CHICAGO — A legendary magician’s personal collection will be put up for sale at a Chicago auction house later this month, and it includes a memento from arguably the greatest magician ever.

Potter and Potter’s Auctions announced Wednesday that three auctions featuring the Ricky Jay Collection will take place at the auction house’s West Belmont Avenue location, with the first happening on Feb. 25th at 10 a.m.

The sale of the entire collection, which features over 10,000 pieces of magic and circus books, artifacts and other paraphernalia, was originally planned to be split into four sales, with the first sale taking place in New York in October of 2021.

After a two-day auction, items sold totaled $3.8 million.

Items set to be sold at auction in Chicago include a letter signed by Harry Houdini, a hand painted poster depicting decapitation done by Alexander Hermann in the 19th century, Ricky Jay’s ‘The Magic Magic Book‘ (not a typo, the magic book was also considered magic) and more.

“These auctions promise to be an intersection of the rare, the bizarre, and the beautiful. Ricky Jay had an eye for the unusual, coupled with the brain of a gifted scholar and the talents of a polymath,” said Potter & Potter Auctions President Gabe Fajuri. “Nothing makes this diversity of interests more clear than a guided trip through his collection.”

Ricky Jay (1946-2018) was a stage magician, actor and writer who is perhaps best known for being a world-renowned sleight of hand artist, for which he performed around the world and won Lucille Lortel and Obie awards for his solo performances.

As an actor, Jay was featured in films like House of Games, The Spanish Prisoner, Heist, Boogie Nights, Magnolia, and Tomorrow Never Dies, among others. As a consultant, Jay provided expertise on projects like Forrest Gump, The Illusionist and The Natural.

When it came to his hobbies, Jay was a premier collector of all things relating to the history of magic, circus arts, gambling, con artistry and more, having spent more than half a century obtaining rare curios from each genre to add to his collection. His ardent efforts to add to his collection ultimately culminated in it being tabbed for an exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.

For more information regarding the Ricky Jay Collection auction and Potter & Potter, you can visit the auction house’s website here.