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Topic: Jennings auction...
Message: Posted by: pepka (Dec 29, 2011 12:59AM)
I see that Potter and Potter is actioning off items from the Jennings collection next month. Several sets of cups are included, Paul Fox, Porper....although I was looking for the original Vernon silver cups. Didn't BJ end up with a set of them? Bill?

Anyway, a lot of great stuff in there. Books, props, memorabilia. Of special interest to me is Vernon's walking stick! How cool is that?
Message: Posted by: francisngkl (Dec 29, 2011 01:16AM)
Thanks for alerting us, saw the digital catalogue, great cups!

Message: Posted by: Tom G (Dec 29, 2011 09:06AM)
Pepka, not sure of this and until Bill comes aboard... I think Persi Diaconis has the other set.
Message: Posted by: Pete Biro (Dec 29, 2011 10:36AM)
BJ SOLD THE VERNON CUPS to Bill Taylor, a special effects guy in Hollywood. He showed them at the Conf. of Magical History. And Diaconis has the other set.
Message: Posted by: lint (Dec 29, 2011 11:19AM)
Wait a second. Bill Taylor and I have chatted more than a few times about his research into the cups and his wonderful photographs of them. He never mentioned he owns them?
Message: Posted by: Pete Biro (Dec 29, 2011 11:45AM)
Maybe he wanted to keep it a secret UNTIL his lecture at the Conf.
Message: Posted by: pepka (Dec 30, 2011 01:48AM)
Thanks Pete. I knew Persi had one set and had no idea BJ sold them. I got VERY excited at the thought of them being up for auction. I have a heavy-hitter collector near me and was going to try and talk him into trying to get them.
Message: Posted by: fortasse (Dec 30, 2011 10:08AM)
How much do you think they would go for at public auction?

Message: Posted by: Pete Biro (Dec 30, 2011 10:44AM)
No idea. Maybe $5,000 or more?
Message: Posted by: Mobius303 (Dec 30, 2011 08:02PM)
Way more than that ....someone offered BJ 5 figures for them and she turned them down I think the number was in the 20,00 - 30,000 range.
Was the ownership of them actually settled? Last I heard was they were in possession of BJ but ownership was the Vernon estate on loan to BJ because of the relationship Larry had with Vernon.

Did Bill allow Bill Palmer to take pics for the museum or anything? Would love to read the technical details of these cups.

Message: Posted by: Richard Evans (Dec 31, 2011 11:20AM)
No technical details, but Jim Riser has some very nice photos of Vernon's cups on his website:


Not sure which f the two sets this is though.

Oh, and happy New Year to all!

Message: Posted by: fortasse (Dec 31, 2011 07:07PM)
Happy New Year to you too, Richard....and to all of you here at the Café!

Message: Posted by: francisngkl (Dec 31, 2011 08:21PM)
Happy New Year!

Message: Posted by: Woland (Jan 1, 2012 06:52AM)
Happy New Year to all of the ESS community! I shall have something to show you in a few days, I hope.

Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Jan 1, 2012 09:36AM)
I don't have any photos of any cups on my web site that are not actually in my collection. When Bill gets ready to publish the photos he has taken I am sure that he will. The large photos of the Vernon cups that are on Riser's web site are actually of the same cup showing different views of it. Bill Taylor took those photos some time ago.

Regarding the settlement with the Vernon estate, if any, I don't think any of us here knows the intimate details of Vernon's will or the agreement with Jennings. In most states, once the ownership of anything has passed to an heir, that heir has control of its disposition.

In final analysis, the executor has more power than the will itself.
Message: Posted by: Mobius303 (Jan 1, 2012 10:32AM)
Thanks I was wondering is all.
It says something about the cups and more info coming soon on the riser site for those that did not click the link.

I know that Larry had the cups for a while before Vernon Passed away is why I asked what I did. They were in Larry's possession before Vernon had passed away and on the Genii site there were some questions about the cups ownership is all. One of Dai's son's is also a member and had posted about various questions asked about his father. The question about the cups was not asked when he was posting. I was surprised you didn't ask anything about them Bill.
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Jan 1, 2012 07:06PM)
I conversed with Derek Verner off-list about various things concerning the cups. He gave me a lot of information. I can't say much else here. You remember what Derek's situation was.
Message: Posted by: Richard Evans (Jan 2, 2012 09:24AM)
On 2012-01-01 10:36, Bill Palmer wrote:
The large photos of the Vernon cups that are on Riser's web site are actually of the same cup showing different views of it.
Good point - thanks for reminding me, Bill!

