ex-libris C.A. George Newmann. Toole Stott 1150.


149. Piesse, G.W. Septimus. Chymical Natural and Physical

Magic. London: Longman, Green, Longman, Roberts, & Green, 1865. third edition. Multicolored cloth with geometric pattern, “Piesse’s Magic” in green hexagon on front. Hold-to-light frontispiece (a blank in mirror, which, if warmed, portrait will appear). Illustrated. 8vo. Cloth darkened and rubbed, very good internally. Ex-libris Stanley Collins. Toole Stott 561.


146 147



42 • Potter & Potter Auctions

150. Pinchbeck, William. The Expositor; or, Many Mysteries

Unravelled. Boston: Printed for the Author, 1805. Modern quarter black oilskin, gilt stamped, with marbled sides. Two woodcut figures. 12mo. p. [1 – 5] 6 – 100 (frontispiece in facsimile). Some bleeding from frontis. onto title leaf gutter, remargining to same and to final leaf; C3 chipped in one corner, else good overall. Toole Stott 562.


151. Pinchbeck, William. Witchcraft: or, the Art of Fortune-

Telling Unveiled. Boston, 1805. Contemporary wooden boards (front bottom quarter chipped). Woodcut frontispiece, woodcuts in text. 12mo. p. [1 – 5] 6 [7] 8 – 108. Marginal chips to a few leaves; scattered light or mild foxing; and other wear, but clean and well-preserved overall. In a custom buckram clamshell box lined with cloth. Toole Stott 563.


152. [Powell, Frederick Eugene] Powell’s Own Holy Bible. New York: Thomas Nelson & Sons, 1901. Cloth with buckram panels, gilt edges, ribbon page marker. Powell’s full name stamped in gold on front cover. signed By powell on the presentation page to himself. Fine.


153. Preston, Paul (pseud. Thomas Picton). The Fireside

Magician. New York: W.E. Hilton, 1870. Pictorial boards printed in colors, red cloth spine. Housed in a cloth clamshell box. Illustrated. 8vo. Rear board darkened in one corner, else good. Toole Stott 583.






The Grossman/Nicholson Collection October 31, 2015 • 43

154. Raymond, Professor. Parlor Pastimes; or, The Whole Art

of Amusing for Public & Private Entertainments. New York: Hurst & Co., (1875). Pictorial colored wraps, expertly rebacked. Illustrations, diagrams. 8vo. Minor wear around edges, fine internally. Toole Stott 593.


155. Richmond, A.B. Hon. The Henry Seybert Bequest, And

What Has Become of It? Boston: Banner of Light Publishing, 1896. Publisher’s printed wraps, bound in a plain red cloth volume. Illustrated with reproductions of slate writing. 8vo. 28 pages. Rear wrap remargined, with minor wear around edges, else very good.


156. Robert-Houdin, Jean Eugene. The Sharper Detected and

Exposed. London: Chapman and Hall, 193, Piccadilly, 1863. First english edition. Red cloth stamped in gilt and blind. 8vo. Expertly restored, with rebacking, repaired corners, and other minor repairs; cloth darkened. Toole Stott 607.


157. Routledge, Robert (ed.). Science in Sport made Philosophy

in Earnest. London: George Routledge and Sons, 1877. Nineteenth century full tan calf, green morocco title, raised spine ornately decorated in gilt, turn-ins and edges stamped in gilt and blind, the central gilt ornament being the crest of Elstree School (Woolhampton, UK). Marbled endsheets, red page edges. Frontispiece, with illustrations. 8vo. Ex-libris Elstree School, John Henry Grossman. Fine. Toole Stott 1173.


154 155 156


44 • Potter & Potter Auctions

159. Sharpe, S.H. Magic Artistry. London: George Johnson, 1938. Publisher’s chocolate brown leather stamped in gilt. Illustrated. 8vo. Very good. Together with: a 1975 Typed Letter Signed (TLS) by Sharpe to Dr. Grossman, discussing his current writing projects and recent birthday.


This work combines Sharpe’s booklets Conjured Up, Good Conjuring, and Great Magic.

160. Stodare, Colonel. The Art of Magic. London: Theatre of Mystery, Egyptian Hall, Piccadilly, 1865. Modern three-quarter olive leather with marbled sides, title in gilt, with the publisher’s green printed wrap retained (upper only), bearing a portrait of the author. 8vo. p. [i – v] vi – x, [11] 12 – 32. Marginal burn mark on the fifteenth leaf, some pencil marginalia. Toole Stott 643.


161. Table Turning and Table Talking. London: Henry Vizetelly, Gough Square, (1853). Pictorial yellow boards. Folding frontispiece, vignette on title page, illustrated with plates. 8vo. Spine re-covered, minor chipping around edges, binding weak. Light or mild foxing. Toole Stott 1398.


Author’s copy

158. Sachs, Edwin. Sleight of Hand. London: “The Bazaar” Office 32, Wellington-Street, (1877). First edition. Pictorial purple cloth stamped in gilt. Being Sachs’ own copy, including his bookplate and signed “Author’s Copy” and “E. Sachs” on the flyleaf and title page, respectively. Also on the flyleaf Sachs has laid down a contemporary review of his work, above which he writes, “Saturday Review.” A second clipped review is laid down at the rear (following Errata), of which Sachs writes, “The following appeared in the ‘Bazaar’ but was eliminated from the complete volume.” One body annotation is seen in Sachs’ hand, when he identifies the name of The Fakir of Oolu as “Sylvester” (161). Spine faded, some wear to cloth, else very good. Ex-libris Stanley Collins.


Edwin Dawes notes that this was one of Collins’ most prized possessions in an impressive collection Dawes details in Stanley Collins: Conjuror, Collector, and Iconoclast (2003).


158 161

The Grossman/Nicholson Collection October 31, 2015 • 45

162. Theobald, J. Dazley. The Amateur Magician: the Science

and Art of Conjuring and Magic Fully Explained. London: J. Theobald & Co., ca. 1870s. Engraved title illustrations, “first-class” engravings in text. 8vo. Lacks wrappers. Bound in modern hardcovers. Toole Stott 1190.


163. Valuable Secrets Concerning Arts and Trades. Dublin: James Williams, 1778. Modern quarter leather, spine lettered and decorated in gilt, marbled sides. 8vo. 6 leaves, [i] ii – xxvii, [1] 2 – 312. Very good.


164. [White, John] Arts Treasury; or, a Profitable and Pleasing

Invitation to the Lovers of Ingenuity. London: Printed for W. Whitwood, next the Bible in Duck-Lane; and Mrs. Feltham in Wesminster-Hall, 1688. Fine nineteenth century English olive leather, the banded spine decoratively stamped in gilt, with morocco labels, tulip border on the covers stamped in blind. Turn-ins and board edges decorated with gilt rolls. Side and bottom edges gilded. Six leaves, p. 1 – 154 + 2 leaves advts. Marginal chip to B9 restored, not affecting text; terminal ad leaf remargined; mild browning to D3, scattered lightly elsewhere, else very good. Ex-libris Jessie Harrison, Solomon Guggenheim, John Henry Grossman. Toole Stott 694. rAre.


165. Whole of Conjuring, Or Hocus Pocus. Philadelphia: Fisher & Brother, (ca. 1850). Publisher’s colored pictorial wraps. Housed in a maroon buckram drop-spine box, gilt stamped. Frontispiece and title engraving, with other illustrations. 12mo. Two leaves, p. [1 – 5] 6 – 70 (final leaf lacking). Toole Stott 706. Wrapper brittle but holding, else good.




46 • Potter & Potter Auctions

166. Whole Art of Legerdemain, (The); or Hocus Pocus, Laid

Open and Explained. Philadelphia: J. & J. Gihon, (ca. 1852). Publisher’s printed boards, rebacked in leather. 12mo. p. [1 – 3] 4 – 71 [72] + 6 leaves advts. Hinges reinforced, scattered light or mild internal wear in the margins, but good overall. Toole Stott 728.


Toole Stott notes that this copy, ex-libris John Henry Grossman, includes terminal advertisem*nts that were not present in the other copy he recorded.

167. Whole Art of Legerdemain, (The); or Hocus Pocus Laid

Open and Explained. Philadelphia: Leary & Getz, No. 138, North Second Street, 1853. Publisher’s yellow boards printed in black, spine rebacked with clear tape. Frontispiece, “Hamed Ben-Alla.” 12mo. p. [1 – 3] 4 – 71 + 31 leaves advts. Good. Ex-libris John Henry Grossman. Toole Stott 729.


mAgic supply cAtAlogs

168. Allen, G.W. Illusion Catalog. New York, ca. 1907. Printed wrappers bound in cloth. Illustrated. Approximately 12mo. Front wrapper detached but intact, else good.


Filled with pictures of sideshow illusions (three-legged girls and the like), the catalog also advertises slot machines and player pianos for rent.

169. George Blackie & Co. Kuaint, Kueer & Kurious and Book of

New Receipts with Catalogue of Novelties and Wonders. New York, 1874. Pink pictorial wrappers bound in later gilt stamped cloth. Profusion of woodcuts. Approximately 12mo. Good.


Includes listings for various magic books, the “mysterious planchette,” magic tricks, and other novelty items.

166 167



The Grossman/Nicholson Collection October 31, 2015 • 47

170. Bland, Joseph. Illustrated Descriptive Catalogue With

Prices of Conjuring Tricks… London, ca. 1875. Colorful pictorial wrappers, faintly gilded page edges, profusion of woodcuts. Bound in gilt-stamped buckram. Pasted-in price corrections. 12mo. Ex-libris Stanley Collins. Wrappers and FFep show wear and bear blind stamp of former owner.


171. Burlingame. Chas. L. Burlingame’s Catalog. Chicago, ca. 1890. Pictorial wrappers bound in gilt-stamped cloth. Small tears closed with old tape, else good. 8vo. A handbill advertising entertainments and conjuring apparatus from J. Bamberg (a pseudonym of Burlingame) is tipped in at the rear; a photograph of Burlingame is tipped in on the FFEP.


