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Topic: Ross Bertram Cups just sold for $2025 at Martinka auction!
Message: Posted by: fortasse (Jun 30, 2006 06:35PM)
I see that a set of Ross Bertram Cups (the real, hallmarked ones - not to be confused with the "Charlie Miller"/Magic Inc. cups) just sold at Martinka's internet auction a few minutes ago for $2,025! Can you believe that? This must be a record for cups of this type. Just goes to show what can happen when 2 or more people want something real bad at the same time...........or is this kind of price indicative of market trends?

Message: Posted by: Kent Wong (Jun 30, 2006 06:47PM)
I've been participating on some other bids in that auction and some of them have been going absolutely nuts!

Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Jun 30, 2006 06:53PM)
I paid about 1/4 that for my set a couple of years ago. I thought I paid a high price. HAH!
Message: Posted by: fortasse (Jun 30, 2006 06:58PM)
I paid exactly $777 for mine........and that was just two months ago. How's that for inflation!

Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Jun 30, 2006 08:12PM)
That's a great price! Ross would be giving birth to baby bovines if he could see what his props are going for now.
Message: Posted by: fortasse (Jun 30, 2006 08:42PM)
What do you make of all this, Bill? Are the original Ross Bertram Cups all that rare to command these stratospheric prices? Bidders seem to feel that they better buy them because it may be a long time before another set comes along. Either way, the Ross B. cups seem to be commanding pretty much the same prices as Paul Fox/Danny Dew Cups nowadays.

Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Jun 30, 2006 09:00PM)
This is really surprising. I wish I'd bid on them, just so I could see who was fighting over them.

There are a lot of people who want those cups.

Posted: Jun 30, 2006 10:22pm
That was a particularly pretty set. The palming coin adds a bit to the value.
Message: Posted by: Rob Johnston (Jun 30, 2006 09:57PM)
There is a months salary...
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Jun 30, 2006 10:22PM)
I think I know who got them.
Message: Posted by: Pete Biro (Jul 1, 2006 02:39PM)
I have a set, mint, with hallmark and the bag Ross made. For sale. Make offers.
Message: Posted by: CJRichard (Jul 1, 2006 05:02PM)
I'll start the bidding at $10.


It's worth a shot, isn't it?
Message: Posted by: Pete Biro (Jul 1, 2006 10:39PM)
$10.00 ok, but shipping and handling is $2,225.00.
Message: Posted by: Mad Jake (Jul 1, 2006 11:43PM)
I was going to but when I saw the 2025 I thought you were bidding on them Bill :)
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Jul 2, 2006 01:42AM)
Not me. I got mine while they were still cheap. Sort of.
Message: Posted by: fortasse (Jul 2, 2006 11:01AM)
I'll be really interested to see whether this over-the-top price that was paid for the RB cups will be repeated the next time a set comes up for auction. Hard to believe this could be anything other than the result of two heads getting carried away with auction fever and colliding. We'll see! I'm sure it won't be long before an RB cups owner or two will test the waters to see what happens. As for me, I'm going to hang onto to mine!

By the way,from a handling/performing standpoint, it may just be me but think I may actually prefer the Charlie Miller/Magic Inc. version to the original RB cups. There's something about the clankety-clank sound of the Charlie Miller cups that adds to the magic. They are a bit heavier than the RB cups (although not by much) and the bead is more protuberant as well. This may improve handling too. The only problem with both cups, of course, is that they don't stack well with anything bigger than 7/8th inch balls.

Message: Posted by: Richard Evans (Jul 2, 2006 04:15PM)
After the close of the auction there was at least one disappointed person who's willing to go up to the $2000 mark...
Message: Posted by: CJRichard (Jul 2, 2006 05:08PM)
On 2006-07-01 23:39, Pete Biro wrote:
$10.00 ok, but shipping and handling is $2,225.00.

Could I save the shipping and handling if I came and picked them up?

But honestly, Pete, the fact that they are owned by [i]you[/i] should raise the price even higher.
Message: Posted by: GeorgeG (Jul 3, 2006 02:47AM)
It's not just the cups. Looking at the other winning bids, the nice stuff apparently has reached astronomical levels for selling prices. Can't compete with those that are either crazy or too rich to care.
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Jul 3, 2006 03:17AM)
A lot of it is knowing what various things are really worth.
Message: Posted by: Pete Biro (Jul 3, 2006 04:10PM)
I am about to put my set on ebay... check 'em out.
Message: Posted by: Richard Evans (Jul 3, 2006 05:59PM)
Wow - you needed a stopwatch to time that auction! Now you see them...
Message: Posted by: TheAmbitiousCard (Jul 3, 2006 06:15PM)
Good luck Pete.
Message: Posted by: Richard Evans (Jul 3, 2006 06:23PM)
Hi Frank - you must have blinked! :) The auction ended within a couple of minutes - sold for $1500!

- and that Ramsay thimble went too. I'm getting slow.

Anyway, nice one Pete.

Do you reckon that article in Forbes about collecting magic props has anything to do with these bids? There were some impressive prices reached in the latest Martinka auction (Martinka was featured in the [url=http://www.forbes.com/collecting/2006/05/04/magic-collectibles-Houdini-cz_foj_0504magic.html]Forbes article[/url]).

Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Jul 4, 2006 06:36PM)
Pete done real good in that one!
Message: Posted by: fortasse (Jul 4, 2006 10:12PM)
I wonder if the person who bought Pete's RB cups was the guy who lost out in the bidding war for the RB cups in the Martinka auction.

Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Jul 4, 2006 11:51PM)
I believe that is the case.
Message: Posted by: fortasse (Jul 7, 2006 08:00PM)
I wonder how many serious cup collectors there really are out there. Reason I ask is that for a helleva long time now a number of very limited editions of cups of the very first quality have still not sold out (e.g the Sherwood "Ten only" limited edition silver sets; and the copper cups from Johnson Products -limited to 25). I would have thought that the Sherwoods, in particular, would be on most "must have" lists and yet they are still available notwithstanding the very, very small quantities that were available to begin with. Does this indicate that those of us who are cup collectors make up a very, very small population of not more than a dozen or two?

Message: Posted by: Mad Jake (Jul 7, 2006 08:05PM)
On 2006-07-04 23:12, fortasse wrote:
I wonder if the person who bought Pete's RB cups was the guy who lost out in the bidding war for the RB cups in the Martinka auction.


Nope, someone else bought them :)
Message: Posted by: James Kernen (Jul 8, 2006 12:31AM)
I think with the Sherwoods, a lot of people went with the engraved cups or just the copper and brass cups (for their workers), The smooth cups, although priced lower than the engraved, were still expensive enough to rule out a lot of purchases for people who probably wanted to collect the engraved ones first... and then, there are the unlucky folks like myself who tried to get one of the smooth sterling silvers (all silver), but they were sold out. I got one of the silver/golds and one of the all gold plated silvers, but the all silvers were in fact gone..... Then for me, you add in the cost of getting chopped cups in every variety that is available given manufacturing restrictions....it gets expensive no matter how much of a collector any of us want to be.

Now, more than ever, we have a number of neat cups hitting the market.... To me, it is like collecting anything else of value...we can only collect what our resources allow us (no matter how serious we are), and then we have to either be able to maintain that collection through some other means or let the collecting become a business... To a true collector, we usually have to begin to develop depth much more than breadth... I also collect coins, but to try to collect all coins, is just too much time and resources to try to cover all varieties.... For me, I utlimately have to choose.......but I still consider myself a serious collector..... by the way, if anybody has a Sherwood smooth sterling (all silver) set for sale, let me know. :)
Message: Posted by: RandyStewart (Jul 8, 2006 12:40AM)
A good chunk of money but strangely enough worth far more if you know what they are really worth. This will be proven next time they sell. Unless the new owner pawns 'em! What I mean by this is the value of these cups, in my eyes, is no longer relative. These are important. Would love to hold that set.
Message: Posted by: bdekolta (Jul 8, 2006 02:00AM)
Wow. I think I paid about $75 or so for my set of Bertram's. Was going to hold on but maybe it is time to sell. Even have the handwritten letter from him telling which polish to use on the cups.

~ Dan
Message: Posted by: Pete Biro (Jul 10, 2006 01:15PM)
I may have done will on the Bertram cups, but lost my butt on sale of some auto racing memorabelia I had collected and have noted the gambling stuff I put on auction isn't getting high offers either. ARgh.... :kermit:
Message: Posted by: alanm99 (Jul 11, 2006 02:28AM)
One bidder called "neasham" REALLY likes to buy stuff at martinka ;)
Message: Posted by: fortasse (Sep 5, 2006 03:32PM)
The beat goes on........another set of Ross Bertram cups just sold on Ebay for $1750. This makes three big sales in the last couple of months : first, the Ebay sale that started this thread and fetched $2025; second Pete Biro's sale at $1500, I think it was; and thirdly now, $1750. Sounds like a trend, doesn't it, albeit one that the other vintage lines of cups don't seem to be cashing in on.....at least not yet.


Posted: Oct 15, 2006 10:45pm
Well,things may be settling down. A pristine set of Ross Bertram cups just sold at the latest Martinka auction for just $660 - a far cry from the $2025 that a virtually identical set sold for just 3 and half months ago. Very spirited bidding at tonight's auction on a vintage set of spun aluminum cups. From the pictures,seemed very old. I was among the unlucky who bid. Ah well...and the beat goes on.
Message: Posted by: Jonathan Townsend (Oct 17, 2006 10:45AM)
I hope the cups have a good home.

I wish cups could make the magician.
Message: Posted by: fortasse (Jan 22, 2007 11:46AM)
I'm keeping this thread alive because it enables us to track how Ross Bertram Cups are selling at auction over a finite period. This is not indicative of market trends generally, of course, but it does provide a glimpse into the dynamism of the market for vintage high-end collectible cups, like the RB cups.

Just to re-cap the Ebay experience over the past 8 months or so (as per the preceding part of this thread), these are the prices that RB cups (all in pristine condition apparently) have sold for over Ebay (in chronological order) :

1. $777 (my own purchase from Lois Atteslander)
2. $2025 (a real bidding war between two fanatics)
3. $1500 (sold in a snap by Pete Biro per "Buy it Now")
4. $1750
5. $660
6. $711 (sold by "Flinnermagic just last night)

Seems to me that RB cups may be averaging higher prices now than PF/DD cups, on Ebay at least....... This is all anectodal right now but would be interesting to do a comparative table.

Message: Posted by: martinka (Apr 8, 2007 09:54PM)

For number 7 on your list, on friday, we sold another set for $1010. So, there are at least two folks willing to pay over $1,000.
Perhaps the price is trending back up.
Message: Posted by: TMAN34 (Oct 5, 2012 10:26AM)
Any idea what a set of Ross Bertram cups is going for these days?