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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Oldies... but goodies! » » Starting over today, What would you collect? (3 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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edshern
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I have been collecting Tenyo and other pocket tricks for a for years.
If you were starting over today collecting magic, what would it be?
And, on a scale of 1-10 do you view your collection as an investment?
Jim Sparx
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Catalogs. I can't afford apparatus. However, if you have deep pockets, Stevens Magic is selling about 200 pieces of Thayer magic.
Father Photius will inherit my catalog collection (going on a thousand) to sell as a donation to the Church or send to the Conjuring Arts org.
edshern
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Alan Warner, or Magic Wagon, or Collectors workshop???

I love small Pocket Tricks and now have acquired the Tenyo's I want.
I would like to start collecting a higher quality of effect.
I've narrowed it down to the three magic lines above.

So, Your thoughts on this would be appreciated.

Ed
TheAmbitiousCard
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I make a point not to collect anything. I buy what I use and I use what I buy.
Saving money by not collecting allows me to use the best.
www.theambitiouscard.com Hand Crafted Magic
Trophy Husband, Father of the Year Candidate,
Chippendale's Dancer applicant, Unofficial World Record Holder.
edshern
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I understand Frank, but I'm not a pro. In fact I'm not even an amateur Smile
I simply collect magic like others collect art, except I get to play with my collection.
Michael Baker
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Posters seem to be where the big money is, but I still prefer apparatus. If I'd known back then what I do now about Thayer, Owen, P&L, and Okito, I would have grabbed every piece I could lay my hands on. This doesn't even begin to mention the amazing pieces that were produced by the European craftsmen... Conradi, Willmann, etc.
~michael baker
The Magic Company
TheAmbitiousCard
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Quote:
On 2013-02-01 09:17, edshern wrote:
I understand Frank, but I'm not a pro. In fact I'm not even an amateur Smile
I simply collect magic like others collect art, except I get to play with my collection.


Cool. you can start collecting my stuff anytime! j/k

I'm not saying what I do is right. That's just what I decided to do, for myself.
www.theambitiouscard.com Hand Crafted Magic
Trophy Husband, Father of the Year Candidate,
Chippendale's Dancer applicant, Unofficial World Record Holder.
Magicman0323
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I collect signed playing cards, currently I'm around 360(ish. I view mine as both a hobby and an investment. Although it wouldn't mean nearly as much to anybody else as it means to me, obsession? It's possible. lol
You'll wonder when I'm coming, you'll wonder even more when I'm gone. - Max Malini
GeorgeG
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If I were to start all over again I would focus my collection on Lassen gaffs (oh, wait I did that, but the question is if one had to start all over with nothing, I guess). Now, if I could travel back in time for any magic I would focus on Taytelbaum.
edshern
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Did a bit of homework, & this really is like art. So many great artists;
Thayer
Owen
P&L
Okito
Conradi
Willmann
Alan Warner
Collectors Workshop
Lassen gaffs
Taytelbaum
Magic Wagon
Francois Danis
Kent Bergman
Magiro
Colin Rose
Anverdi
Viking
Masuda

Who did I miss?
Wizard of Oz
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Magic posters, before they became hot. I would also have never returned magic books to my library oh so many years ago. I would now have a fortune in original editions. Our local library was a county library and the magic section was at least a half dozen shelves. I think I spent most of my childhood there.

Reverse the question though, and I wonder what will be hot in the future, that we should be collecting now? (And I'm talking about the get-in-early investments, not Magic Wagon, or Warner etc. We know those are good investments, but they are also already pricey). Specialty decks of cards are still affordable, and may be a good investment (arguably already are, as limited issues command insane prices on the big auction site). But they could go the way of comic books, which are dead.

What about Mikame props? Still affordable, but will they increase in value since his passing?

To answer your second question edshern, I'm lucky to have a decent collection, but it's a love, not an investment. I'm convinced my wife will outlive me, so I'll try to leave her instructions on how to get the most from "all that old magic stuff in our spare room." But I doubt we'll see a profit. I'm just happy to walk into my magic room, and appreciate the time, care, and love that was put into all of these wonderful creations. But at the end of the day, they are only things. They don't hug back.
Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain.
Michael Baker
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When I worked in a magic shop Milson Worth and Tayade were commonly on our shelves. Both seems to have their fans these days. But then again, older U.F. Grant/MAK and Abbott's have theirs, too.

Sometimes the attraction is for the original quality (even if "then, as opposed to "now"), or the age and scarcity.

