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This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on 2/27/2021
Scott, Walter Irving. Original Photographs and Negatives of the “Phantom of the Card Table” Session. New York, 1930. Four vintage prints and six negatives taken at the home of Al Baker depicting Walter Irving Scott (“The Phantom”), T. Nelson Downs, Cardini, Max Holden, Eddie McGuire, S. Leo Horowitz, Eddie McGlaughlin, and Al Baker gathered around a card table. In one image, perhaps the most famous, Scott sits at the center of the group with a bag-like blindfold over his head, with playing cards spread on the table before him. In others, Downs presents a feat with coins, Horowitz holds a fan of cards, and McGuire holds a large cigar between his hands. The negatives depict these images and two more; one shows Holden performing a self-untying silk, and the second shows all of the magicians posing for the camera in Baker’s living room. Images and negatives 3 ½ x 4 ½” and smaller. Max Holden chronicled this now-famous session in The Sphinx, writing, “This is one event which was worth a lot as here we saw Walter Scott from Providence perform miracles with cards, and I pass the crown to Walter Scott. Without a doubt Walter Scott is the cleverest man with a pack of cards in the world, and I am backed up by Nelson Downs, Leipzig, Cardini, McGuire, Sam Horowitz, and all others who have witnessed his skill….” The “crown” referred to in his description was one he had previously given to Dai Vernon, then considered the unofficial “king” of card men. According to David Ben’s research, the entire session was carefully engineered to leave Vernon – who was away from home, and thus unable to attend – out of the loop. The ensuing years have generated further controversy, writing, and scholarship related to Scott and his work with the punch and second deal, as well as his place in the history of card magic and sleight-of-hand.
Current Bidding
Minimum Bid: $400.00
Final prices include buyers premium: $4,800.00
Estimate: $800 - $1,200
Number Bids: 27
Auction closed on Saturday, February 27, 2021.
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