172. [Burlingame, H.J.] Gambols with the Ghosts. Chicago, Ralph Sylvestre & Co., 1901. Colored pictorial wrappers bound in gilt stamped boards. Illustrated. Small 8vo. Printed directions for two tricks tipped in; bound in at the rear are two Sylvestre publications: Clairvoyant and Psychic Readings for Private Sittings and Sylvestre’s “Mens Revelo.” Address labels pasted to the front wrapper of each publication, else good.


one oF three exAmples known

173. Crambrook, W.H. Crambrook’s Catalogue of Magical

Curiosities and Deceptions [cover title]. London, 1843. second edition, corrected And enlArged. Pictorial wrappers bound in one-quarter leather over marbled boards, front board handsomely gilt decorated. Interleaved with archival tissue. Woodcuts in text. 12mo. p. [1-3] 4-48. Contemporary stamp on front wrapper, else very good. Toole Stott 190. One of three examples known.


The earliest conjuring catalog extant, Crambrook’s catalogue also includes a 21 page exposé of the methods of dishonest gamblers, and a short section on fortune telling by cards.

170 171



48 • Potter & Potter Auctions

174. Cremer, W.H. Catalogue of Apparatus for the Performance

of Experiments in Natural and Recreative Philosophy…

London: W.H. Cremer, ca. 1868. Pale green pictorial wrappers, illustrated with woodcuts. Bound in gilt-stamped boards. Small 8vo. Good. rAre.


One of the earliest known conjuring supply catalogs. On the inside rear wrapper, Cremer lists the famous English magician and musician Robert Heller as his pupil.

175. DeVere, Charles. Descriptive Price List of a Few of the

Conjuring Wonders for Drawing Room or Stage. Paris, ca. 1900. Pictorial wrappers, illustrated. English text. 12mo. Spine taped, signature of Stanley Collins on front wrapper, left margin punched with holes.


176. Downs, T. Nelson. T.N. Downs Catalogue No. 2. Iowa, ca. 1894. Cloth, gilt stamped, lacking original wrappers. Illustrated with line drawings. 8vo. Small photograph of Downs tipped on to the FFep. inscriBed And signed on the first page by Mrs. Burlingame to F.E. Powell. Marginal notes and marks possibly in the hand of H.J. Burlingame. Supplementary list and list of “Original Coin Novelties and A Few More Extraordinary Experiments” bound in. The latter crudely repaired with tape, else good.


177. Fisher, A.J. Catalogue of Instructive and Entertaining

Books. New York, ca. 1880. Pictorial wrappers bound in gilt stamped boards. Illustrated with charming woodcuts. Includes many ads for conjuring tricks and books. 8vo. Holes in lower wrapper, else good. scArce.






The Grossman/Nicholson Collection October 31, 2015 • 49

178. Hellis. Professor Hellis’s Extra Catalogue of Conjuring

Tricks and Magical Apparatus. London, ca. 1880. Printed wrappers bound in one-quarter leather over marbled boards, spine gilt stamped. 8vo. Front wrapper bears blind stamp of John Henry Grossman, signature of Stanley Collins and a second note in ink; the balance showing wear and dusty, but good condition overall. rAre.


179. Hiam, Frank. The London Conjuring Trick Works. London: Frank Hiam, ca. 1882. Pictorial wraps, chipped at extremities. Well illustrated. 8vo. Binding re-stapled.


180. Judd, W.J. Wizard’s Book of Dialogues and Helps to

Magicians. New York: W.J. Judd Magical Repository, 1884. Pink pictorial wrappers in later gilt-stamped boards. Illustrated with woodcuts. 12mo. Very good.


An unusual combination of catalog and humorous scripts for various conjuring tricks sold by Judd.

181. Maurer, Otto. Descriptive Price List of Magical and

Conjuring Tricks, etc. New York, 1875. Pink pictorial wrappers, profusion of woodcuts. Bound in faux alligator skin, gilt stamped. 8vo. Several old tape repairs, address label on front at top margin, else good. rAre.


182. Peck & Snyder. Peck & Snyder’s Illustrated and Descriptive

Catalogue of Conjuring Tricks. New York, ca. 1880. Pink pictorial wrappers, profusely illustrated with woodcuts. Bound in cloth, gilt stamped. 8vo. Crude tape repairs to wrappers, address label on front at lower margin, else good. rAre.


183. Roterberg, A. Catalogue of Conjuring Tricks No. 11. Chicago, ca. 1910. Original pictorial wrappers in plain black cloth, with enclosures and 1911 Supplementary Catalogue of New Tricks laid in. Profusion of illustrations. 8vo. Very good.


Roterberg was an early employer of Chicago native Harry Blackstone. He occasionally bound copies of his catalogs in cloth, like this one.







50 • Potter & Potter Auctions

184. Scheidler, John. Scheidler’s Art of Conjuring Simplified

[cover title]. Cleveland: John G. Scheidler School of Magic, ca. 1876. Pink pictorial wraps. Illustrated catalogue of conjuring apparatus, within titled “Scheidler’s Supplementary Price List of Magical Apparatus.” 12mo. 32 pages, including wrappers. Minor wear around edges, some creasing, old blank label on front wrap, else very good. scArce.


185. Somerfield, Sig. T. Descriptive Catalogue of Entirely New

and Superior Wonders. Wolverhampton, ca. 1870. Printed blue-grey wrappers. 8vo. Crude repairs to wraps and spine, some soiling. Fair. scArce.


186. Stone, Henry. Catalogue of Fine Magical Apparatus and

Conjuring Tricks. New York, ca. 1880. Pale blue pictorial wrappers bound in gilt stamped cloth. Woodcut frontispiece of the proprietor, profusion of woodcuts. 8vo. Address label pasted to front cover in margin, else good. scArce.


Possibly a stock catalog, as the cover and cuts on the interior are identical to those used by other conjuring supply houses. Harry Kellar traded his first vanishing birdcage – purchased from Buatier de Kolta for the astonishing sum of £150 – to Henry Stone for a complete magic outfit after surviving a shipwreck. According to Kellar, it was from Stone that Carl Hertz bought his first cage. Hertz would go on to make his reputation with the effect. 187. Theobald & Co. Three Theobald Novelty & Conjuring

Catalogs. London, 1887. Bound together in gilt-stamped cloth with an 1896 Jones & Co. Novelty & Conjuring catalog. All in pictorial wrappers, illustrated with a profusion of woodcuts. Offerings include magic sets and stage illusions, as well as steam engines, novelties and toys. 8vos. Several contemporary instruction sheets laid in. Many old cellotape repairs and clipped corners, splitting covers, but intact. scArce.



185 186


The Grossman/Nicholson Collection October 31, 2015 • 51

188. Union Novelty. Our Own Trick Book. Palatine, Ill., ca. 1880. Printed pink wrappers, copiously illustrated with woodcuts. Bound in later gilt-stamped boards. 96 pp. Approximately 16mo. Marginal notes, a few pages chipped; good.


189. Van Wyck, Edward. High-Class Juggling Novelties. Cincinnati, ca. 1912. Pictorial pale green wrappers. Illustrated with photographs and line drawings, including pictures of vaudeville juggling acts using Van Wyck-made apparatus. Bound in gilt stamped cloth. 8vo. Good.


190. Voisin. Two E. Voisin Conjuring Catalogs. Paris, 1893. The first a supplementary catalog in pale orange printed wrappers, several pages crudely repaired with old cello-tape; the second in pink pictorial wrappers. Bound in gilt stamped cloth. 8vos. Good to fair condition.


191. Zebeedee Trade Services Catalog. Lagos, Nigeria: M.A.C. Press & Bookshop, 7 Alli-Street, Mushin, ca. 1950. Printed booklet. 8vo. 6 pages. Occult objects including mystic rings and soap, talismans, as well as herbal medicines and incense. Minor smudging, else good.


192. Zennia. Catalogue Zennia Magician. Kansas City, 1908. Pictorial wrappers bound in later gilt stamped cloth. Illustrated. Approximately 12mo. Good.


188 189



52 • Potter & Potter Auctions


193. Anderson, John Henry. Lithographed Portrait and

Autograph of Professor Anderson. Circa 1840. Full-length portrait of the “Wizard of the North,” performing the pass with a pack of cards. With a clipped signAture of Anderson laid down, and framed together with two later medallions bearing Anderson’s portrait, one bronze, the other silver. The portrait possibly clipped from a larger lithograph. Framed to an overall size of 12 x 25”. Not examined out of frame.


194. Baldwin, S.S. Portrait of Magician Samri S. Baldwin. Petaluma, Baldwin Studio, ca. 1920. Silver print bust portrait of “The White Mahatma” signed in the negative. 6 x 9 ½”. Very good.


195. Blackstone, Harry (Henry Boughton). Dancing

Handkerchief used by Harry Blackstone. Embroidered white pocket handkerchief with a knot tied in one corner. An inked notation by Dr. Grossman on one edge of the fabric indicates that Blackstone used it at a performance in Bridgeport, Conn.


The lengthy note written on the cloth states, in part, “Hank loaned to Harry Blackstone Sr….by Walter Schwartz the last time Harry played Bridgeport…Walter never removed the knot & gave hank to JHG as something Harry actually used in his big show.”




The Grossman/Nicholson Collection October 31, 2015 • 53

196. Benedict, T.C. Hugall (English, 1873 – 1955). A Nineteenth

Century Notebook – Noted Magicians and Their Illusions.

London, 1892 – 96. 64-page manuscript + index. Signed, dated, and addressed twice on the flyleaves by Benedict. 8vo. Brown cloth with the author’s calligraphic title label laid down. Being the second of a sum of 13 such conjuring notebooks Benedict kept, beginning in 1887 and continuously added to throughout his lifetime, according to Stanley Collins (see Linking Ring, V36 N2, Feb. 1957).

This notebook contains detailed accounts of the magic and showmanship, including patter transcriptions, of ten nineteenth century magicians whose performances the young Benedict attended, among them Charles Morritt, David Devant, Servais Leroy, Sandro Vio, Arthur Strode, Dr. Holden, Louis Duprey, Hercat, and others. The first entry, on Morritt, covers 11 pages and documents two of the magician’s 1892 performances, at Egyptian Hall and Princes’ Hall, the programs including The Mystery of the Handkerchief, The Cornucopian Hat, The Magic Billiard Ball Illusion, and Brilliant Card Problems. Another Morritt performance in January 1894 is documented in a later three-page entry. Ten pages are devoted to Devant’s performances at Egyptian Hall in June 1895 and 1896. Leroy’s August 1896 show at London’s Tivoli Theatre is described over two pages. The other performers make up the remainder of the journal.