[For those interested, I'm selling a few sets of cups and have posted a list over on the 'Tricks & Effects for trade or sale' page. The Vernon cups aren't on that list, unfortunately!]
Message: Posted by: Doug Edwards (Jan 3, 2012 12:30PM)
I just discovered this post regarding the Jennings auction. I was the one who offered Larry's wife $25K for the Vernon cups approx 8 years ago. Then I up'd it to $35K. I offered Persi the same but he said he "still uses them but maybe sometime in the future." Hey, sometimes cash isn't always king.

BTW....If you look at Lot 78 it must contain this correspondance as my name is mentioned.

Doug Edwards
Message: Posted by: Mobius303 (Jan 3, 2012 02:54PM)
Thanks for posting Doug.
You must have really wanted them bad.
Message: Posted by: Powermagic (Jan 15, 2012 09:47AM)
Why does the auction site charge BUYERS 20% permium? The Seller/estate should take the hit...

BTW I was not familar with the Vernon cups and still not sure why they are so prized at the price. What are the made from? Solid sterling? Or is the price because "he" used them. I did not see the engraving as high quality. Very muddy and uneven. Even by hand, and expert engraver could keep elements more balanced.
Now maybe I would let that slide if Vernon did the engraving as well.
Message: Posted by: Mobius303 (Jan 15, 2012 05:51PM)
There are a number of reasons why the cups are so prized.
The first being that they are Solid Silver.
They were used by Vernon up until his death from the 50's.
This particular set that was sold was one of only two sets ever made.
They were both used by Vernon. Persi had found the last set and traded Vernon for the newer looking set.

The engravings were done in Iraq (Persia) and at the time were not allowed to be taken out of the country. They were smugled in an atache case by an ambassodor ( or one of his staff) and that makes them extremly rare and though there are two sets of three cups...pretty unique.

They have seen a lot of the world in their time with Dai...they went to Japan, England, Austalia...who know where else. They were used in performance for the Queen of England and the Prince Charles.

That makes them amazing cups to own and well worth it to the man who knows the history.
However, as Vernon used to say ...they are just props...the magic is in you. The cups will not help you perform better, quicker or with more confidence because they are just cups. Knowing the history will make you happy to know where they are from, at least they would make me happy to have.
They are after all is said and done ...just cups that do a trick...it is the provenance that makes them special.
Anything in the auction would be cool to own. In a way I am glad that the cups were not in the auction. They went to someone who will appreciate them for what they are.
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Jan 15, 2012 10:23PM)
On 2012-01-15 10:47, Powermagic wrote:
Why does the auction site charge BUYERS 20% permium? The Seller/estate should take the hit...

I don't know whether or not the auction house also takes a percentage from the seller. Some auction houses do both. I've participated in auctions at Bloomsbury, Swann, Potter and Potter, and some others. ALL of them take a percentage from the seller.
Message: Posted by: Tom G (Jan 15, 2012 11:13PM)
It's like anything. Why do some spend thousands on a Picasso? Me, I'm with Doug, I'd rather
have Vernon's cups. (Although I couldn't even come close to what he offered.)
Message: Posted by: Powermagic (Jan 16, 2012 10:53AM)
Ahh that does get into the entire discussion of hoarding and why you want to own something you will not use and spend a down payment of a house for. Bragging rights? Why we collect things is mystery. I have collected stuff but do sell it if the price is right. No need to keep a book after you read it.

I guess Vernon would have laughed at the idea his cups are worth over 25K to someone. Sounds like he would sell him.

A rep from the on line site states
"The seller pays a fee and the buyer pays a fee - we are only the middlemen, and make a commission on the items which are sold on consignment. This is standard operating procedure for all auction houses.

Thanks again,


Gee what do they make 40%? not standard operating procedure as I know it. 20-25% on one side is what I have heard of but charging both seller and buyer?
And they have some items not dated correctly. One they had in the 30s but there is no way to knw since the item was made up to the 60s
So how can you say circa 1930's when it is more than likely 25 older than that.

When brought to their attention they state "There's no way to know the date of manufacture for sure, as you are correct - the item was made for years. " Yet they mislead those who do not know by not changing the date or adding the range.

