February 4, 2017, 10:00 AM CST
Chicago, IL, USALive Auction
Lot 5: ALEXANDER (CLAUDE ALEXANDER CONLIN). Alexander. The Crystal Seer.(58 views)
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Estimate: $500 - $700
Description: [Bombay: Av Yaga?], ca. 1920. Lithograph panel poster bears a striking portrait of Alexanders turbaned visage surrounded by skulls, and hovering over a crystal ball. 14 ¼ x 41 ¼". Slight tear affecting. Old fold and minor repairs. Good condition; B+. Alexander was, perhaps, the most successful professional theatrical mind reader of his generation. He made millions of dollars performing on the grandest vaudeville stages nearly $240,000 in 1924 alone and retired at age 47 to a sprawling estate in the Pacific Northwest. According to Alexanders biographer, David Charvet, Claude Alexander Conlin admitted to killing four men, was married seven times, occasionally to more than one woman at a time, spent time in jails and prisons around the United States, and counted some of the greatest magicians of his time as his close friends. In 1944, Alexander sold his entire show props, posters, costumes, and all to Robert Nelson of Columbus, Ohio, who ran a successful business supplying mentalists and mind readers. For decades, Alexander posters, including those offered here, filtered out into the magic community and beyond, from Nelsons store rooms.