Neatly handwritten with clear demarcations between performers and performance dates, Benedict also sub-titles each illusion or segment within his entries. Journalistic in their impartiality and detail, and further bolstered by the writer’s own background in performance (Benedict achieved regional success as The Thanet Wizard), Benedict’s notebooks were praised by Collins in the 1950s when parts of them were serialized in Linking Ring (all 13 notebooks were bequeathed to Collins when Benedict passed away). Collins noted that “his oldest friend,” possessing an “amazingly retentive memory” and “an orderly mind,” was “the best informed man on conjurers and conjuring that I have ever known.”


197. Bertram, Charles (James Bassett). Mr. Chas. Bertram’s

Séance Magique Programme. Circa 1892. Souvenir program for Bertram’s appearance at the Rotunda Concert Hall, Dublin. Striking lithographed cover bearing a bust portrait of Bertram. One folded 4to sheet. Foxing, wear at extremities; good.




Detail of title page

54 • Potter & Potter Auctions

198. Blitz, Signor Antonio. One-page ALS from Magician

Signor Blitz. Philadelphia, Nov. 13 1876. Blitz writes to a Mr. Selles, in part, “I am very feeble and unable to walk for over a year now. …have been obliged to abandon all business. Should you hear of anyone wishing to purchase apparatus I will part with anything I have cheap.” One 8vo sheet, old folds from mailing. signed “Yours truly Signor Blitz.” rAre.


199. Blitz, Singnor Antonio. The Plate Waltz. Philadelphia: Edward L. Walker, 1849. Engraved sheet music by J.A. Janke Jr., “played nightly at the entertainments of Sigr. Blitz.” Disbound and foxed; blind stamp of Dr. Grossman in upper margins. rAre.


200. Bosco, Signor (Saul Abram Warschawski). Signor Bosco

Program. For a performance dated August 14, 1873. His program includes the Shower of Gold and the Enchanted Fire Globe, among other feats. One folded 4to sheet. Chipped at edges and central fold.


201. Brindamour, George. Brindamour Throw-Out Card. American, ca. 1905. Recto depicts Brindamour performing his levitation. Bicycle Fan Back. Very good.






The Grossman/Nicholson Collection October 31, 2015 • 55

202. Cardini (Richard Valentine Pitchford). Portrait of Cardini,

Inscribed and Signed. New York, ca. 1955. Double-exposure half-length portrait of Cardini with cigarettes in his hands. 8 x 10”. inscriBed And signed by Cardini to J.H. Grossman on the verso.


203. Cardini. Holographic Letter from Cardini to Dr. Grossman. Dated October 3, 1967. One-page ALS in Cardini’s distinctive cursive script. He writes regarding the construction and repair of several watch reels and ring pulls. With original mailing cover addressed in Cardini’s hand. signed “Swan & Dick.”


While Cardini’s wife, Swan, corresponded frequently, letters in Cardini’s own hand are uncommon.

204. Cardini. Two Cardini Programs. The first a theatre program for an appearance in 1931 at the RKO Orpheum, Minneapolis with the original mailing cover from Cardini to Dr. Grossman; the second the cover of the Feb. 15, 1933 issue of Variety News featuring Cardini. Both with folds from mailing; good.


205. Cardini. Cardini Business Card and Inscribed Playing

Card. The former with holographic corrections to the address on the recto in Swan Cardini’s hand; the latter a boldly inscribed and signed Ace of Clubs from a “Cardini” Peau Doux pack, dated 1967.






(front) (back)

56 • Potter & Potter Auctions

206. Cardini. Group of Cardini Ephemera. Five pieces, including a candid color photograph of Cardini dated 1967; an autographed note signed “Richard Valentine Pitchford/Cardini/Sept 27th 1967/and me too/Swan”; a 1963 Christmas sentiment signed “Dick & Swan”; and two holographic postcards in Swan Cardini’s hand, signed “Swan & Dick.”


207. Cardini, Swan. Group of Swan Cardini Ephemera. Including two heart-wrenching ALSs from Swan to Dr. John and Mayra Grossman; copies of two obituaries of Cardini with Swan’s holographic notations; a postcard from Swan Cardini to the Grossmans; and a copy of a news story regarding Swan. In the letters, both from 1974, she writes regarding Cardini’s death: “I still cry every time I think of him and how stupid I was not to realize he was not going to get well. I really didn’t think he would die.” And later, “I still feel lost as I have found out my strength was in Dick, without him I just sit around and do nothing.” She provides other personal details regarding their relationship, as well. Both letters date from 1974 and with original mailing covers, signed “Swan”.


208. Collins, Stanley. Conjurers: Past & Present Index. A handmade “Who’s Who” of magicians compiled and written by the British society entertainer and magic collector Stanley Collins. Alphabetically organized and neatly written on index cards and filed in a small wooden case bearing Collins’ initials on the front door and his hand-written label on the lid. Over 200 entries in all, with some supplemental cards inserted by Dr. John Henry Grossman. Box measures 6 x 5 x 2 ¾”.


Each card bears pertinent biographical data regarding its subject, including dates of death and birth, the titles of any works the subject authored, and occasionally other relevant details such as dates of marriages, numbers of children, and the subject’s legal name. Many cards include anecdotes and data on rectos and versos.




The Grossman/Nicholson Collection October 31, 2015 • 57

209. [Congress of Magic] Four Candid Photographs of the

Congress of Magic Cast. Washington D.C., 1942. Pictured are Cardini and Swan, Ade and True Duval, Jack and Anne Gwynne, Frakson, Fred Keating, and Val Voltaine. Three 5 x 7”, one 7 x 9 ¼”. The latter trimmed and chipped, one candid. With identifying notes on recto.


The Cardinis, Keating, the Gwynnes, Voltaine and the Duvals shared the stage at Washington’s Capitol Theatre for one week in May 1942, when these pictures were taken. Frakson also appears in the photos, but was not on the bill. He was appearing nearby and visited his fellow magicians at the Gwynne apartment, where the candid photos were taken.

210. [Cups and Balls] A Group of Cochin Chinese. London: Cadell & Davies, 1806. Hand-colored engraving by T. Medland from a drawing by W. Alexander. Showing a group of Chinese gathered about an itinerant conjurer on the street, who is performing the Cups and Balls trick on a small mat. Framed to an overall size of 12 x 10”. One short tear visible; not examined out of frame.


211. De Kolta, Buatier. Buatier de Kolta ALS. Dated February 12, 1876. On Victoria Hotel of Yorkshire notepaper. De Kolta writes to an unnamed correspondent. Two 8vo sheets, laid down to stiff card. Boldly signed “Buatier.” rAre.


212. Devant, David (David Wighton). David Devant Christmas

Card. London, 1908. Oversize two-color card bears cartoonish representations of the Devant family before their fireplace. One 4to sheet. Good.


209 (1 of 4)




58 • Potter & Potter Auctions

213. Dunninger, Joseph. Portrait of Dunninger, Inscribed

and Signed. [New York, ca. 1950]. Bust portrait of the famous mentalist. 8 x 10”. inscriBed And signed in the margin, “To my pal Dave Lustig from Joe.”


David Lustig wrote and conceived many of Dunninger’s radio and television stunts and brain-busters and was one of his closest confidants.

signed From Beyond the grAve

214. Eckam, Elmer. 1927 Society of American Magicians

Membership Card, Signed by Houdini. Life Membership card in the S.A.M. for Rochester-based magician, escape artist, and magic dealer Elmer Eckam. Membership number 615; the card for the year of 1927. Orange stock. Boldly signed “Houdini.”


Houdini died on Halloween in 1926. Even so, this membership card for 1927 bears a genuine autograph, as he signed cards for the following year in advance.

215. Elliot, Dr. James William. Cabinet Card Portrait of Dr.

Elliot. Springfield, Taft Studio, ca. 1910. Handsome profile portrait of the famed “champion” card manipulator. Embossed mount, 5 ¼ x 7 ¼”. Fine. inscriBed And signed by Elliot. Signature faded.


216. Ellison, Dr. Saram. Portrait of Saram Ellison, M.D. New York, N. Augarten, 1902. Half-length portrait of the well-known collector of magic books and one of the founders of The Society of American Magicians. On a handsome patterned mount. 5 ¾ x 7 ½”.






The Grossman/Nicholson Collection October 31, 2015 • 59

217. Fairburn’s Conjuror. London: J. Fairburn, ca. 1815. Hand-colored print depicting an audience before three conjurors who perform a decapitation trick, with cards and birds, and resisting the flames of a burning oven. Below the scene are the names Breslaw and Gyngell, and the text “Monsiuer Chalbert the Fire King.” Framed to an overall size of 16 ¾ x 12”. Not examined out of frame. See Toole Stott 289.


218. Faustus Offering the Magic Cup to Belzebub!! London, 1829. Hand-colored engraving by Thomas Jones, being the colored frontispiece from the chapbook The Remarkable Life of Dr. Faustus, published in London in 1829. Framed to an overall size of 10 ½ x 9 ¼”.


219. Frikell, Wiljalba. Frikell Steinway Hall Program. New York, Metropolitan Printing and Engraving, 1873. Twenty-nine miraculous feats in Frikell’s program are listed for this, his “Last Appearances in New York…” Framed with glass on two sides. 10 ¾ x 8 ¾". Not examined out of frame. scArce.





60 • Potter & Potter Auctions

220. Germain, Karl (Charles Mattmuller). Germain Christmas

Card. Circa. 1940. Christmas sentiment signed “Heartily Karl Germain.”


The autograph is likely not Germain’s, as he was blind in later years.

221. [Germain, Karl] Germain Chautauqua Program. Circa 1915. Souvenir program for the Warrenton, Va. edition of the circuit Chautauqa, featuring Paul Fleming as Germain the Magician. Tall 8vo, printed in two colors. Good.


After Germain’s retirement from the stage, Fleming – who had assisted Germain – stepped into his role as magician, performing many of Germain’s signature tricks and using some of his apparatus, as this program shows.

222. Gibson, Charles Dana (American, 1867 – 1944). “Advice

to a Hostess” Print with Gibson Autograph. Life Publishing Co., 1902. Gibson’s famous drawing of the magician producing a rabbit from a hat, framed together with a clipped autograph of the illustrator. Framed to an overall size of 20 ½ x 17 ½”.


223. Goldin, Horace (Hyman Elias Golstein). Two Real Photo

Postcards (RPPC) of Horace Goldin. Leeds, J. Roberts & Co., 1931. Full-length portraits of Goldin. In one, he makes a hand-shadow rabbit. Plain back, with photographer’s stamp. Very good.