Tisk Tisk....
Message: Posted by: Magic Researcher (Jan 16, 2012 11:39AM)
It is becoming fashionable to charge buyer/seller premiums at many auctions not just the "classier". No one is forcing people to buy or sell through these auction houses. The auction people need to earn a living too. They are not running a charity. Buy, sell or avoid. It is your choice.
Message: Posted by: Pete Biro (Jan 16, 2012 11:55AM)
Any brick/mortar magic shop has to make 40%, so why not an auction house? They have staff, supplies, rent, and many other expenses.
Message: Posted by: nooner (Jan 16, 2012 03:40PM)
20% doesn't seem unreasonable for operational costs as long as you remember to factor it into your budget before bidding.
Message: Posted by: ekins (Jan 16, 2012 04:45PM)
Maybe Vernon's cups aren't for sale but his set of linking rings are which would also be a cool thing to own. According to the description they're well used.

Message: Posted by: Richard Evans (Jan 16, 2012 04:47PM)
I think 20% is pretty much standard as a buyers premium these days.

Collecting is a strange business and almost defies explanation. Vernon's cups may seem exceptionally expensive (if ever sold!), but this still pales in comparison to some items. How about the large sheets of paper that regularly fetch into the tens of thousands (Thurston poster, anyone?) or Houdiniania.
Message: Posted by: Dave V (Jan 16, 2012 04:59PM)
Message: Posted by: Powermagic (Jan 16, 2012 06:36PM)
The difference is that an acution house does not have to purchase anything, Their costs are only in marketing. So yes I beileve if they are getting 20 on both sides, they MORE than making a living. And if I found out the seller is paying a smaller commission I surely would avoid using that site unless it was something I really wanted.
Message: Posted by: Andrew Zuber (Jan 17, 2012 01:49AM)
On 2012-01-16 11:53, Powermagic wrote:
No need to keep a book after you read it.
Are you saying you've memorized every magic book you've ever read?
Message: Posted by: magicians (Jan 17, 2012 07:07AM)
On 2012-01-16 17:59, Dave V wrote:
That article is not indicative of most auctions. My local auctioneer gets $125 a night, flat rate. Some get 10%. In the case of a unique magic auction, they can be conducted as friends and not charge anything as local clubs do.
Message: Posted by: nooner (Jan 17, 2012 07:38AM)
I don't understand why there is criticism about what the auction house is charging and to whom they are charging. Just factor it into your bidding and everything works out. If you think an item is worth $1,000 to you and you know you are going to have to pay a 20% vig, then your max bid is $833. Because everyone is under the same constraints, the game is fair. It really doesn't matter the percentage that the seller or buyer is paying when making your decision to participate. In the end, what you are willing to pay for an item is what you are willing to pay.
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Jan 28, 2012 11:40PM)
If you don't like the terms, don't bid. That leaves more stuff for me!

BTW, there was a set of cups in that auction that did belong to Dai Vernon at one time. I got them.

I also got the Jennings Chop Cup.

There was a set of "Porper" cups that were actually Harry Stanley cups.

I won't tell you what all I got, but they should be up on the site in a few weeks.

I should also add that the house does more than just market the items. In some cases, Potter and Potter have rented a hall at their expense, because they didn't have a place to hold the expected crowd. They photograph all the items. They publish a catalog. None of this is free. Some of the bidders pay for the catalog. If you are a frequent bidder, you may find one in your mailbox. They also, in many cases, travel to the location of the items being auctioned and bring them back to Chicago at their own expense. They also have to pay for the extra phone lines they use for the auction.

Someone has to pay for it.
Message: Posted by: francisngkl (Jan 28, 2012 11:57PM)
I am so glad the cups go to the Museum, this gives us opportunity to view and get to know them. Thank you Bill.

Message: Posted by: Pete Biro (Jan 29, 2012 12:16AM)
Yes, Bill... glad you were able to acquire some "collectible" cups of fame.
Message: Posted by: Magic.J.Manuel (Jan 29, 2012 08:00AM)
Wow that was some bidding. I wonder who got his rings and Lefty?
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Jan 29, 2012 09:45AM)
By the time they got to lot 133, I think most of them had figured out who phone bidder "P7" was.
Message: Posted by: Mad Jake (Jan 29, 2012 11:31AM)
Congratulations Bill! Can't wait to see the Museum in a few weeks :)
Message: Posted by: Mike McErlain (Jan 29, 2012 12:36PM)
Great news, Bill! Looking forward to seeing the new additions!
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Jan 29, 2012 12:46PM)
So am I! ;)
Message: Posted by: fortasse (Jan 29, 2012 03:31PM)
Couldn't have gone to a better home. Well done, Bill.

Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Jan 29, 2012 09:18PM)
Message: Posted by: pepka (Jan 29, 2012 11:46PM)
Congrats Bill! Let us know when they're on the museum site. I find it hilarious that you were able to correctly identify the cups. Sounds like you should get a consultant fee anytime they have a set of cups.
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Jan 30, 2012 08:43AM)
I'm not sure why Gabe didn't contact me first. It could have been that he didn't want to intrude. I wouldn't have minded at all, really.

I wouldn't even ask for a fee. I do know who he asked first, and the fellow should have known what he was talking about.
Message: Posted by: Mad Jake (Jan 30, 2012 09:38AM)
Bill, how long did the auction last?
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Jan 30, 2012 11:43PM)
I don't know. I went off-line when I got what I'd come for.

A lot of people didn't really understand what that set of cups in lot 133 actually was.

Think about this -- within the past 12 months, I have reached two of my goals.

1) to have a set of the original (pre Danny Dew) Paul Fox cups.

2) to have a set of cups that was owned by Dai Vernon.

Granted, it would have been nice to get that set of silver cups that Bill Taylor has. But I don't mind it at all that he got them.
Message: Posted by: Tom Fenton (Jan 31, 2012 05:04AM)
Many congratulations on your new acquisitions Bill.
Message: Posted by: cava (Jan 31, 2012 02:26PM)
Congrattulations Bill!!!

BTW, any relationship between lot 133 and the set recently sold on eBay ?? also labelled as "Stanley/Vernon" with some details in the description.


I see the obvious difference in the bids desing ....
Message: Posted by: francisngkl (Jan 31, 2012 10:31PM)
According to the descriptions, lot 133 was made by Joe Porper specially for Dai Vernon's use, the one on eBay was made by Harry Stanley, one of the some sold during Dai Vernon's British tour. This particular set was part of John Fisher's collection.
Message: Posted by: rmendez (Feb 1, 2012 11:01AM)
Wow! I'm sorry I missed this until I realized whom I would have been bidding against :lol: Congratulations Bill. We were visiting and performing close-up in the bars with Mark Teufel and his wife Lorraine at the world famous Magic Castle for the very first time last week. They are amongst the warmest and friendliest people we've ever met.

Posted: Feb 1, 2012 2:06pm
I'd love to see pictures of what you acquired! Particularly the Larry Jennings Chop Cup! I hope this message finds you in the best of health and spirits!
Message: Posted by: Powermagic (Feb 9, 2012 12:22PM)
Right Bil, SOMeONE has to pay for it and IT IS THE SELLER. The b@L@s of sellers asking the person they want to buy stuff from to flip 1/2 the bill. Try that on the Café or ebay and see how far you get.
Potter and Potter did not impress me. I bought the P&L lota and am disappointed.
First as a good buyer, I contacted there "expert" and asked if the bowl had any dents or if it leaked. A quick response came back that the bowl was in great shape, no dents or leaks. The photo in the auction and the "wear to finish" left some doubt but here, Gabe states all is good.

Second I asked what the shipping would be since their online shipping calculator came up with a whopping $200 to ship the bowl. )(which is under 2 lbs)
Once again I prompt response from the expert stated it would be about $20. Verifying the location address with insurance I came up with that same figure as well.

I also asked how he knew this bowl came from circa 1939. These bowls were made through the 1960s. He responded, yes correct there was no way to know. So I think it is misleading to say circa 1939 when most likely he bought this bowl in the 50s. My point is, an honest representation would not be to exaggerate the age without proof and set the range or not list it at all.

So with the facts in place I was ready to set my max bid for the bowl. I was not buying the bowl because Larry Jennings owns it. I have and use the same bowl and wanted to have a spare. There starting price was worth a shot and I know what I paid for the one on ebay (which BTW ebay sellers do much better with photos than Potter and Potter. The one for this bowl on the auction site was pretty bad and did not show any detail .)

Come auction day, I had a show so put in an auto bid. Lots really do move fast so they got to the lot before I finsished the show and I won.

