It is time to catch up on some correspondence and items that may be of interest to readers of Magicol.

More on Magicol No. 177

The insert of the letterpress instruction sheet for “The Upton Rising Card Trick” inMagicol No. 177 generated an additional comment from Leo Benhke.  Leo writes,

“The sheet with the Upton Rising Cards on it interested me because of its familiarity. When I worked for Merv Taylor I had to demonstrate this trick every once in a while, and it was an interesting challenge.  The props were almost exactly as shown on the sheet, with the frame being of polished stainless steel, two thick pieces of glass, and a brass gimmick painted flesh color. The only difference was that Merv used complete circles under the frame for your fingers to fit into.  In later years, after Les Smith bought the Merv Taylor company, he carried it in his catalog, and they may still have some for sale. Les also did a LOT of research to try and get genuine credit for the originators of the tricks in his catalog #9.  For the rising cards he has A.E. Page.  Does anyone know of him?  I can’t find a trace, and it would be interesting to find out the connection between him and Upton.  If any . . .”


Ins and Outs

Duff Johnson is looking to complete his collection of Magicols. He writes,

“…it has been one of my life’s ambitions to have a complete run ofMagicol, but I am missing four issues: #1, #9, #10 and #14.  I have checked with George, Bryon, and Richard but they don’t have the issues.  Is there anything you can do to help me get these four issues before I kick the bucket?”

Well, although we have many back issues available, the early issues are very hard to find.  That, I suppose, represents one of the joys of collecting.  Still, Duff is close to completing his file and if anyone out there has an incomplete file that contains these issues, and would be willing to part with them before Duff ‘kicks the bucket’, he’d certainly appreciate hearing from you. He can be reached

While some of us continue to accumulate collectibles, others are in the process of disposing of them.  Bev Bergeron wrote to say that he wants certain items that he has accumulated over the years get into “better collections”.  Those interested might want to contact him. He can be reached at

Auction Fever

Gabe Fajuri of Potter & Potter has announced two more auctions.  The first is of posters related to conjuring, circus and the allied arts, and will be held on March 26, 2011 at their premises in Chicago.  The second auction is scheduled for May 22, 2011, the Sunday after the 42nd Annual Magic Collectors Weekend, and will feature items from Tom Mullica’s personal collection as well as a significant selection of apparatus by Owen, Thayer, Williams, Taylor and Gaughan.  A catalogue for the poster auction is available, both online and off,

The other big auction announcement comes from Ted Bogusta. His firm,Martinka & Co, announced at the N.E.M.C.A. that, by arrangement with Maurine Brooks Christopher, they will be holding a unique and extensive auction of numerous rare and exciting items from the famous Christopher Collection.

Here is some additional information from a Martinka press release,

“This collection has been a source of wonder for magicians and collectors that has spanned decades. Milbourne Christopher, a name synonymous with magic the world over, began collecting when he was a boy.  At the time of his death on June 17, 1984 he amassed one of the most complete and extensive historical collections on conjuring in the world.  Posters, etchings, photos, scrapbooks, memorabilia and artifacts beyond belief, plus a great variety of the rarest of books resulted from a lifelong effort to build and assemble one of the great treasure troves of magic in existence.

This auction will take place on April 20th with a viewing of all items on the evening of April 19th at the NY Hotel Pennsylvania. We have retained expert Magic Auctioneer, David Goodman to call the live sale. Online bidding will also be available.

The NY Hotel Pennsylvania is located at 401 Seventh Ave (at 33rd St.), NY, NY 10001-2062 and can be reached at 1-800-223-8585.”

For more information, visit

Houdini Revisited

Will wonders never cease?  When it comes to Houdini, evidently not.

For those interested in Houdini, you will want to track down the February 10, 2011 issue of the New York Review of Books.  Inspired by the Houdini: Art and Magic exhibition at the Jewish Museum in New York, Robert Gottlieb has written a lovely piece that draws information from multiple biographies of Houdini.

I am not a subscriber to the periodical, but I took out a one-week online subscription in order to access the article.  More devout Houdini collectors will want to obtain a hard copy of the original issue for their files.

The starting point may be

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