Wednesday, November 28, 2007

November 28th

After a little ebay inactivity I'm here to tell you that Paul is back with a vengeance. What a day! Paul has been selling off magic posters from his collection. (By which I mean posters that relate to magic and not posters that possess magic properties!!) (Mind you, where Paul is concerned, you never know!)

There were 8 auctions in total - count them - 8! As every listing was set out in the same way I think it's best that I first lay out the template as it were.

The title for each listing is "Paul Daniels Posters" and then the name of the magician/illusionist featured. This is very crafty of Paul. He knows that he is as big a draw in the world of magic as anyone and so when someone is searching ebay for him, they are the kind of person who is likely to be interested in David Nixon, Doug Henning et al.

The listing then states:
"From the Paul Daniels Collection.
This poster, X"(inches) by Y"(inches) is in good condition. It has had the acid removed from the paper by the team at the Public Records Office who preserve the valuable historical paper documents of the British Isles and they mounted it on archival paper using a paste/glue that can be easily removed should a better method of preservation be discovered in the future."

Wow! That sounds like science fiction to me! Do the Public Records Office offer this service to anyone? If not, how did Paul get them to treat his magic posters with the same treatment as they would use for our nations history!! I mean, wow!

The listing then continued with a description of the posters, details of the act featured etc. and each listing ended with the words: "The poster will be sent to the successful buyer in a postal tube." On each occasion Paul was charging £4 or £5 for postage and packaging.

Right... let's get down to the nitty gritty. I'll start with the posters that didn't sell so that we can end on a high.

There were two Tommy Cooper posters (pictured once) and one Kio poster (pictured twice.) Why two pictures of one poster? Because, "This rare and unusual poster is odd in that it is double sided." Very odd indeed! It would probably work though if it was blutac-ed to a window somewhere that people are likely to congregate on either side. Say a bar or launderette.

I expect most people in Britain will be familiar with the work of Tommy Cooper who was more of a comedian than a magician. Perhaps that's why the two posters advertising one of his videos didn't sell. They were 23"(inches) x 16.5"(inches) and Paul was asking £20 for each of them with £5 for the postage and postal tube.

I doubt many people are familiar with Kio. I'm certainly not! Paul's listing states: "This is a poster advertising the great Russian illusionist Kio (senior). It would make a great talking point in any collection or on display in your magic den." This posters is 22.5"(inches) x 32.75"(inches) and Paul was looking for a £25 starting bid and charging £5 for p&p.

Now... that's the unsold items out of the way... let's get to the good stuff.

"This poster, 20" x 30", is in as new condition," says Paul, before adding "The corner of the backing paper has been torn but the poster is undamaged." He then goes on to describe the poster saying "This is a colourful poster advertising the most popular magician of the 1960s to 70s, David Nixon, who made his 'fame' on television. Like most summer season posters it also lists the supporting acts: Alan Randall; Lee Wilson; Tony Venner; The Anderson Sisters, and they were all appearing at the Britannia Pier, Great Yarmouth (One of Britain's top resorts)"

I'm not sure why Paul puts the word fame in inverted commas like that. David Nixon's fame was very real. (Although he was not averse to using the odd camera trick which I imagine would be frowned upon today!) Note that he was the most popular magician of the 60s and 70s. I wonder who came along to steal his crown? It was Paul of course. And then, undoubtedly, David Blaine. Paul was looking for a starting bid of £30 and charging £4 for p&p and he received one bid. The lucky bidder was magicnewshop who lives in Australia. I don't know if the £4 charged for postage covered such a journey or whether the two of them had to come to some other arrangement.

Paul commented in this listing that "There have been some comments online that my starting prices are just a little high but that reflects the preservation of these posters in a professional manner." God, some people can be so snooty! Relax a little. When you get the Public Records Office to preserve your posters in such a professional manner maybe you'll start to appreciate why Paul is charging so much. This isn't any old rubbish he's selling.

This poster is 20"(inches) by 14"(inches). It is a poster advertising one of America's most popular magicians, Doug Henning and his wife Debby. (Are all great magicians married to beautiful Debbies?)

The show was called 'A New Evening of Magic and Wonder.'

This poster had rarity value because, sadly, Doug Henning passed away in 2000. There'll never be another goofy illusionist quite like him that's for sure. Anyway, Paul was asking for a starting bid of £30. frejasse started the bidding and probably thought he'd pitched it right at £50 but he wasn't accounting secretsbl's cheeky £51 bid that won the day. Well done secretsbl.

And now we're approaching the headline act in Paul's poster extravaganza. This next pair would be a worthy closing act, but good as they are, there's more to come. He was selling two copies of this Silvan poster. They were both 39.2"(inches) x 27.25"(inches) and Paul was charging £5 p&p for each.

With one of them he was looking for a starting bid of just £50 and with the other he had a starting price of £100! Why the difference I hear you cry... what makes one of them so unique? Well, "What makes this poster so unique is that Silvan, the great Italian manipulator and illusionist, has written a signed message on it to Robert Harbin, the wonderful British inventor of such illusions as the Zig Zag girl." (The Zig Zag Girl illusion is the one where a girl gets into a cabinet with three sections and is apparently divided into three parts. It is one of the greatest illusions ever invented.)

Well the unsigned poster was snapped up with just one £50 bid coming from marco_p68. It's well worth it. (Especially if you consider the way the posters have been preserved you internet whiners.)

So how did the signed one do? Well two bidders got locked in a ding dong battle. Anything you can do, I can do better? No, anything you can bid I can bid higher is more like it. It went from £100 to £111 then £120 then a cheeky £123 before leaping to £166 and then finally £171. There was a mysterious unnamed bidder involved but the winner was the appropriately named magic_collector_2007. What an auction, Paul must have been delighted.

And now the closer.
Isn't it a beaut!

"This poster advertises the Professor's appearance at the New National Standard Theatre in Shoreditch and is rare," says Paul, before adding, "It describes the show in the wonderfully ornate language of the time." which indeed it does, as anyone with an eagle eye can confirm by staring closely at the poster!

The poster is 20"(inches) by 30"(inches) and in "as new condition, despite being antique."!! For those who don't know, Paul explains that, "Professor Anderson was known as the Great Wizard of the North and lived from 1814 to 1874 and is a major part of magic history in the UK." Well if you ask me, Paul is the modern day wizard of the north and he's certainly a major part of magic history not just in the UK, but in the world having gone down a storm in Vegas and has been presented with an award by the Academy of Magical Arts in Hollywood!

Anyway... the bidding for the Professor Anderson poster really was something. Ebay has a policy of not revealing the bidders identities when things go for large amounts and when I tell you that bidders 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 were all anonymous, you'll understand that this one played a blinder!

Paul's starting price was £50 (with £5 for p&p) and magiphile came straight in with the opening bid. (magi = magic, phile = lover, get it?!!) a second bidder came in but Bidder3 was soon leading the way with £105.27 but not for long because Bidder2 came straight back in with £204! Bidders 4 and 5 entered the fray. Bidder5 might have thought that £311.88 would win the day Bidder4 knew different wth a cool £550. They must have been furious when Bidder6 came in with a whopping £1226 but even so, magiphile came back at the last to seal the deal with a magical bid of £1246. What an amazing auction. I think it must be the largest single sale Paul has had since I've been monitoring his ebaytivity, taking the crown from the Bolex Film Camera he sold on March 13th 2006 for £1015!!

I'm sure Paul won't mind the fact that he's still got two Tommy Cooper posters and a double sided Kio (senior) in his collection. What's more, I'm sure he'll enjoy the £1548 he's made from selling the others. Not a lot!