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224. Goldin, Horace. Portrait of Horace Goldin performing the

“Boring Through a Man.” Three-quarter length photograph shows Goldin thrusting his hand through the torso of a turban-clad assistant. 7 x 10”. Corners bumped.


225. Goldin, Horace. Three Horace Goldin Photographs. 1920s. The first an artist’s depiction of the “Living Miracle” (Sawing Through Woman); the second picturing a stand of Goldin posters affixed to German streetcars; the third showing an ambulance outside B.F. Keith’s Theatre carrying the sign “In Case the Saw Slips.” The largest 6 ¼ x 8”.


226. Goldin, Horace. Horace Goldin Italian Souvenir Program.

Circa 1933. Eight-page pictorial brochure showcasing many of Goldin’s effects, including his hand shadow routine, the Living Miracle (Buzz Saw), Canary in Lightbulb, and more. Good.


227. Hatton, Henry (P.H. Cannon). Henry Hatton Brochure

Original Artwork. New Jersey [?], ca. 1900. Fine pen-and-ink artwork for a brochure of Hatton’s, featuring the production of American flags, a spirit séance, and “soul vision” (second sight). 9 5/8 x 11 ¾”. Edges toned, glue marks on verso. Very good.


Together with Adrian Plate, Hatton authored one of magic’s classic texts, Magicians Tricks and How They Are Done (1911). This artwork was reportedly on display at the P&L Factory in New Haven, Conn. and then passed into the hands of Dr. Grossman.


225 (1 of 3)



62 • Potter & Potter Auctions

228. Heller, Robert (William Henry Palmer). The Goblin

Polka. New York: Beer & Schirmer, 1864. Sheet music with lithographed cover in red ink, dedicated to the humorist, musician, and magician Robert Heller by the composer Charles Fradel. Spine splitting, blind stamp of Dr. Grossman in margin, faint dampstain at left, else very good. rAre.


229. Henry, M. M. Henry’s Conversazione. London: T. Jones, ca. 1825. Being the engraved frontispiece of the book by the same name and depicting the conjurer – a contemporary of Anderson – performing with varied props and animals. Framed to an overall size of 12 x 11 ¼”. Not examined out of frame.


230. Herrmann, Compars. Herrmann Polka and Quadrille. New York: S.T. Gordon, 1862. Sheet music with handsome lithographed caricature of Alexander Herrmann in an oval medallion on the front cover. Lithographed by PS Duval & Son of Philadelphia. Polka by Strauss, Quadrille by Pape. Folio. Blind stamp of Dr. Grossman in upper margin, else very good. rAre.





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231. Herrmann, Adelaide. Full-length Portrait of Adelaide

Herrmann. [New York], ca. 1915. Attractive portrait of the “Queen of Magic” performing the multiplying billiard ball trick. 3 5/8 x 5 3/8”. Image scuffed near borders. inscriBed And signed on the verso by Adelaide Herrmann.


232. Herrmanns, The. Candid Photograph of Alexander and

Adelaide Herrmann. W.J. Kerstetter, ca. 1890. Unpublished image of Alexander and Adelaide Herrmann fishing from a boat steered by an unnamed attendant. Boudoir card format on an embossed mount. 10 x 8”. A holographic caption in the lower margin, in Adelaide Herrmann’s hand, states, “Herrmann and Adelaide Herrmann fishing on River Magdalena.”


233. Herrmann, Felix. Felix Herrmann Handbill. Lancaster, Pa., 1919. Detailed list of personnel. Herrmann’s program fills the second half of the performance. Matted to an overall size of 9 x 18 ¼”. One chip visible.


231 232


64 • Potter & Potter Auctions

proFessor hoFFmAnn noteBook

234. Hoffmann, Professor (Angelo Lewis). Professor Hoffmann

Handwritten Notebook. Stationer’s notebook owned and used by Professor Hoffmann. The first page bears the title “Supplementary Index,” and the contents, written entirely in Hoffmann’s hand, list tricks and information by category. These include “Handkerchief Tricks,” “Conjurer’s Programmes,” “Water(& other Liquid) Tricks,” “Ball Tricks,” and ten more, some effects published and others from Hoffmann's private, unpublished notebooks. Approximately two thirds of the pages include entries in Hoffmann’s script. Blanks bear his handwritten numbers in the upper right. One page laid in (possibly extracted from another Hoffmann manuscript) details the working of a trick called The Magic Corks. Lined sheets, roughly 8vo. Six leaves trimmed away at the front of the notebook. The first complete page bears Hoffmann’s address stamp in the upper right. Front joint cracked and covers scuffed, else very good.


235. Houdini, Harry (Ehrich Weiss). Houdini Autographed

Letter Signed (ALS). Dated May 24, 1921. On Society of American Magicians letterhead, Houdini writes to fellow escape artist Elmer Eckam regarding S.A.M. events and Eckam’s upcoming marriage. Worn, with closed tear at old folds and extremities. signed “Houdini.”


236. Houdini Harry. Houdini Theatre Program and Handbill. December 1925. For an appearance at Parson’s Theatre, Hartford, Conn. Houdini presents his three-part show of magic, escapes, and exposes of fraudulent mediums. Handbill laid in. Both items with blind-stamp of former owner and minor ink notations; good.





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237. Houdini, Harry. Houdini Final Tour Souvenir Program. [New York, 1925]. Pictorial wrappers bearing a striking photo of Houdini. Illustrated with photos and line drawings. 4to. Spine reinforced with cloth tape, address label on front wrapper.


238. Kellar, Harry. Portrait of Harry Kellar and Felecien

Trewey. American, 1919. Large-format bust portrait titled, “The Two Deans/Franco-American/Magicians and Fantaisists.” In the original frame, 19 ½ x 16 ¾”. Dusty; good.


239. Laurant, Eugene (Eugene Greenleaf). Portrait of Magician

Eugene Laurant. Toledo, Frost, ca. 1912. Handsome three-quarter length portrait of the accomplished Chautauqua and Lyceum entertainer taken at the peak of his success. 7 ¼ x 10”. inscriBed And signed on the folder, “To my old assistant with kindest feeling, Eugene Laurant.”


240. Lustig, David. Archive of David Lustig Ephemera and

Publications. Including booklets authored by Lustig on magic and mind-reading, fortune telling, and others; as well as Christmas sentiments, ALSs and TLSs to and from Lustig, and one handbill for a theatre listing Lustig as stage manager. 15 pieces. 1930s – 50s. Most publications inscriBed And signed to Dr. Grossman by Lustig.


David Lustig was the writer of many of Joseph Dunninger’s scripts and the inventor of many of his famous “brain buster” stunts. He wrote a number of popular books on magic and mentalism under the pen name “La Vellma.”




240 (partial)

66 • Potter & Potter Auctions

241. Lynn, Dr. (Hugh Simmons). Dr. Lynn Egyptian Hall

Program. London, ca. 1872. Embossed program describes Lynn’s program in great detail, including the Second Sight and “Instantaneous Vegetation.” Splitting at central fold, scrapbook remnants on verso.


Dr. Lynn’s appearances at Egyptian Hall coincided with those of Maskelyne and Cooke; the former appeared downstairs, while the latter appeared upstairs. There was sometimes confusion among patrons as to which magic show they were attending when first setting foot in the Hall.

242. [The Magic Circle] First Annual Magic Circle Grand

Séance Souvenir Program. London, 1906. Handsome small folio-size souvenir program. Among the fourteen acts on the bill – presented at St. George’s Hall – were J.N. Maskelyne, David Devant, Joad Heteb (P.T. Selbit), and Nate Leipzig. Bound with ribbon as issued; good.


243. Magician at a Danish County Fair. “Fra Dyrehavsbakken.” Circa 1850. Colored lithograph from a broadsheet published by Michaelsen & Tillage, by Hans Christian Ley. Framed to an overall size of 16 ¾ x 20 ¾”. Not examined out of frame.


244. Maro, E. (Walter Truman Best). Cabinet Card Portrait of

Magician E. Maro. Traverse City, Smith & Price, ca. 1907. Half-length portrait of the great Chautauqua and Lyceum performer seated in a handsome carved wooden chair. 6 x 9”. Three pinholes, minor wear and chipping. inscriBed And signed on the mount to Oscar Teale by Maro’s widow.



241 242 244

The Grossman/Nicholson Collection October 31, 2015 • 67

245. Martinka & Co. Martinka Magic Calculating Calendar.

New York, 1900. Die-cut “calculating” calendar determines the day of the week each date will fall on for “4000 years” by rotating a wheel and reading a chart printed on the verso. Overprinted with the address of the famed magic manufacturer. uncommon.


246. Nicola, Will (William Mozart Nicol). Nicola Vanishing

Elephant Advertising Novelty. American, ca. 1925. Clever optical novelty representing a cage containing a live elephant. Pulling the tab on one side causes the elephant to “vanish.” 5 x 3 ½”. Very good.


247. Nicola, Will. Four Candid Photos of Nicola. Scenes include Nicola performing for troops, a posed image in his home workshop, and two other scenes from his world travels. Each 3 ½ x 5”. Worn at extremities and laid down.


248. Okito (Tobias Leendert Bamberg). Secretarial ALS from

Okito. Dated March 23, 1963. On Hotel Wacker (Chicago) stationery and written by a Jane Clements, she relates, in part, “Theo is in bed and can’t see very well…” and relates how Okito will soon move from the hotel to a “private home for the aged.” Two 8vo sheets with original mailing cover.


Oktio died June 28, 1963, just three months after this letter was written.





68 • Potter & Potter Auctions

249. Petrie, John. Miniature Souvenir Portrait of John Petrie. Circa 1950. Housed in a blind-stamped leather book-like box with brass clasp, and accompanied by a calling card of Mrs. Petrie, inscriBed And signed on the verso by Mr. & Mrs. Petrie to Dr. Grossman.


The portrait may have been a memorial kept by Mrs. Petrie after her husband’s passing. John Albert Petrie co-founded the Mysto Magic Co. and the Petrie & Lewis Company, both famous manufacturers of magic apparatus. He also invented practical products, including a limousine lock and an automatic electric starter for early automobiles.

