I always knew this was coming. If you have read my blogs on investing in magic you knew it too.  Funny, I thought I would be much older.  After 25 years of scouring the world for magic I have decided to sell my collection. It will be sold by Potter and Potter in a series of four auctions over the next two years.

Why? Well go back and read my previous investing in magic blogs and you have that answer.  Why Now?  Well that is a little more complicated.

The Thayer Room

I always felt I would know when it was time.  In my mind I was thinking around the age of 70. About  six months ago I woke up one morning and knew it was time.  The realization hit me. Honestly, I had been thinking about the eventual disposition of my collection for the past few years.  Seeing my friends families forced to deal with their collection after their deaths and even seeing two of my very dear friends trying to sell their collections after they became terminally ill was a hard thing to watch. I woke up one morning and said to my self, this is it. Call Gabe: and I did.

I won’t go into all of the personal reasons why (the first of which is I could use the money now that I am retired and this was always part of my retirement plan) but there are some global reasons: the most important being the economy is very strong right now.  A lot of the categories I have chosen to collect are doing exceptionally well at auctions including costumes and historical association pieces.  My collection is loaded with this stuff.  Houdini is also doing well (Houdini will always do well!) so I hope my collection of Houdini items leads the way to some strong auction results.

There are a number of things I want to do in life that I cannot afford to do currently. I hope to be able to do all of those things and that the next 10 years of my life are some of the happiest.  I am 63 so the timing to do all of those things on my bucket list seems right.  Eventually, if kept long enough, any major collection becomes a burden to someone: either the curator of that collection if he becomes ill or his heirs if he passes away.

One wall of the Thayer Room

That brings me to my number one reason to sell now. I want to see where it goes! I want to see it in other collections that I can visit and see others enjoy.  I know most of the major magic collectors in the world and they are great people so I hope my collection can make them as happy as it did me!  Having a say in the disposition of my magic collection was always my goal.  Doing it before it has become a burden to me ( as far as I know I am healthy as a horse: an overweight, diabetic horse but a horse) or my family is a happy thing to rejoice about not be sad over!

I guess I do wonder if I will miss it.  I don’t know how I couldn’t.  I have very selectively accumulated what I believe to be one of the major magic collections in the world in both size and quality.  I have given many tours and even hosted 150 people in my home at one time when a major toy convention had my home as one of their  side trips.   All of that activity has brought a great deal of happiness and a sense of pride to me.  I love it when people tell me how well everything is displayed and how beautiful my collection is to look at. That was my goal.  I have hosted many of the major magic collectors in the United States at my home and have made some lifelong friends.  Heck I just had Eddie

The Thayer Room with Blackstone Sr.’s Production screen circa 1920

Dawes at my home so i figure how does it get any better than that!  I will miss all of  that.  I will miss them coming.  I will miss the feeling of confirmation  I get when they tell me how great this or that piece is. I will miss telling the stories of how I acquired it all piece by piece.  I will miss the magic club visits who always saw my home as some place special when we could meet there and when I hosted Christmas Parties for the club.  Most importantly I built the collection for my enjoyment and those quiet times spent hanging out among it I will miss most. All of that will be gone but the great thing is all of those friendships that my collection created for me  will continue! I look forward to visiting collectors homes and admiring their collections.  For that I cannot wait!


Magic Collectibles is the other good news!  That will continue!  The great thing is I will still be out there looking for the best magic I can find to bring to my friends and customers. I will be involved in the magic and magic collecting community  for the foreseeable future!  I have always kept a virtual wall between my collection and my business inventory.  I have always considered them two individual stand alone things. Not that the occasional piece does not cross from one inventory to another but in general they are definitely two separate entities. It is fantastic that one of those things that brings me joy in magic will continue on!  I have a huge inventory of Magic Collectibles stock that could make a very exceptional magic collection on its own.  Who else has almost every piece of Richard Gerlitz Magic that has ever been created in their inventory?  Magic Collectibles does! (OK that was a shameless plug) .  I will admit while purchasing items for Magic Collectibles  that occasionally I would acquire a piece so exceptional that it would find its way into my collection.  No more!  It will now find its way to you!.

A selection of original stone lithographs. Over 45 will be auctioned.

I think you all realize the quickest way to wealth is to become anything other than a magic dealer.  This is a labor of love for me. This business has allowed me to make many wonderful friends in magic from all over the world!   I love the art of magic and this is the role I chose to fill.  To quote the beloved Eugene Burger:  “The House of Magic Has Many Rooms”. Putting magic collectibles where they belong and will be cared for is the room I choose to live in! Preserving the history of our art is critical and I feel I play an important role in that task.


So there you have it.  My beloved Magic Collection goes in four auctions over two years with Potter and Potter, and Magic Collectibles  continues on and gets stronger than ever.

Look for video of my collection to be published in the future.  It will be a preview of what you will be able to bid on over the next two years.  I am not keeping anything from my collection!  I know this sounds strange but I believe keeping something would make letting go of the rest even harder so it all goes, yes every piece of it!

Right now I am feeling pretty good about things and my place in the magic world.  Look for details about my auctions  from Potter and Potter as they become available.  I can tell you my auctions are stand alone with each lot being one item and all lots in those auctions belonging to me.  One day when I am 80 sitting in my rocking chair I will dig out the Potter catalogues and reminisce about building my collection and all the happiness and good fortune it has brought me.  It was one hell of a journey!


Below are photos of the lower level consisting mostly of apparatus.  In our next blog we will continue the discussion of how this all came about and give photos of our upper level containing automaton, association pieces, historical pieces, ephemera and the library.  Everything you see is heading for auction over the next two years at Potter and Potter.  Anyone need some showcases?

The Cups and Balls room

Charles Carter Center Table and Props

A glance down a busy hallway!

The Cups and Balls room

Cups and Balls room

One of Many Vintage Prop Displays

Why we call it the Cups and Balls room! One of several showcases full of Cups and Balls!

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