The invoice arrived email two days later and come to find they now want $25 shipping. When questioned he states "I said ABOUT $20.) I responded that if he though it wold be more he should have stated "ABOUT $25 or less".
This company must make a huge profit since they pass the costs to everyone.
I pointed out his quote in the email and he said if I could send to a business address or use the USPS. I pointed out the cost with insurance for Priorty mail, allowed for 3 extra lbs and packing supplies and still came under $20, And that was retail. These guys surely get discounts for shipping and buy packing in bulk.
It is my personal feeling they were padding the shipping as well.
In the end he agreed to the $20 but still sent it Fed X so really Fed X was not the issue then.

I asked about not paying credit card to help save them the fees but he said they charge 2.5% for credit cards.
Holy moly these guys are all pure profit. They do not pay for anything. Imagine what you would do if you went to the store today and wanted to swipe yoru card but had a 2.5% transaction fee on top of it. You would not use the card. So I did not had mailed the check. I tell you, they have some big ones over there at Potter and Potter. I guess they figure you want this stuff so you will pay for all their costs as well. BUt they pad this 2.5% 2.5% is what I, a non store front business pays to take credit cards. A business like Potter and Potter is established and gets a far better rate than I can get.

The bowl arrived yesterday, Packing was MINIMAL. A P&L bowl is soft copper < the bowl came in a cloth bag with 1/4 box of packing peaunts. I expected bubble wrap.
But the contents were fine it was what I saw next that really disappointed me in the Potter and Potter ethics.

The bowl was dented in SEVERAL places. One spot on the seam, one noticable dimple on the top half. After wiping off something like crystalized mold, which you kind of see in the photo on the top, there were two other dents, One small one and one longer one.
There was one deeper scratch on the side near the seam that almost looked like a crack but just seems like short deep scratch. I will let the minor oxidized areas and smaller scratches go since they put "wear to finish" but since I had specifically asked about the bowls condtion, this is not acceptible business practices.

I dobut he even went to look at the bowl and I can tell he never tested the bowl for leaks. Luckily it appears to be working fine.

I emailed this expert asking why he did not disclose the dents and that I was disappointed. His response was throwing the as is policy in my face but said if I want to send it back he would refund. I suspect he knows his comments about conditon override their policy as the auction was mirepresnted.
I know it will cost me $20 to return . I bought the bowl knowing what they are worth based on no dents. To return is either going to cost me $20 or $40. If he will not also refund the org shipping, I am out $40. Otherwise I am out time and $20.

I asked again why he didn ot tell me there were some dents in it and stated what he did and he avoided the question just saying I could return it. I asked for some of the buyer fee back to save them some agravation and adjust for the diminished value and he said to return it if I wanted.

Over all, I do not like Potter and Potter and for me to use them again, I would really want the item or think it was under valued. I did all I could short of flying from the North East to Chicago. I had to trust the experts answers and was basically lied to with no remorse. At least he could have owned up to the fact he never checked the bowl when I asked him the condtion.

(ANd please do not say they ahve allot of items and do not look over all of them in detail. Sorry, that is their job and what they are collecting all these fees for. So I do not feel they had earned their fees)

Now I have to discover how much value has changed. The damge is not horrible but it is there I am still trying to determine if the laquer is mostly intact. It seems to be which is rare. I need to discover if the bag is original. I heard these came in bags but thought they were blue. The other one I came with a blue bag of the exact same shape and dimensions but differet sewing method. I assume P&L might have changed fabrics and styles over the years and that also might help date the bowl if I can find anyone that sold these and recalls.

I would also like to know if Larry Jennings ever used the bowl. Did he have a routine with this bowl or was it just a prop he admired?
On 2012-01-29 00:40, Bill Palmer wrote:

I should also add that the house does more than just market the items. In some cases, Potter and Potter have rented a hall at their expense, because they didn't have a place to hold the expected crowd. They photograph all the items. They publish a catalog. None of this is free. Some of the bidders pay for the catalog. If you are a frequent bidder, you may find one in your mailbox. They also, in many cases, travel to the location of the items being auctioned and bring them back to Chicago at their own expense. They also have to pay for the extra phone lines they use for the auction.

Someone has to pay for it.
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Feb 10, 2012 01:07AM)
@cava: Those cups from magicinvestments were some of the cups that Harry Stanley had Burtini spin for the Dai Vernon tour. Hence the name Stanley/Vernon cups.