250. [Postcards] Stanley Collins’ Magicians Postcard Collection. Including 100 real photo (RPPC) and printed postcards bearing portraits of famous twentieth century magicians, including: Houdini (biplane flight, RPPC), Chung Ling Soo and Suee Seen (five different, some overprinted with theatre information), Horace Goldin (four different), Lewis Davenport, Al Baker, Thurston, Blackstone (two different), Kalanag, Mora, Edward Victor, Chris Van Bern, Carl Hertz, Will Goldston, Yettmah, Walter Jeans, and dozens more. Neatly organized in Collins’ thick cloth album. Many pages chipped, but cards generally very good. An outstanding collection.




The Grossman/Nicholson Collection October 31, 2015 • 69

251. Powell, Frederick Eugene. Lot of Powell the Magician

Ephemera. Including the souvenir program Testimonial to Frederick Eugene Powell (1929), inscriBed And signed by Powell on the first page, with a few corrections to the text in his hand, and three contemporary newspaper obituaries of Powell laid in at the rear. Five manuscript notecards also tipped-in, apparently containing remarks on Powell preceding a performance, though the writer or speaker is unknown. The fifth card ends, “… and Bethany Grange is honored on this occasion by witnessing his typical refinement on the Stage of Magic.” Together with a signed contract between Powell and Bijou Entertainment Co., through Western Vaudeville Association, for one week of performances in Evansville, Ind. (Dec., 1906); a ca. 1920s pictorial engagement leaflet for the “Distinguished Illusionist and Conjurer,” and one pictorial “Specimen Program”; a performance postcard (New York, 1934); an unused dollar-sized complimentary ticket to The Great Powell and Company; a pictorial Christmas postcard (1936); and a printed performance advertisem*nt (1928) with the blank perforated ticket order form retained at bottom. Generally very good condition.


252. Powell, Frederick Eugene. Real Photo Postcard (RPPC)

of Powell with Wife and Magician Will Wood. Circa 1892. Powell, dressed all in white, with his wife and Wood at his side, beside their carriage, several attendants at front and rear. Not postally used. 5 ½ x 3 ¼“. Very good.


253. Powell, Frederick Eugene. F.E. Powell’s Checkbook. Issued by the Delaware County Trust Co. of Chester, Pa., where Powell was born. Cloth-covered boards, with several stubs bearing Powell’s notes, and several unused checks. signed on the cover by Powell.





70 • Potter & Potter Auctions

254. Powell, Frederick Eugene. F.E. Powell’s S.A.M.

Membership Card. For the year 1905. Membership number 92. Blue stock, printed in two colors. Plain back. signed by Powell, Francis Werner and S.A.M. President W. Golden Mortimer.


In his retirement, Powell became the second Dean of the Society of American Magicians.

255. Powell, Frederick Eugene. Lobby Photo of Magician F.E.

Powell. San Francisco, Bushnell, ca. 1910. Oversize half-length portrait photo of Powell, on large photographer’s mount. In a vintage frame with no glass, 21 ¾ x 26 ¾”. Chipped, scuffed and dusty; good.


According to Dr. Grossman, this large portrait of Powell hung in the Petrie & Lewis factory.

256. Powell, Frederick Eugene. Group of Powell the Magician

Ephemera. 1910s – 20s. Three pieces, including a large complimentary pass to his show, an ALS to Powell from a New Haven, Conn. nursing home, and a souvenir Christmas postcard sent by Powell to the Parisian magic dealer Charles DeVere from Cuba. Very good.


257. Powell, Frederick Eugene. F.E. Powell’s Military Academy

Presentation Sword. New York: Shuyler, Hartley & Graham, ca. 1876. Most likely presented to Powell upon his graduation from the Pennsylvania Military Academy. Finely crafted with brass hilt and handle and decorated with American flags, stars, and eagles. 37” long. Engraved blade bears the name “F.E. Powell.” With scabbard.



256 (partial)



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258. Raymond (Raymond Morris Saunders). Great Raymond

Autograph and Ephemera. Including a real photo postcard (RPPC) of Raymond; a clipped autograph; and a business card. Handsomely framed to an overall size of 12 ¾ x 15 ¾”. Not examined out of frame.


259. Robert-Houdin, Jean Eugène. Portrait of Magician Jean

Eugène Robert-Houdin. Circa 1880 [?]. Large and handsome three-quarter length rotogravure portrait of the “father of modern magic.” Stiff paper, blind stamped. 11 x 14”. Edges and corners with paper residue and small losses, old crease in upper left extending ½” into image, facsimile autograph pasted below portrait, else good.


260. Robinson, W.E. Cabinet Card Portrait of William E.

Robinson (Chung Ling Soo). Boonton, New Jersey, Wendt Photographer, ca. 1895. Half-length albumen portrait photograph of the great Irish-American magician who would later become the “Marvelous Chinese Conjurer” Chung Ling Soo. 4 ½ x 6 ½”. Fine.


261. Roltare, Charles. Throw-Out Card of Magician Roltare. New York, Mahatma Magazine, ca. 1905. Portrait of Roltare and text “Roltare/Master of Magic” on recto; stock images of various magic tricks on the verso.


258 259



72 • Potter & Potter Auctions

262. Rouclere, Harry and Mildred. Cabinet Card Portrait of the

Roucleres. White Plains, ca. 1909. Half-length portrait of the famous theatrical duo famous for their mindreading act. 6 x 9”. Short tear at right of photo, some visible wear. signed And dAted by the Roucleres.


263. [Sheet Music] “Tenderly” Sheet Music, featuring Magic

and Ventriloquism. New York: Hillsdale Amusem*nt Co., 1928. Sheet music booklet includes explanations of side show tricks, ventriloquism, and hypnotism, and pages of ads for magic tricks, novelties, and books. Rear cover scuffed, else very good.


264. [Street Magician] Marlet. Le Sorcier de Tivoli. Paris, ca. 1820. Lithograph after Marlet from the Tableaux de Paris series, depicting a street magician telling fortunes, with the tools of his trade resting on a makeshift table at his side. Framed to an overall size of 17 ½ x 15 ¼”.


265. Teale, Oscar. Portrait of Oscar Teale, Inscribed and Signed.

Newark, Sherman, 1926. Handsome sepia-toned bust portrait of the magician, author, and secretary to Houdini. 4 ¾ x 7 ¾”. inscriBed And signed “To my dear friend Frederick Eugene Powell Dean of American Magicians, with best wishes Oscar S. Teale.”


266. Trewey, Felecien. Felecien Trewey ALS Regarding Chung

Ling Soo’s Death. Dated March 10, 1918. On lined paper stamped with Trewey’s name, he writes to Charles DeVere, the magic dealer, stating in part, “Poor Robinson. I can see how advent the accident, that is a real fatality.” One 8vo sheet, laid down, with original mailing cover. signed “F Trewey.”



263 (interior)




The Grossman/Nicholson Collection October 31, 2015 • 73

267. [Triple Alliance] Great Triple Alliance Stationery and

Mailing Cover. Circa 1898. One 4to sheet of letterhead and one envelope for this short-lived production that included F.E. Powell, Imro Fox, and Servais LeRoy. Both lightly worn; good. scArce.


The Great Triple Alliance lasted for only two seasons despite experienced management under theatrical impresario M.B. Leavitt, who also represented Alexander Herrmann for a time.

268. Verbeck, Eugene. Program of Magician Eugene Verbeck.

London, 1885. For an appearance at Prince’s Hall. Verbeck’s three-part program includes Mesmerism, and a wide array of magic tricks. One folded 4to sheet. Two contemporary newspaper clippings laid in. Several contemporary pencil notations, else good.


269. Zovelloscopes. New York: Zovello-Richard, 1934. Set of sixteen miniature flipbooks issued as an aid to learning card tricks and card manipulation. Each book shows a different trick or move. With accompanying direction sheet. Complete set. scArce.


posters & plAyBills

270. Anderson, J.H. Professor Anderson Black Eyed Susan

Playbill. Whitechanel, Henry Powncery, 1856. Double-sided bill heralding Anderson’s performance as an actor in Black Eyed Susan and Rob Roy. Framed with glass on two sides to an overall size of 13 x 18 ¼”; wear, small losses, and tears visible, but not examined out of frame.


Although Anderson styled himself a dramatic actor of note, he was far more successful – critically and financially – as a conjurer than as a thespian.





270(recto) (verso)

74 • Potter & Potter Auctions

271. Anderson, J.H. Professor Anderson Magic and Mystery. London, ca. 1856. Two-color letterpress broadside in green and black, bearing four scenes from his show including the Inexhaustible Bottle and Magic Portfolio, and describing his program at the Standard Theatre in great detail, as well as advertising his book, A Shilling’s Worth of Magic. Framed to an overall size of 27 x 36 ½”. Some wear and restoration visible; not examined out of frame. rAre.


272. Anderson, Leona. Leona Anderson Handbill. Ottawa, 1874. Letterpress handbill advertising the performance of one of John Henry Anderson’s successors, including appearances by his widow Leona in the Aerial Suspension and Bullet-Catching trick. Framed to an overall size of 8 ½ x 15 ½”. Not examined out of frame.


273. Andress, Charles. Andress and his Novelty Gift Shows. Cincinnati, Strobridge Litho., ca. 1917. Small panel-size lithograph with vignettes from Andress’s gift show, including mind reading, ventriloquism, a rabbit production, and more. Framed to an overall size of 14 x 30”. Not examined out of frame.


274. Astral-Wunder. Hamburg, Adolph Friedlander, 1914. Half-sheet (18 ¾ x 28 ¼”) lithographed stock magic poster depicting a floating skull, Pierrot, dancer, floating Medusa head, and Japanese magicienne. Folds visible. Linen backed. A-.




272 273

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275. Balabrega (John N. Miller). Balabrega. New York, The Metropolitan Printing Co., ca. 1880. One-sheet (29 ½ x 40”) color lithograph depicting a central portrait of “The Swedish Wonder” surrounded by vignettes of his performance, including the Decapitation illusion, card tricks, and trained canaries. Minor restoration not affecting image, old folds visible. Linen backed. B. scArce.


276. Bancroft, Frederick. Bancroft the Magician. Cincinnati, Enquirer Job Printing, ca. 1896. One-sheet lithograph replete with skeletons, devils, Sphinxes, and a medallion bust portrait of the magician. Framed to an overall size of 45 x 32”. Not examined out of frame. The only known example of this poster.


Bancroft’s career was short-lived. After making his fortune in real estate and insurance, he purchased lavish stage settings in order to build a spectacular magic show. Unfortunately, his personality and props did not match the grandiosity of the settings he performed in. Even after hiring Alexander Herrmann’s manager – as indicated on this poster – Bancroft never realized his dream of becoming one of America’s truly “great” magicians. He died of typhoid fever after just a few years on stage, at the age of 31, in 1897.



