Thursday, January 31, 2008

January 31

This has been another spectacular day for Paul and his ebaying. There were three auctions and while only two of the items sold, they both went for such high prices that I think it would be unfair to characterise it as a 2-1 result. It was far better than that.

All three of the posters were listed in the same fashion. Paul has got wise to the fact that his own superstar status adds value to his auctions and is exploiting it by adding links to his website and making mention of his name with each of these three listings starting in the same fashion:

"Paul Daniels Posters"

Over a period of 30 years Paul Daniels (for more information visit collected posters of anyone and anything to do with magic and magicians. In the vast majority of cases they were then preserved by having all the natural acids taken out of the paper and then they were mounted on either archival paper or cloth. Cloth was normally used on the larger posters. Even some modern posters went through this process as Paul believed that they were the ‘history’ for the future. All this work was carried out by the United Kingdom’s greatest archivists, the Public Records Office (they worked on the Doomsday Book) and therefore the starting price of even the most mundane of posters reflects the fact that you are buying ‘paper’ that will last for a very long time indeed.

It's a classy listing for sure. He mentions his name, shows you where you can find out more about him in order to underline his status and then explains quite why his posters are listed at the high prices they are. Following this 'standard' opening he then describes the specific poster.

Let's deal with the disappointing non-sale first of all. It's for a cabaret starring none other than Shirley Bassey and Tommy Cooper! As Paul says, "What a show this must have been. Shirley Bassey, one of the UK's greatest ever singing stars AND Tommy Cooper, the most famous of the UK's comedy magic clowns!" When he puts it like that you can't really argue. What a show! Paul goes on to explain, "This show ran for a VERY long season at the Prince of Wales Theatre and Tommy's act in this show was the basis for the recent play about him." which is a fascinating snippet of extra information but he also pointedly adds, "The show is described as being 'Gay'. How times change." with all the wit and aplomb you'd expect from the great man. He's pointing out how the word 'gay' has taken on a new meaning in recent times. Now it is used almost exclusively to refer to homosexuality. This cabaret wasn't 'gay' in that sense, it was 'gay' in the 'light-hearted and carefree' sense of the word. Paul's right, times do change! He doesn't say whether he thinks it has changed for better or worse - and that's Paul's genius. He doesn't need to explain!

Oddly this was one of Paul's more reasonably priced posters with Paul listing it at £30 (+£10 p&p) and yet it still hasn't sold. Perhaps Paul should have given details on the poster's dimensions. In recent times he's been very good about this but this time he seems to be content to just show the poster photographed next to a ruler. Oh well.

He did rather better with this poster for Vernon Cellsus; "The White Wizard, Magician of Excellence" As Paul puts it, "If this poster is anything to go by, he truly must have been a magician of excellence. This is one of the most powerful images I have ever owned on a poster. It is large and makes an incredible display on a large wall." Imagine that! Having only just learned of Paul's huge poster collection we now discover that this is "one of the most powerful" he has ever owned. If you ask me, this makes this poster one of the most powerful magic-related posters ever!

This time Paul explains the dimensions telling us it is "Approximately 88" x 40""(inches)

However, ever the honest ebayer Paul does explain the flaws of the item saying, "Note that since this poster was processed it was stored in a warehouse and sadly got some rainwater on it. This is hardly noticeable on the front but the mounting cloth on the back is marked. It may well be possible to remove the stain but I have not tried." But having given us fair warning Paul then instantly transforms into the perfect salesman and adds, "Look at the photo and you will see how little this matters."

Paul was asking for a starting bid of £350 plus £20 for p&p - although he was offering to send the poster by postal tube to anywhere in the world for that. I'll be honest, £350 seems like a huge amount to spend on a poster no matter how large or how well its been treated. But that didn't stop londonpaul from bidding and winning! £350! For a poster! Well done Paul.

But it gets better still with this poster for the "Incomparable Vonetta."

Paul hints at something very intriguing here without explaining the whole story. Writing about himself in the third person he says, "The poster featured here is very rare and purely by chance Paul found a Vonetta collection in the loft of her house in Glasgow as it was being demolished." Who was Vonetta? How did Paul know her? Why was he in her Glasgow home when it was demolished? Perhaps we will never know. Still, at least having gone through the attic of a now dead magician's house his find hasn't gone to waste and he is able to financially gain by selling it on through ebay. Well done Paul.

Again Paul explains the potential flaws explaining that when he found it the "corners of the folded poster were torn and this shows on the photograph" but also adding, "Of course, now it is mounted, those tears cannot 'crumble' away any more."

Again Paul tells us about the posters dimensions, saying, "This is a large poster and looks powerful when displayed on a wall" and then explaining that it is "Approximately 89" x 41""

Its size means that it exceeds the British Postal System's maximum size.(I didn't know they had one!) But that's okay because Paul was prepared to send it out by courier.

Paul was looking for a £500 starting bid and charging £20 for the p&p. And he found a bidder in the shape of sjpsets.

What a great day. I'm sure Paul won't mind holding on to his £30 Bassey/Cooper poster when he has just made £850 on his other two posters! I'm sure londonpaul and sjpsets will be very happy owning their well preserved but slightly damaged posters and I'm sure Paul will be happy spending his £850. Not a lot!

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