@Powermagic: The catalog plainly states the following:

The Collection of the Cardwright
Larry Jennings

Including Apparatus, Books and Ephemera
Together with other property from selected consignors

If you look through the online copy of the catalog, you will see that all of the lots after 171 are in a section called "other property." So it probably wasn't from his collection at all. That was fairly obvious to me when I read the catalog.

The items from 150 - 171 are from Bruce Cervon. That's also made clear in the catalog.

If you misread the catalog, that's your fault, and nobody else's. If you don't like the way Gabe does business, then don't do business with him. BTW, I could see some of the damage in the photo of the lota in the online auction.
Message: Posted by: cava (Feb 10, 2012 07:17PM)
Thanks francisngkl and Bill for your comments regarding my question.
Message: Posted by: Powermagic (Feb 10, 2012 08:43PM)
Bill I do not understand your comments. I did not have a catalog to read. I was searching for a lota and google brought me to the auction, I read the auction for the item I wanted and spoke to the so called expert about the product I was considering buying . Now explain to me why being lied to is my fault? I was lied to about the condition both by the expert and photo.

You have the audacity to say "If I do not like the way Gabe does business..." Well sir, I have never used this company before so HOW, would I know how Gabe operates if I did not buy anything? Do not be silly Mr. Palmer. I shared my factual account of how it went. No Bill, you can not NOT see the damage in the photo. Not in the photo on line. You can see some wear to the finish and a few oxidized spots but those are not the dents.
Bill I have the bowl in front of me. The photo is not a good one. First off this bowl has the color of a P&L bowl, nice golden color. The brown bits on top were not, They were like a white crystallized mold that washed off.
The auction photo is so bad it makes it look like the bowl is stripped of the finish.

Gabe CLEARLY stated there were NO DENTS. Do you want me to send you his email to me? When you tell me know dents it means NO DENTS.

How dare you try to defend them when I have the bowl and have dents and an impact on the seam? If there were photos of the damage that would be another story. I see better photos on ebay.

So Mr. Palmer tell me how this was my fault? As I said, I did not care who's items these were. I only asked if Jennings used the bowl since I did not know the history. I could care less who was selling it but I would expect if the expert says the bowl has been tested for leaks and has no dents that is what to expect. The truth is by how the interior was dirty and had not seen water in a long time from what I can tell and there were dents.

I am talking to a popular dealer and antique magic and he said the value is greatly decreased by ANY damage. Now Bill you know this. You know that your max bid is determined by the disclosed damage. YOU did not go to the auction either So you relied on the photos you saw as well. If you saw damage after you got it, you wold be disappointed as well. But for you , you were not buying the cups for what they were but for who owned them. I was not buying the bowl for who owned the but for the bowl.

But I might have taking off some of my max bid if I was made aware of the damage. Why lie about the condition when SPECIFICALLY ASKED Gabe? He would have scored points if he just admitted he did not really go check the bowl out when he said there were no dents. At least I would give them come credit for owning up to the mistake.

SO I shared my experience with Potter and Potter since they did not disclose the condition and tried backing out of the shipping quote.
I will tell you, if I did not have these letters in writing, they would have said I was out of luck.
Right now I am trying to determine how much loss in value the bowl is to see if it is worth returning. I wanted a spare bowl but know someday I will probably resell one of them if I stop using it .

Why not just return it? Because he want me to pay for the return shipping. I do not belive and being penalized for a company's product misrepresentation.

But yes, after this experience of misrepresenting things, I will most likely not use Potter and Potter ever again and by reading this others will know to press them more than a couple emails about condition and to get all things in writing.

There was no excuse and no defense for misrepresenting the product and shipping.


On 2012-02-10 02:07, Bill Palmer wrote:
@cava: Those cups from magicinvestments were some of the cups that Harry Stanley had Burtini spin for the Dai Vernon tour. Hence the name Stanley/Vernon cups.

@Powermagic: The catalog plainly states the following:

The Collection of the Cardwright
Larry Jennings

Including Apparatus, Books and Ephemera
Together with other property from selected consignors

If you look through the online copy of the catalog, you will see that all of the lots after 171 are in a section called "other property." So it probably wasn't from his collection at all. That was fairly obvious to me when I read the catalog.

The items from 150 - 171 are from Bruce Cervon. That's also made clear in the catalog.