76 • Potter & Potter Auctions

277. Blitz, Signor. New Feats. New Ventriloquism. Learned

Canary Birds. Signor Blitz! Philadelphia, United States Job Printing, 1850. Pictorial letterpress broadside depicting Blitz’s educated canaries and describing his performances. Matted to an overall size of 10 x 25 ½”. Laid down to backing board. rAre.


278. Cardini (Richard Valentine Pitchford). Cardini Victoria

Palace Playbill. England, 1930s. Two-color pictorial letterpress playbill (12 ½ x 20”). Cardini shares the bill with Gracie Fields and seven other acts. Margins retouched. Linen backed. B+.


279. Cardini. ? Cardini ? Di Weltsensation des Lachens. Germany, 1933. Two-color broadside (18 ½ x 27 ¾”) advertising the Suave Deceiver’s appearance at the Kabarett der Komiker. Retouched chips primarily at edges. Linen backed. B+.


280. Cardini. Cardini Golders Green Hippodrome Broadside. London, 1934. Multi-color broadside (16 ¼ x 22 ¼”) for a variety bill featuring nine acts, among them Cardini, billed as “The “Ace” of Conjurors – Royal Performance 1933.” Old cellotape stains and closed tears in borders; linen backed. B.




278 279

The Grossman/Nicholson Collection October 31, 2015 • 77

281. [Cardini] Magicians’ Guild Broadside. New York, 1958. Letterpress broadside (8 ½ x 23 ½”) heralding a seven-act bill of magicians, with Cardini as the headliner. A.


282. Carmo (Harry Cameron). The Great Carmo The World’s

Colossus of Mystery. Leeds and London, John Waddington, 1924. Pictorial broadside (11 ¼ x 35 ¼”) heralding performances of the famous circus owner and magician. One inked notation, minor retouching. Linen backed. B+.


283. Chefalo. Chefalo Merry Master of Magic. Sydney, Simmons Ltd., ca. 1930. Panel-size (14 x 39 ¾”) color poster advertising the show of this Italian magician and his troupe of midgets and one giant. Borders trimmed. Linen backed. B.


284. Chung Ling Soo (William Ellsworth Robinson). Chung Ling

Soo. Ah! He’s Here. Glad I Came. Birmingham, James Upton, ca. 1915. Half-sheet color lithograph featuring a delighted theatergoer reading a Soo program. Framed to an overall size of 27 x 37”. Not examined out of frame.


281 282 283


78 • Potter & Potter Auctions

285. Collins, Stanley. L’Insaisissble Stanley Collins. Paris, Marcel Picard, ca. 1913. Large letterpress broadside (16 ¾ x 46”) heralding the performance schedule of this British society entertainer in France. Crude restoration; B-. inscriBed And signed in pencil by Harry Houdini, “Regards/Houdini/Dec. 1-1913.”


286. Dante (Harry August Jansen). The Mysterious Dante.

Mystery-Spectacle. Hamburg, Adolph Friedlander, ca. 1925. Half-sheet (18 ½ x 28 ¼”) color lithograph bears a bust portrait of Dante with the devil whispering into his ear. Restoration to borders and two spots in image. Linen backed. B.


287. Dante (Harry August Jansen). The Mysterious Dante. London, Western Posters, ca. 1936. One-sheet (40 x 30”) color lithograph depicting Dante and the members of his “company of skilled mystifiers,” including Satan himself. Over-coloring in borders and at old folds; B. Linen backed.


288. Dante (Harry August Jansen). Thurston Presents Dante –

Europe’s Magician. Cleveland, Otis Litho, ca. 1923. Half-sheet (18 ½ x 25”) color lithograph with bust portraits of Thurston and Kellar overlooking a large winged devil and a bust portrait of Dante. Borders trimmed away, significant expert restoration. B-.


288 286



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289. De Philipsthal. Mr. DePhilipsthal Mechanical & Optical

Performances. Norwich: Stevenson and Matchett, 1807. Letterpress broadside bearing an image of a magician conjuring up a ghost. Framed to an overall size of 14 x 19”. Not examined out of frame.


De Philipsthal likely presented a magic lantern show and conjuring tricks as part of his entertainment.

290. Goldin, Horace (Hyman Elias Goldstein). Presented to

Horace Goldin Illusionist. Belfast, David Allen & Sons, ca. 1918. Half-sheet color lithograph displaying three jeweled stickpins presented to Goldin by crowned heads of England. Framed to an overall size of 27 x 37”. Not examined out of frame, but restoration at intersecting folds visible. scArce.


291. Goldin, Horace (Hyman Elias Goldstein). The Wonderful

Royal Illusionist Horace Goldin. Circa 1931. Two-color offset window card advertising Goldin’s illusion of walking away from his shadow. Framed to an overall size of 14 ½ x 17”. Wear and short tears visible. Not examined out of frame.





80 • Potter & Potter Auctions

292. Goldin, Horace. The World-Famous Royal Illusionist

Horace Goldin. London, 1936. Two-color letterpress poster (20 x 30”) advertising the many illusions of Goldin including the Indian Rope Trick and Sawing in Half. Six other acts on the bill. Minor ink offsetting. Linen backed. A-.


293. Harrington, Jonathan. Prof. Harrington the Celebrated

Magician and Ventriloquist. Boston, F.A. Searle’s Printing Works, 1859. Letterpress broadside for Harrington’s appearance at the Boston Museum, and describing his program in great detail. Framed to an overall size of 10 ¾ x 23”. Wear and thinning visible; not examined out of frame.


294. Hartz, Joseph Michael. M. Hartz The Wizard of the World!

Edinburgh, J. Brydone & Sons Printers, 1861. Two-color pictorial broadside advertising the magic show of this famous magician and magic dealer who performed with apparatus made from clear glass. Framed to an overall size of 10 x 17 ¾”. Not examined out of frame. scArce.





The Grossman/Nicholson Collection October 31, 2015 • 81

295. Heller, George (Robert Wezner). Heller’s Mystic Comedy

Company. Melbourne, P.C. Grosser, ca. 1891. Panel-size (15 x 40”) color lithograph depicting a scene from Heller’s Spirit Cabinet routine a la the Davenport Brothers. Restoration in margins. A-. Linen backed. rAre.


296. Herrmann, Leon. Herrmann The Great. Cincinnati, Enquirer Job Printing, ca. 1904. Two-color offset window card bearing a bust portrait of Leon Herrmann the great French magician. Framed to an overall size of 15 ¼ x 18”. Pinholes and wear visible; not examined out of frame. scArce.


297. Jacobs, M. The Wonderful Magician & Ventriloquist of

the Day Mr. M. Jacobs. London, Helyer Printer, 1841. Pictorial letterpress broadside describing the show of Jacobs at the New Strand Theatre, London. Framed to an overall size of 13 ¾ x 26 ½”. Short repaired tears visible; not examined out of frame.





82 • Potter & Potter Auctions

298. Jacobs, M. Lithograph of M. Jacobs’ Stage Setting. England, ca. 1950. Monochrome lithograph (22 ¾ x 15 ¼”) depicts the crowded stage of M. Jacobs, crammed with the trappings of a Victorian magician’s trade: automatons, Louis XIV-style apparatus, rabbits and flowers cascading from top hats, a magic cauldron, and more. Jacobs and his assistant stand on each side of a copy of Robert-Houdin’s famous Pastissier of the Palais Royal automaton. A royal coat of arms hangs above the stage. Margins trimmed, a few edge chips over-painted. Linen backed. rAre.


299. [Japanese Poster]. Konorah. Japan, ca. 1900. Woodblock poster (21 ½ x 15 ¾") advertising the appearance of mind reader Mme. Konorah (likely with her husband, Max Berol Konorah) in Japan. Linen backed. A.


This poster was reportedly obtained by Harry Houdini from the collection of Henry Evanion and was signed by Houdini. Unfortunately, Houdini’s signature was erased in the process of linen backing the poster two decades ago.



The Grossman/Nicholson Collection October 31, 2015 • 83

300. Kalanag (Helmut Schreiber). Kalanag. Germany, ca. 1955. One-sheet (32 x 46”) color poster depicting Kalanag’s partner, Gloria de Vos, astride a Hillman Minx, which vanished nightly in his illusion show. Minor over-coloring at old folds. Linen backed. A-.


301. Kellar, Harry (Heinrich Keller). Kellar the Great Magician

Standee. Cincinnati, Strobridge Litho, ca. 1894. Die cut lithograph of the iconic “whispering imps” portrait of Kellar. 15 x 23”. Significant wear visible. Framed in a shadowbox; not examined out of frame. rAre.


302. Kellar, Harry. Kellar. Cincinnati and New York: Strobridge Litho., ca. 1889. Half-sheet lithograph bearing a sepia-tone bust portrait of the great American magician Kellar with a thick mustache and shiny stud in his dress shirt. Framed to an overall size of 25 x 35”. Not examined out of frame.


303. Kellar, Harry. Lithographed Bust Portrait of Kellar.

[Cincinnati, Strobridge Litho, ca. 1898]. Portrait taken from a larger half-sheet poster of Kellar. 16 ½ x 18”. Borders expertly added to complete this fragment of a truly rare Kellar poster. Linen backed.






84 • Potter & Potter Auctions

304. Kellar, Harry. Kellar. The Witch, the Sailor, and the

Enchanted Monkey. Cincinnati, The Strobridge Litho. Co., ca. 1900. One-sheet (38 ¾ x 29 ¾”) color lithograph depicting Kellar’s version of the famous Maskelyne magic play. Expert but significant restoration to borders and in image. Linen backed. B-.


305. Kellar, Harry. Kellar. Cincinnati, Strobridge Litho, ca. 1896. One-sheet stone lithograph bearing a striking mélange of images drawn from the performances of the great American magician, including the Queen of Roses, a levitation scene, lightning calculations, a devil, owl, and more. Framed to an overall size of 42 x 31 ½”. Not examined out of frame; mounted to foam core.


306. Long Tack Sam (Lung Te Shan). Long Tack Sam The

Master Mind of Chinese Necromancers. Canada, ca. 1920. Offset pictorial broadside (8 ¾ x 15 ¾") for an appearance by Sam and his troupe at the Queen’s Theatre and picturing his young daughters. Corners chipped and retouched. Linen backed. A-.


