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Auction PR Publicity Announcements News and Information

Bibliophile Sale including Conjuring and Magic

Bloomsbury’s Bibliophile sale with its distinctive orange cover (3rd April), is particularly noteworthy for its strong Conjuring section. Last year Bloomsbury had a whole sale dedicated to Magic books which attracted magicians from all over the country; the wires were humming with bids from the United States and Europe.

Unrelated to conjuring, but no less magical, are various lots including The Worst Journey in the World. Antarctic 1910-1913 by Apsley Cherry-Garrard. Regarded as the ‘best written and most enduring account of exploits in the Antarctic’, this first edition is estimated to fetch £800-1200 (lot 75). Polyglots will be interested in a first Spanish edition of Leonardo da Vinci’s El Tratado de la Pintura (1784) which is estimated £600-800 (lot 296). There are four lots of limited or first editions by TE Lawrence in the sale and lot 439 is the Seven Pillars of Wisdom (number 217 of 750 copies) of 1935 which has an estimate of £750-1000.

However it is the Conjuring Books, Periodicals, Catalogues, Memorabilia, Posters and Apparatus from the world of Magic which will set pulses racing amongst the aficionados. Many are from the collection of the late John Salisse CBE such as the Classic Magic Series of first edition and presentation copies (lot 497) estimated £1000-1500. Fortune-Telling The Poetical Works by Oliver Goldsmith (1860) has wood engraved illustrations and fore-edge painting depicting a pack of 52 numbered playing cards (estimate £400-600). A de luxe first edition of Will Goldston’s Great Magicians’ Tricks of 1931 with a sheet inserted signed by Horace Goldin, Arnold de Biere, Murray etc etc is expected to reach £200-300 (lot 533). Amongst the Posters is lot 629, Carter the Great, The World’s Weird Wonderful Wizard of 1926, (estimated £250-350) and a poster for Mr John Nash’s Life Characters at the Egyptian Hall (1877) with an estimate of £200-300 (lot 636).

The highlight in the magic section of the sale must be the extraordinary ITMA Programme consisting of 6 records specially recorded at Windsor Castle before the Royal Family on April 21st 1942 in honour of Princess Elizabeth’s 16th birthday. The show was never broadcast, but the BBC Sound Archive has a copy. Presented to Ted Kavanagh as a memento of the Command Performance, it is signed by the then Queen Elizabeth, King George VI and both Princess Elizabeth and Princess Margaret; it is estimated to reach £750-1000. Another focal point of this section is A Comprehensive Private Collection of Works Relating to Several Disciplines of Magic and Allied Arts from the Collection of Roy Baker, a founder member of the Medway Magic Society and past member of the Inner Circle. This collection of varied items belonging to Baker, a stage magician, hypnotist, writer and inventor, is estimated to fetch around £1000-1500.