By Tom Interval
Talk about a labor of love.
And not reproductions you can buy at a magic shop but original lithographs and other prints representing what magicians call the “golden age” of magic, from around the late 1800s to the 1930s.
With the advent of his own golden age and a genuine desire to have others own a piece of magic history, Norm decided to sell the collection, half of which will be auctioned off by Potter & Potter tomorrow morning at 10:00. The second half of The Nielsen Collection will be auctioned early next year.
Tomorrow’s offerings—324 listings—feature the posters of some of the world’s most renowned magicians, including Harry Houdini, Harry Kellar, Howard Thurston, Harry Blackstone, Leon Herrmann, and many others. The auction also will include posters of contemporary performers, such as Doug Henning, David Copperfield, James Randi, and Ricky Jay.
“Norm and I retain a loving attachment to the collection,” wrote Lupe in the introduction of the auction catalog, “so much so that in letting it go we feel we are selling pieces of our lives and souls.”
If you’re interested in bidding on any of the posters, you can do so in person (in Chicago), on the phone, or online. You might be required to fill out an absentee bidding form; for details, visit the Buying page of the Potter & Potter website.