307. Lyle, Cecil. Lyle With His Magical Spectacle Cavalcade of

Mystery. England, 1949. One-sheet (40 ¼ x 29 ¾”) color poster advertising the illusions in Lyle’s full evening show, including several Goldin classics. Linen backed. A-.


305 306



The Grossman/Nicholson Collection October 31, 2015 • 85

308. Mortimer, W. Golden. Mortimer’s Mysteries. Chicago, J.M.W. Jones S&P Co., ca. 1880. Panel-size (9 ½ x 27 ¼”) color lithograph bearing a full-length portrait of Mortimer with a wand in his hand and a devil in the background. Margins trimmed and laid down, wear and tears visible. B-. The only known example of this poster.


Mortimer hailed from New York, and began his career on stage in 1873 or 1874. He imitated the act of the Davenport Brothers, initially working with a partner before striking out on his own with his “Mortimer’s Mysteries” show. In 1902, having retired from the stage and now operating a successful medical practice in Manhattan, he helped found the Society of American Magicians. He served as the organization’s first president from 1902 – 1905.

309. Die Mysteriösen Catakomben. Berlin, Weylandt & Bauchwitz, ca. 1915. Half-sheet (18 ½ x 28”) lithographed stock poster depicting a Grand Guginol-type performance of the famous Pepper’s Ghost illusion. Border chips. Linen backed. A-.


310. Nicola (William Mozart Nicol). World’s Master Magician.

The Great Nicola & His Big American Company. Milwaukee, American Show Print, 1911. Half-sheet stock poster over printed for Nicola, and picturing a magician surrounded by various illusions. 26 x 32 ½” overall. Not examined out of frame.





86 • Potter & Potter Auctions

311. Nicola (William Mozart Nicol). Nicola’s Great Jail Breaking

Mystery. Cleveland, Otis Litho, ca. 1925. Panel-size (13 ½ x 41”) lithograph depicting an escape illusion and Nicola’s Invisible Cloak (“Such a Thing Has Never Heretofore Been Seen”). Mounted to foam core.


312. Nicola. The Great Nicola. The Great Criminal Problem.

Seeing Through a Woman. Cleveland, Otis Litho, ca. 1925. Panel-size (13 ½ x 41”) lithograph depicting a strange illusion billed as an “Execution.” Mounted to foam core.


311 312 313

313. Nicola. Nothing on Earth Can Hold Nicola a Prisoner. Lahore, Mufid-I-Ampress [?], ca. 1920. Panel-size (16 x 40”) poster advertising Nicola’s jail-breaking feats used to promote his full-evening illusion show. Borders restored. Linen backed. B.


The Grossman/Nicholson Collection October 31, 2015 • 87

314. Nicoli (John Nicol). Nicoli The Great. Chicago, National Printing & Engraving, ca. 1905. Half-sheet lithograph depicting Nicoli and his stage set, including tables, fine pieces of Victorian-era magic apparatus, and an American flag. Framed to an overall size of 33 x 25”. Not examined out of frame.


Nicoli was the father of Nicola and Von Arx (William and Charles Nicol).

315. Piddingtons. It’s Eerie! It’s Uncanny! It’s Amazing!

Piddington. New Lambton, H.M. Hutton, ca. 1948. Pictorial half-sheet offset poster (17 ¼ x 23”) advertising the famous mindreading duo (before their marriage) as part of a variety show. Linen backed. A.


316. Powell, Frederick Eugene. Exito Exito Powell. Guanajay Cuba, “La Generosa,” ca. 1920. Spanish pictorial broadside (9 x 24”) bearing a bust portrait of Powell and advertising his performances in Cuba. Linen backed. A.


314 316

88 • Potter & Potter Auctions

317. Powell, Frederick Eugene. Beneficio Y Despedida Del

Campeon de La Magia Powell. Mexico, ca. 1920. Three-color pictorial broadside (11 ¼ x 12 ½”) advertising Powell’s final performances in Mexico. Linen backed. A.


318. Powell, Frederick Eugene. Powell. New York, H.A. Thomas & Wylie Litho, ca. 1900. Half-sheet (20 x 27 ½”) lithographed full-length portrait poster of the famous American magician. He holds a fan of cards and his wand; a winged demon looks on. Corners torn, old date strip remnant obscuring lower border, mounted to foam core. B. rAre.


319. Rameses (Abraham Marchinski). Rameses in his Egyptian

Temple of Mysteries. London, S.C. Allen, ca. 1910. Striking half-sheet stone lithograph advertising the performance of this British magician. A butterfly woman floats over the performer, and another woman springs from a burning brazier. Framed to an overall size of 27 x 34”. Not examined out of frame, but several fold lines prominent.





The Grossman/Nicholson Collection October 31, 2015 • 89

320. Raymond (Raymond Morris Saunders). The Mysterious

Hand of Raymond. Leicester, David Allen & Sons, ca. 1910. Half-sheet (19 ½ x 29”) lithograph bearing a ghostly bust portrait of Raymond behind a spectral hand. Linen backed. A.


321. Reynolds, H.B. Coming! Prof. H.B. Reynolds. Providence, What Cheer Print, ca. 1880. Pictorial letterpress broadside (10 ¼ x 29”), unused, for this early American journeyman magician. Handsome stock illustration. Linen backed. A.


322. Semon, Zera. Fun and Laughter Will Reign Supreme.

Zera Semon. American, ca. 1895. Playbill heralding the show of this American magician, ventriloquist, and puppeteer. Framed to an overall size of 8 ½ x 20”. Wear and one tear visible; not examined out of frame.


323. Taylor, E.C. E.C. Taylor World of Wonders. Hamburg New Jersey, Yatman’s Job-Print, ca. 1898. Letterpress handbill advertising the performance of this early American frontier magician and escape artist. Framed to an overall size of 8 ½ x 16 ½”. Wear and repairs visible. Not examined out of frame.




90 • Potter & Potter Auctions

324. Thurston, Howard. Chicago American Says “Go See”

Thurston. Cincinnati, Strobridge Litho., ca. 1912. Horizontal half-sheet (35 x 23”) black-and-white poster with illustrations of Thurston and scenes from his show. Signed by French, the newspaper’s staff artist. Over-coloring at old folds. B+.


325. [Valadon, Paul] Egyptian Hall. The Latest Sensational

Mystery. Well I’m _____ !!! London, Dangerfield, ca. 1900. Quarter-sheet lithograph depicting Valadon performing one of his signature feats, but not naming him. Framed to an overall size of 20 x 24”. Significant restoration visible. Not examined out of frame. rAre.


326. Wad, Ali. Ali Wad. Moscow, ca. 1933. Horizontal half-sheet (31 ½ x 27 ½”) lithographed poster bearing a portrait of this Russian magician and vignettes of his performances of the Floating Ball and Sword Suspension. Cyrillic text. Restored fold lines and borders. Linen backed. B.


324 326


The Grossman/Nicholson Collection October 31, 2015 • 91

327. Wandas, The. The Wanda’s Goddess of Mystery. Paris, Louis Galice, ca. 1910. One-sheet (36 x 46 ¼”) stone lithograph depicting a fantastic scene from this magic act featuring the famous Belgian magicienne and manipulator. One corner restored, old folds visible. Linen backed. B+.


328. Wood, Will. Wood’s Great Sensation Edna. Newport, Donaldson Litho Co., ca. 1900. One-sheet (27 ¾ x 41 ½”) color lithographed poster depicting a fiery scene from Wood’s show replete with a devil, lightning, the magician dressed in tails, and a gorgeous girl. Minor wear and chips; mounted to foam core. A-. scArce.


329. Wood, William. Wood’s Beautiful South American

Production. La Mariposa. Newport, Donaldson Litho Co., ca. 1900. Half-sheet color stone lithograph depicting the levitation/suspension illusion of this American magician and ventriloquist. Framed to an overall size of 26 ½ x 36”. Not examined out of frame. rAre.


327 328


92 • Potter & Potter Auctions

330. Wood, William. Wood’s Startling Sensation Woodita. Newport, Donaldson Litho Co., ca. 1900. Half-sheet color stone lithograph picturing Wood’s illusion in which a giant butterfly woman was produced from an empty box. Framed to an overall size of 26 x 36”. Not examined out of frame.


331. Wood, William. Wood’s Latest Marvel Ya-Ku. Newport, Donaldson Litho Co., ca. 1900. Half-sheet color stone lithograph picturing Wood’s illusion of apparently hypnotizing and suspending a young boy. Framed to an overall size of 26 x 37 ¼”. Not examined out of frame. rAre.


332. Zamloch, Anton. Anton Zamloch!!! Mexico, J.E. Rodríguez é Hijos, 1905. Spanish pictorial broadside (8 ¼ x 23 ½”) heralding a performance of this California-based magician in Mexico. Laid down on old linen.


end oF sAle

330 331


Registration & Absentee Bid Form

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Potter & Potter encourages you to mail, fax and email bids, as telephone bidders will be served on a first come, first served basis.

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Phone: 773-472-1442 / FAX:


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Lot Number Description U.S. Dollar Limit(Exclusive of Buyer’s Premium)

For absentee bids, indicate your limit for each lot, excluding the Buyers’ Premium. Your bids will be executed at the lowest prices allowed by reserves and other bids. If more than one bid of the same value is received, the first bid received will take precedence.

I authorize Potter & Potter Auctions to bid on my behalf up to the amount(s) stated above. I agree that all purchases are subject to the “Condition of Sale” as stated in the sale catalogue and that I will pay for these lots on receipt of invoice.

-“+” bids indicate willingness to go up one increment if needed to break a tie. “Buy” or unlimited bids are not accepted.-References and/or a deposit are required of bidders not known to Potter & Potter Auctions, Inc. -A buyer’s premium of 20% per lot is payable on each successful bid.

___________________________________________________SIGNATURE DATE

Potter & Potter is not responsible for failure or other inadvertent errors relating to execution of your bids.

THE AUCTIONEER’S DECISIONS ARE FINAL. ___________________________________________________FOR POTTER & POTTER DATE

□ Telephone Bid □ Absentee Bid

Bidder Number

94 • Potter & Potter Auctions


The lots listed in this catalogue (whether printed or posted online) will be offered at public auction by Potter and Potter Auctions, Inc., as agent for consignor(s) subject to the following terms and conditions. By bidding at auction you agree to

be bound by these Conditions of Sale.