If you misread the catalog, that's your fault, and nobody else's. If you don't like the way Gabe does business, then don't do business with him. BTW, I could see some of the damage in the photo of the lota in the online auction.
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Feb 11, 2012 03:35AM)
All of the information is in the on-line version of the catalog, which is available as a download from the Potter and Potter site. In fact, I checked what I posted by going to the on-line catalog, not the hard copy catalog that I received a couple of weeks after the on-line version was published.

Go to http://www.potterauctions.com . That's their main web site. They ALWAYS post their most current catalog on that page. Click on the link in the menu bar that says "catalog." This will take you to a window where you can order the catalog. However, if you look to the right of the photo of the catalog, you will see the following paragraph.

Catalogs for our January 28, 2012 auction of
the collection of Larry Jennings
are now available for purchase. The digital edition is
now available as well.

On the web site, the phrase "is now available" is a link. Click on it, and you will find the catalog. You will also find links to all previous catalogs.

As far as the photo of the lota is concerned, I'm going by the photo that is on the live auction site. I could see that the finish on this lota was in bad shape, as well as the existence of some damage to the joint in the lota. I wouldn't have bid on it, considering how common these are and how often they show up at auction.

If Gabe misled you as to the condition of the lota, then you should settle that with him. I've dealt with Gabe for a long time, and anytime there was a problem with a lot, he took care of the problem.

As far as an analysis of how Gabe does business, you can ask around. You obviously haven't done much serious bidding at major auctions. Gabe is much easier to deal with than Swann or Bloomsbury. When you get into this league, you are playing against people who are looking for very specific material, and often they are prepared to pay very high prices just for the provenance of an item.

At a recent Bloomsbury auction, the collection of Bob Read was sold. Items in that collection went for prices that were all over the place. I got a shipment of 7 crates of Bob's close-up material. The listing was sketchy. Before I bid on it, I called the folks at Bloomsbury to get a rough idea what was in there. The really hadn't a clue. None of them are magicians. It cost me almost as much to have it shipped over here as it did to buy it. But there were about a half dozen sets of cups and shell games in that lot that were not documented, as well as one of Bob's top hats.

I took a big risk and it paid off. But I knew what the risk was before I did any bidding. There was other stuff I got that really wasn't worth it. But, again, I knew the risks. If you are looking for pieces to perform with, don't buy them unless you can look at them first.
Message: Posted by: lint (Feb 11, 2012 05:48AM)
Pictures bill!
Message: Posted by: Powermagic (Feb 11, 2012 10:35AM)
No matter what you THINK you see in the photo Bill you have no idea what you are looking at.
You have admitted yourself that you have gotten bad lots.
I can only share MY Experience. In my experience, I was lied to. I have emails the condition was fine. If it were not for the dents, I would have had a great find since the finish is 95% better than what you see in the photo. Most of the finish issuesyou see was surface dirt. the bowl is that P&L gold with 95% of the finish intact.

This all comes down to the fact that what was stated by their expert turned out to be a lie. When I was given an answer the expert did not look at the bowl and never tested it for leaks. He messed up for sure, but is afraid to admit his guilt.

Too many issues from how they dated the bowl to photograph are wrong with Potter and Potter. but to be told in writing the bowl was free of dents when it has them, is just unproffessional. Bill Gabe is a man he holds to a higher standard. If so, there was no reason to misrepresent the item. He should just be honest and state he does not have a clue or as the time to check into it.
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Feb 11, 2012 01:31PM)
Then ask him if you can return it.

The only bad lot I got from Gabe was a set of cups I bought from him on eBay. They were a set of silver plated, non-hallmarked P&L cups from the Zarrow collection. When they arrived, there was some very unusual damage. This was the ONLY damaged lot I EVER got from them that was damaged due to packaging.

I photographed it and showed him the damage. He was appalled. I returned them and he repaired them. They are in excellent condition now. I don't think anyone could tell which cup had been damaged.

I would suggest that you photograph the lota from all sides, as well as the top and the bottom, and indicate exactly where the damage is. Then send him the photos.

BTW, the other damaged lot I purchased from Potter and Potter was a set of cups that were used by Harlan Tarbell. They were the big flowerpots with the load chamber. I knew when I bought them that they were cracked. It didn't matter, because they were the only set of their kind. So I knew what I was getting when I got them.

As far as the dating of the lota is concerned, your personal knowledge told you that the date was probably conjectural. That date is basically in the middle of the production run. I knew that the "spun Joe Porper cups" were not by Porper, but by Harry Stanley. I bid on them and got them. I used my own knowledge to override the information in the catalog.

