Paul Daniels' huge collection of magic tricks and illusions up for sale at Newbury auction

  • ITV Meridian's Juliette Fletcher's chats to Debbie McGee about the auction

A vast collection of magic tricks, illusions and personal items belonging to magician Paul Daniels is going under the hammer in Newbury later this month.

The collection, estimated to be worth £150,000, is being sold by the magician's widow Debbie McGee, who was also his assistant on The Paul Daniels Magic Show for many years.

Debbie McGee said lockdown had given her the opportunity to go through the collection, but the decision to sell the items was very difficult.

Magic enthusiasts and collectors will be able to bid on the lots at Special Auction Services in Newbury on Wednesday 23 and Thursday 24 November.

The two-day auction will celebrate Paul Daniels' life as well as his career

The collection includes personal items relating to Paul Daniels' TV and stage work as well as magic-related ephemera he bought through the years.

The auction will include illusions that were synonymous with The Paul Daniels Magic Show, which aired on the BBC for 15 years.

The Phantom is set to fetch £30,000 while the famous Geometrix is estimated at between £5,000 and £12,000.

Also going under the hammer is an unfinished magic table that Paul was working on before he passed away, which carries an estimate of £1,000, Paul's magic top hat and an appearing bird cage.

Debbie McGee says, "Parting with Paul's collection was a huge decision for me and not one that I took lightly.

"Lockdown gave me the opportunity to go through everything and whilst Pauls' collection holds some very dear memories of our time together, I now feel that it's time to pass on his legacy for another generation of magicians to enjoy the collection and entertain audiences just as Paul happily did for many years."

Paul Daniels married his assistant Debbie McGee in Buckinghamshire in 1988

Magic fans will also be able to bid on the biggest collection of magic posters ever to be sold in the UK.

Over 350 lots of posters, worth an estimated £60,000, depict Paul and many other renowned magicians in shows both in the UK and worldwide.

Several posters of Chung Ling Soo, who is considered one of the premier magicians of all time, will be sold off - estimates for these range from £700 to £2,500.

Chung Ling Soo was famously killed on a London stage in 1918 when his 'catching the bullet' trick went wrong. It was only after his death that the public realised he was not Chinese, but in fact an American who had been working under a pseudonym.

Posters of Chung Ling Soo can be bid on at the auction in Newbury

The sale will also comprise Paul's extensive book and programme collection, several of which are Limited Edition or First Editions, and are often signed by other magicians.

Director of Special Auction Services, Thomas Forrester says: "We are honoured to be selling Paul's collection. He really was the seminal magician of the 20th Century and for many, like me, who grew up watching him on the TV, he brings back lots of happy memories.

"Paul bought magic to the masses and was a fabulous entertainer and his collection is testament to his successful and sustained career."

"Working with Debbie and cataloguing the collection has been utterly fascinating and intriguing as I have not been privy as to how the tricks work."

Also going under the hammer will be various letters between Paul Daniels and fellow Magicians, a script from the Paul Daniels Show of 9th June 1971 and a letter from Houdini to Liverpudlian Magician Will Goldston.