Saturday, April 9, 2016

The Cancer of Superstition brings $28,000

The Cancer of Superstition manuscript written for Houdini by H.P. Lovecraft and C.M. Eddy sold today at Potter & Potter's massive auction of Houdiniana for $28,000 (not including buyers premium). The auction estimate was $25,000 to $40,000.


This was the most publicized item in today's auction. I'll be back later to report results on some of the other lots. In the meantime, I am LIVE TWEETING the auction still in progress.

UPDATEPotter & Potter Houdiniana auction results.

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12 comments:

  1. I was there for the first two hours - very professionally run event. All the high-end items went to telephone and Internet bidders while I was there, but there was some spirited "on the floor" bidding for some of the less flashy items.

    I didn't bid, but I have to admit I was tempted by the set of three keys and the lockpick ...

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  2. There doesn't seem to be any pattern to the prices these photographs are fetching. Some are barely cracking $300, and others are going for as high as $1,400.

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    Replies
    1. Content and condition play a big part.

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  3. Well, being from Cleveland, I couldn't resist bidding and winning the 1922 Houdini program, which included the water torture, from BF Keith's (now the still existing and thriving Palace Theater). Unfortunately, at $900, this went far and above the $100-150 estimate! What I'd like to know is, who were the other Houdini nuts (over)bidding for the same item??!!

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    Replies
    1. One other person from Cleveland. ;p

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  4. Hmmm. some items going for lower than expected prices. Scrapbook went for a lot, but others real cheap like a Houdini for Prez. poster, King of Cards and others. I'm sure a disappointment for those who own the pieces but good bargins for those buying.

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    Replies
    1. It was indeed a mix of high and low prices. Hard to predict. They also went by fast! It was hard to decide what to go for on the spot.

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    2. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. I believe some bidders have a special sentimental reason for bidding on a given lot, other than merely fair market value, thus, the hard to predict phenomenon. As you said, all it takes is one other Houdini nut to create a bidding war. Thus, even though you may be kicking yourself for not bidding on an item that went for a fair price, there is no way to know if you did bid, another Houdini nut wouldn't have taken the final price sky high.

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  5. I spoke to the auctioneer before the event, he said each lot would last about a minute or so; so that this was not like the last Haversat auction where a late bidder could extend the auction by a few minutes or so. This was "you snooze you loose"! It seemed as if there was no activity for a few seconds, it was all over! (aside from a few second or third "Fair Warning" chances for some larger items)

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  6. The discussion over who actually authored the Cancer of Superstition manuscript didn't seem to affect its value. I never bid live on these auctions so its velocity doesn't affect me. I look it over days or weeks ahead of time and decide on whether or not to place a prior bid.

    I lost out on one item from the Davenport end of the auction, but I placed a high bid. The winner had to open his wallet with me because I never go down without a fight. I learned that from Hardeen.

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  7. Genuinely sorry the one item I tried for I lost. My focus was on local history and I don't see my home town crop up very often. Hope buyer's remorse gets it back on the block again, soon!

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    Replies
    1. Which home town/item, B Thom?

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