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Gary Barker
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New user
Tampa, FL
70 Posts

Profile of Gary Barker
Does anyone have any reliable sources for estimating the value of collectible magic props, books and lecture notes. I am aware of eBay obviously and I do use Worth Point as a gauge to at least find out what similar items have sold for but I would be very interested in any other reliable blogs, web sites, etc. that have good discussions on value of vintage items. Obviously it goes without saying this is a great resource as well, meaning the Magic Café'.

Thank you for any help you may be able to offer.

Kind regards,

Michael Baker
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Eternal Order
Near a river in the Midwest
11159 Posts

Profile of Michael Baker
I would suggest other magic auction sites, but the truth is, hammer prices are seeming to land on ridiculous numbers these days. Even some very seasoned collectors and vintage dealers are amazed and perhaps confused by this. They used to say something is worth what the second highest bidder was willing to pay, but I think the figures are far too skewed for that to apply anymore.

Much will depend on the piece itself, the rarity and condition, plus the desirability of it. If more than one of a similar item has sold in the recent past, the law of averages is probably a better indication.

There are some other knowledgeable people who are Café members, and they may be able to offer advice on a piece by piece basis. I have a certain knowledge, but limited.

How involved with vintage magic are you?
~michael baker
The Magic Company
Gary Barker
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New user
Tampa, FL
70 Posts

Profile of Gary Barker

Thanks for the insights. I am reasonably involved (which doesn't tell you much I know.)

I have acquired a fair amount of items including some nice Conradi wooden pieces from the late 1800's - early 1900's. I have some German items including a nice Hands of Cleopatra still in original box with original instructions and hundreds of books, lecture notes in various conditions (most in very good to near new) some of which are some good finds like Card Craft, Art and Magic and on and on...

A few items I have had a hard time finding a value is the original Pentagram magazine by Peter Warlock and Hugard's monthly of which I have the earliest volumes of both including Volume 1 Issue 1. Maybe not the most rare but they are in very good condition.

I have some more common items that are no longer in production like older P&L items, Mikame manipulation balls (the hand made, blown wooden sets with two shells) and the such.

I won't bore you any further but wanted to give you some indication of the items in case it helps point me in the right direction.

Thank you!


PS - Prices are indeed all over the board. I have a great set of Keep the Wheels Turning (volume 1 and 2) and while it would be lovely to think the guy on Amazon selling volume 1 for nearly $2,000 is a real world estimate I would think it is grossly over priced at that. But even then I have seen a wide range for these books; anywhere from $300 each to $500 commonly and an occasional purchase price pushing $1,000. So it is often hard to say!
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