Having seen one particular collection of what might be considered "future" investments, Chance Wolf, Norm Nielsen, and Mel Babcock are on the list of desirable magic makers.

The wood turnings of Angelo Iafrate would be on my list, as would most anything made by Jim Riser. Both produce the works of true craftsmen.
~michael baker
The Magic Company
Julie
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Often times your urge to "collect" is based upon fond memories from one's youth or at least the earliest stages of exposure to Magic.

Julie
Wizard of Oz
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Michael, how could I forget Mel? His work and current prices (too low I would argue) fit perfectly into what I would consider a future investment. Plus, they are incredible performance pieces and not just for shelf-sitting. I would also consider your work in that arena...fairly priced, beautiful to look at, and wonderful to use.

Julie, you hit the nail on the head. You are absolutely right. I have a fair amount of "slum" magic for that very reason...sweet memories.
Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain.
Michael Baker
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I can relate to that fondness of memories thing... When I first discovered Ebay, I went on a search to replace a lot of the magic that I had as a kid, and later didn't for one reason or another. I have managed to corner some very unique pieces that are not necessarily worth much, but extremely difficult to find. There are still some on my list, and some that I've seen for sale, but sometimes the asking prices even hold off that desire to own them.

I know many magicians that buy almost everything that impresses them. I see lecture sales skyrocket in the presence of people like this. I also suspect that most of these things are destined for the junk drawer/box/crate/room/garage/storage shed/mini-warehouse. In most cases, these are things that travel easily with the lecturer, and not necessarily items of beauty or exceptional craftsmanship.

A lot of close-up magic falls into this realm, as much consists of not much more than a gaffed deck, a gimmick, or gimmick item that appears to be like something found in any home. These things, while certainly sometimes good magic and important for magic history, are hardly display pieces, and usually not in a definable category unto themselves.

There are of course differences, as in George's post mentioning Lassen gaffs. Such a collection would be quite interesting to me on a number of levels. Small brass such as Brema or Viking would be another... quite nice and can make a very manageable collection.

I know one guy who has an enviable collection of magician tokens, all kept in a single album. The entire collection takes up less room on a bookshelf than some of the books I own.

Some guys collect Taytelbaum or Warner. These items are well-made, interesting in their mechanics, and nice to look at. They also fit well into smaller spaces. Collections of larger apparatus sometimes require several rooms.

I have managed to gather a lot of junk over the years (about 50 year of involvement in magic), some of which I do weed out occasionally. But, in the past several years I have tried to focus on a few areas that I seemed to have been drawn to.

I have a fairly nice collection of bottle/glass tricks, not huge or comprehensive mind you, but substantial. I don't desire to own every type ever made, but the collection does make a nice display when all together (some of them I use often, and so stay in the show cases).

I also have a pretty nice collection of LP records pertaining to magic. This is pretty manageable because there are not that many that were ever made.

I also discovered one day several years ago that I have a nice collection of beginner magic books. I have representative samples from every decade going back over a hundred years. Most interesting in this collection (which fits in one case), is the cover art. When displayed in a chronological order, it is quite fun to see how the art changes with time.

My library is ever-expanding, but mostly to feed my desire for learning more about magic history. I rarely anymore buy books of tricks.
~michael baker
The Magic Company
Julie
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Hi Michael et al

Do you have in your library novels with a magic theme?

How about books on all the many wild optical illusions that are not only curiosities, but also (in some cases) works of art?

Julie
Michael Baker
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I have a couple, but to be honest, I am not a reader of novels. I have over the years had many different books on optical illusions. Not sure what is still here.
~michael baker
The Magic Company
Sebastian Oudot
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I would have bought many original manuscripts and books from the great names such as Marlo, Vernon, Baker etc...

Some old playing cards as well such as the first edition of the Stud decks.

And, if I may extend this thread a bit, if I could travel back in time, I would take my courage in both hands and went to speak to Mr Alex Elmsley when I was invited on the Magic Circle in London. I was new to magic at that time and didn't realize my chance. But again, this is another story.
Jim Sparx
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Here is a nice collection of Grants/MAK toys

http://www.ronsmagicpalace.com/Rons_Magi......nts.html

And more collectibles here:

http://magictrickcollection.com/mak-magic.htm
ablanathanalba
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If I had a collector's budget I'd probably buy a lot of rare/first edition books and the nicest Houdin-era automaton I could find. And cards. Lots of cards.
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