Though many Americans know him as an actor in such films as The Prestige, Boogie Nights, House of Games, and Magnolia, Ricky Jay was first and foremost a stage magician. In a New Yorker profile, Mark Singer called him “perhaps the most gifted sleight of hand artist alive.” Beyond performing, Jay was also a writer and scholar who documented the history of magic and magic-adjacent topics such as circuses, jugglers, automatons, con men, and more. Many items from Ricky Jay’s collection are up for bid at Sotheby’s.
One top lot in the sale is a two-volume compilation of prints described by a 19th-century auction catalog as “An extensive Collection of Portraits of Remarkable Characters, Male and Female, Beggars, Misers, Highwaymen, Cheats, Forgers, Imposters, Montebanks, Bawds, Persons Tried for Treason, Sedition, &c.” Other available items include a magic poster that shows Harry Houdini performing one of his well-known and most dangerous tricks: hanging upside-down in a water torture cell. A selection of books about witchcraft, playbills for a variety of performances, and a book about the supposedly live autopsy of an acclaimed mind reader round out the listings. View any of these lots and register to bid at Sotheby’s.
Lot Categories:Collectibles (634)
# of Lots:634
Price Range:$600 - $150,000
Interesting lots include:
|Item Image||Item Name||Estimate|
|Houdini Upside Down in the Water Torture Cell|| Estimate: |
|(Buchinger, Matthias) The most iconic of all Buchinger images|| Estimate: |
|(Learned Animals, Horses) An early playbill advertising an accomplished horse|| Estimate: |
|Remarkable Persons A remarkable collection of remarkable characters|| Estimate: |
|Scot, Reginald, The discoverie of witchcraft, Wherein the Lewde dealing of witches and witchmongers is notablie detected|| Estimate: |