Please examine lots. Prospective buyers are strongly advised to “in person” or by personally retained Agent, examine any property in which they are interested before the auction takes place. Condition reports may be provided if requested in a timely manner.

Condition of lots, Warranties and Representations - All lots are sold “AS IS” and without recourse, and neither Potter and Potter Auctions, Inc. nor its consignor(s) makes any warranties or representations, express or implied with respect to such lots. Neither Potter and Potter Auctions, Inc. nor its consignor(s) makes any express or implied warranty or representation of any kind or nature with respect to merchantability, fitness for purpose, correctness of the catalogue or other description of the physical condition, size, quality, rarity, importance, medium, material, genuineness, attribution, provenance, period, source, origin, completeness, historical significance of any lot sold. The absence of any reference to the condition of a lot does not imply that the lot is in perfect condition or completely free from wear and tear, imperfections or the effects of aging. No statement, whether written or oral, and whether made in the catalogue, or in supplements to the catalogue, an advertisem*nt, a bill of sale, a posting or announcement, the remarks of an auctioneer, or otherwise, shall be deemed to create any warranty, representation or assumption of liability. Potter and Potter Auctions, Inc. and its consignor(s) make no warranty or representation, express or implied, that the purchaser will acquire any copyright or reproduction rights

to any lot sold.


Registration Before Bidding – A prospective buyer must complete and sign a registration form and provide identification before bidding. We may require bank or other financial references. Potter and Potter Auctions, Inc., is under no obligation to approve the registration of any prospective registrant.

Bidding as Principal – When making a bid, a bidder is accepting personal liability to pay the purchase price, including the buyer’s premium, all applicable taxes and all other applicable charges, unless it has been explicitly agreed upon in writing with Potter and Potter Auctions, Inc. before the commencement of the sale that the bidder is acting as agent on behalf of an identified third party acceptable to Potter and Potter Auctions, Inc., and that Potter and Potter Auctions, Inc. will only look to the principal for payment.

Absentee Bids – Potter and Potter Auctions, Inc. will use reasonable efforts to carry out written bids given to us prior to the sale for the convenience of clients who are not present at the auction in person. Bids must be placed in U.S. dollars. If we receive written bids on a particular lot for identical amounts, and these are the highest bids on the lot at the auction, it will be sold to the person whose written bid was received and accepted first. Execution of written bids is a free service undertaken subject to other commitments at the time of the sale and Potter and Potter Auctions, Inc. does not not accept liability for failing to execute a written bid or for errors and omissions in connection with such written bid(s).

Telephone Bids – If a prospective buyer makes arrangements with us prior to the commencement of the sale we will use reasonable efforts to contact said prospective buyer to enable them to participate in the bidding by telephone and we do not accept liability for failure to do so or for errors and omissions in connection with telephone bidding.

Bidding Increments - Expected bid increments are as follows:

Min Value Max Value Increment$0.00 $29.00 $5.00$30.00 $99.00 $10.00$100.00 $499.00 $25.00$500.00 $999.00 $50.00$1000.00 $1,999.00 $100.00$2,000.00 $5,999.00 $200.00$6,000.00 $9,999.00 $500.00$10,000.00 $19,999.00 $1,000.00$20,000.00 $49,999.00 $2,000.00$50,000.00 and above 10% of current bid

Note: the auctioneer may modify the increments at any time.

Reserves – Although the majority of the lots in the sale are offered without reserve, some lots in the sale may be subject to a reserve which is the confidential minimum price below which such lot will not be sold. The reserve will not exceed the low estimate of the lot. Reserves are agreed upon with consignors or, in the absence thereof, the absolute discretion of Potter and Potter Auctions, Inc. The auctioneer may open the bidding on any lot below the reserve by placing a bid on behalf of the seller. The auctioneer may continue to bid on behalf of the seller up to the amount of the reserve, either by placing consecutive bids or by placing bids in response to other bidders. With respect to lots that are offered without reserve, unless there are already competing bids, the auctioneer, in his or her discretion, will generally open the bidding at half of the low estimate for the lot. In the absence of a bid at that level, the auctioneer may proceed backwards at his or her discretion until a bid is recognized, and then continue up from that amount.

Auctioneer’s Discretion – The auctioneer has the right at his or her absolute and sole discretion to refuse any bid, to advance the bidding in such a manner as he or she may decide, to withdraw any lot, and in the case of error or dispute, and whether during or after the sale, to determine the successful bidder, to continue the bidding, to cancel the sale or to reoffer and resell the item in dispute. If any dispute arises after the sale, our sale record is conclusive.

Successful Bid – The highest bidder acknowledged by the auctioneer will be the purchaser. In the case of a tie bid, the winning bidder will determined by the auctioneer at his or her sole discretion. In the event of a dispute between bidders, the auctioneer has final discretion to determine the successful bidder or to reoffer the lot in dispute. If any dispute arises after the sale, the Potter and Potter Auctions, Inc. sale record shall be conclusive. Title passes upon the fall of the auctioneer’s hammer to the highest acknowledged bidder subject to the Conditions of Sale set

forth herein, and the bidder assumes full risk and responsibility.


Buyer’s Premium – In addition to the hammer price, the buyer agrees to pay Potter and Potter Auctions, Inc. a buyer’s premium of 20%, and the applicable sales tax added to the final total.

Payment – The buyer must pay the entire amount due (including the hammer price, buyer’s premium, all applicable taxes and other charges) no later than 5 p.m. on the seventh (7) business day following the sale. Payment in U.S. dollars may be made with cash; bank check or cashier’s check drawn on a U.S. bank; money order; or wire transfer unless other arrangements are made with Potter and Potter Auctions, Inc. Potter and Potter Auctions, Inc. reserves the right to hold merchandise purchased by personal check until the check has cleared the bank.

The Grossman/Nicholson Collection October 31, 2015 • 95

The purchaser agrees to pay Potter and Potter Auctions, Inc. a handling charge of $50 for any check dishonored by the drawee. In the event buyer desires to pay by using a credit card, a convenience fee equaling 2.5% of the entire amount due shall be added to the buyer’s invoice.

Packing and Shipping – If your bid is successful, as an alternative to in-house shipping, we can provide you with a list of shippers. We will not be responsible for the acts or omissions of carriers or packers whether or not recommended by us. Property will not be released to the shipper without the buyer’s written consent and until payment has been made in full. Packing and handling by us of purchased lots is at the entire risk of the purchaser, and Potter and Potter Auctions, Inc. will have no liability of any loss or damage to such items. Packing and shipping expenses shall be added to buyer’s invoice and will reflect a charge for labor, materials, insurance, transportation, as well as actual shipper fees.

Non-Payment – If we do not receive payment in full, in good cleared funds, within seven (7) business days following the sale, we are entitled in our absolute discretion to exercise one or more of the following measures, in addition to any additional actions available to us by law: (1) to impose a late charge of one and a half percent (1.5%) per thirty (30) days of the total purchase price, prorated to commence on the date of the sale; (2) to hold the defaulting buyer liable for the total amount due and to begin legal proceedings for its recovery together with interest, legal fees and costs to the fullest extent permitted under applicable law; (3) to rescind the sale; (4) to resell the property publicly or privately with such terms as we find appropriate; (5) to resell the property at public auction without reserve, and with the purchaser liable for any deficiency, cost, including handling charges, the expenses of both sales, our commission on both sales at our regular rate, all other charges due hereunder and incidental damages. In addition, a defaulting purchaser will be deemed to have granted us a security interest in, and we may retain as collateral security for such purchaser’s obligations to us, any property in our possession owned by such purchaser. At our option, payment will not be deemed to have been made in full until we have collected funds represented by checks, or in the case of bank or cashier’s checks, we have confirmed their authenticity; (6) to offset against any amount owed; (7) to not allow any bids at any upcoming auction by or on behalf of the buyer; (8)to take other action as we

find necessary or appropriate.


Condition Reports – Potter and Potter Auctions, Inc. is not responsible for the correctness of any statement of any kind concerning any lot, whether written or oral, nor for any other errors or omissions in description or for any faults or defects in any lot. Neither the seller, ourselves, our officers, employees or agents, give any representation, warranty or guarantee or assume any liability of any kind in respect of any lot with regard to merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, description, size, quality, completeness, condition, attribution, authenticity, rarity, importance, medium, provenance, prior ownership history, or historical relevance. Except as required by local law any warranty of any kind whatsoever is excluded by this paragraph.

Purchased Lots – If for any reason a purchased lot cannot be delivered in the same condition as at the time of sale, or should any purchased lot be stolen, mis-delivered or lost prior to delivery, Potter and Potter Auctions, Inc. shall not be liable for any amount in excess of that paid by the purchaser.

Legal Ramifications – The rights and obligations of the parties with respect to these Conditions of Sale, the conduct of the auction and any matters connected with any of the foregoing shall be governed and interpreted by the laws of the jurisdiction in Illinois. If any part of these Conditions of Sale is found by any court to be invalid, illegal or unenforceable, that part shall be discounted and the rest of the conditions shall continue to be valid to the fullest extent permitted by law.

Discretion - Any and all of the conditions may be waived or modified in the sole

discretion of Potter and Potter Auctions, Inc.

Potter & Potter Auctions, Inc.(Illinois Lic. # 444.000388)3759 N. Ravenswood Ave.-Suite 121-Chicago, IL 60613

Phone: (773) 472-1442 Fax: (773) [emailprotected]

Sami Fajuri, Managing AuctioneerLic. #441.001540

Text: Gabe Fajuri and Joe SlabaughLayout and Design: Gabe Fajuri and Stina HensleePhotography: David Linsell

Contents copyright © 2015 by Potter & Potter Auctions, Inc.

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopy, recording or any information storage and retrieval system now known or to be invented, without permission in writing from the copyright holders.

Note: Many supplemental and detailed images of auction lots -- not shown in the pages of this catalog -- are available online at, or directly from from Potter & Potter.

Potter & Potter wishes to thank Nelson and Carole Nicholson, Roger Dreyer, Ken Klosterman, Derek Kennedy, Ray Ricard and Steve Cohen for their assistance in the preparation of this catalog.

Selections from the Grossman/Nicholson Magic … & Potter Auctions, Inc. 3759 N. Ravenswood Ave.-Suite 121-Chicago, IL 60613 Selections from the Grossman/Nicholson Magic Collection - [PDF Document] (2024)
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