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This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on 8/17/2019
Webster (Edward William Wells). Webster the Mastermind Theatrical Trunks Filled with Costumes. Circa 1920s/30s. Two metal-bound steamer trunks filled with stage costumes that were once used by the mind reader and his wife, Alice Bryant, who was also part of the act. Included is the swami attire that Webster wore during his crystal-gazing act as seen in an accompanying original photograph, which consists of his pink feathered and green jeweled turban, Arabian-style leather shoes, Royal Rajah long size kantha jacket and vest with floral design, colorful satin bloomers, long beaded necklace, and breaded satin sash. The trunks also contain the outfit his wife wore as depicted in the original blueprint designs of the outfits and the onstage cabinet photographs that are also included. This outfit consists of a long size kantha jacket, Arabian-style purple leather boots, a floral printed velvet bodice, blue and pink tie-dye bloomers, silk blouse, yellow beaded girdle, and a pink silk head wrap with Victorian style brooch; this trunk is stamped “A.A.B. Macon, GA.” Also included is a white cotton clown suit, sterling silver elephant pin with mother of pearl hoop attached to a wool jacket, georgette skirts with silver lace, gold cloth bodices, sateen trousers, many pieces of costume jewelry, and other stage costumes. Includes Webster’s copper heels that were worn in his shoes that once connected to a copper wire that was concealed in his turban and ran to an offstage telephone where his assistant gave him his answers for the ‘Telephone Act.’ The two cabinet photographs that are included feature Webster, Alice, and another female on stage performing the crystal-gazing act with props in the background; correspondence between Webster and various costume shops in New York and Ohio are included with the pencil sketch blueprints of the costume designs and prop; dressing room name plate with “Artistic Sign Works/ New York” stamped on verso; and Webster’s performance date book (1927-1928). Trunks measure 36 x 22 x 24. A wonderful collection. Webster was a lesser known mind reader who imitated Alexander, “The Man Who Knows.” Webster learned the magic business while working for Howard Thurston, eventually travelling with his own Far East themed illusion show that involved a crystal gazing and question/answer act where audience members wrote down their questions for Webster before the show for his main ‘Telephone Act.’ This consisted of a concealed headset inside his turban that was connected to wires running underneath his costume, down to his copper heeled shoes, and underneath an onstage rug that ran to an offstage telephone where his assistant and wife, Alice Bryant, spoke into giving Webster his answers.
Current Bidding
Minimum Bid: $1,000.00
Final prices include buyers premium: $1,320.00
Estimate: $2,000 - $3,000
Number Bids: 3
Auction closed on Saturday, August 17, 2019.
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