I have NEVER seen ANY auction in which all of the lots were listed with 100% accuracy. Not Martinka, not Bloomsbury, not Swann, not Potter and Potter. The closest have been Kenna Thompson and John Mendoza. And even then, with their expertise, sometimes they make mistakes.

Rather than argue with me over the FACT that you did not take advantage of all of the information that was on the internet about this item -- i.e. the on-line digital catalog, and that you did not let your knowledge of P&L production override what you saw on the listing, I would suggest that you take your complaint directly back to Gabe and see what he does. You may be pleasantly surprised.

Or not.
Message: Posted by: lint (Feb 12, 2012 10:11AM)
Might be less likely to help since his name has been dragged through the mud first.
Message: Posted by: Powermagic (Feb 12, 2012 11:32AM)
Geeze Bill why are not focusing on the reality of the situation.

I ASKED nd was TOLD no dents. You keep saying there was a digial catalog . Why do I care? I went to the the auction page. Bill are you telling me there were better details on the bowl and a better photo, and a explaination of the damage that was not on the bidding page? You cant be saying that.

How can you say I did not use all my resources when I contacted someone listed as an EXPERT.
Yes, Lint and Bill I contacted them as soon as I opened up the package. I was told I could return it at my cost. I do not think I should have to pay the shipping of when it was sent to me and my return. I have not gotten a repsonse back as to the shipping.

I questioned the date and they came back stating I was correct, no way to know the date. But did they change the date or put a date range in the auction? NO. this is misleading, picking the oldest date as the circa. Just do not put any date at all.

From what Bill has said, Auction houses are not reliable in their accuracy so I have no idea why he saying I am the one in the wrong. Potter and Potter should be embarassed. They misrepresented a product. They took it one step further and when I used all the resources avaiable, misrepresented the product.
I shared this expereience . Lint, just becuase they take it back does not make their actions justiable. why does taking the bowl back , excuse them saying it was not dented when it was?

Bill, I would agree with yoru statements if I did not ask and have my questions answered tha there were no dents. But since they answered as they did I do not see how this is excpetible behavior. He did said what he said, there is no name dragging, Facts are Facts.
Message: Posted by: Mad Jake (Feb 12, 2012 11:53AM)
you were offered the chance to return the item, and chose to keep the item due to shipping
charges you may incur. Either return the piece and get your $ back or keep it and move on.

You also keep repeating you have been lied to. They made a mistake in the cond. of
the piece you have. But again, you were offered a refund if you sent the piece back.
Are you trying to get something for nothing out of this? There was a mistake made,
plain and simple since they have offered to refund you if you send it back.

There is no reason to drag Gabe's name on an open forum, you also should have started a new
thread and not hijacked this one.

I've dealt with Gabe and other auctioneers over the years. Sounds like they offered you a solution
to the problem, but you are not happy with it.
Message: Posted by: Powermagic (Feb 12, 2012 01:05PM)
I am sorry, I thought this was an auction about the Jennings Auction, That is what the title states.
What do you mean I want something for nothing? I do not want to pay for a bowl I do not want because it has dents when I was told it did not,
Can you explain to me how I am wrong? Yes I am not happy. I should not have to pay to send it back.
I do not think they made a MISTAKE. A mistake is "Oh I missed that one spot. But in this case there are over 5 dents of various sizes two impossible to miss but easy to not photograpsh.
So why should I pay $20, loosing money out of my pocket ,to return something they misreprsented? I am honestly asking why you feel this is fair?
Message: Posted by: Magic Researcher (Feb 12, 2012 01:23PM)
Send it back for a refund or live with the dents. It will not cost $20 to return it - even with sig confirmation. You are going to get an ulcer over this. It is not worth it. It will not be the first nor last time you get lied to. That's life. If you feel wronged, do no more business with them or get it in writing that all shipping costs, premiums, etc. will be refunded if item does not arrive as described. This is business. Act like a businessman not a crybaby. Why did you come here crying in the first place? A real businessman would have called Gabe to work things out not gone to a forum.
Message: Posted by: silverking (Feb 12, 2012 02:02PM)
This all seems to be more about creating as much "drama" as possible rather than getting ones money back.

"buyer beware" has extra relevance at an auction.........and applies to everybody.

Regardless, the seller has offered to refund the money, and the buyer has refused to return the item...........thus prolonging the apparently desired drama.

There doesn't seem to be much more to say, or listen to.