Paul Daniels: The magician's collections sold at rare auction

Magician Paul Daniels' personal collection including a letter from Houdini has been sold for £156,000.

On Wednesday and Thursday more than 350 posters, tricks and ephemera were sold at Special Auction Services, Newbury.

Debbie McGee had been hoping to sell tricks and props that belonged to her late husband for £200,000.

Daniels' toupee sold for £2,730 and a poster for Victorian magic act Maskelyne and Cooke at St James's Great Hall London in 1873 fetched £5,720.

'Paul's legacy'

The magician died in 2016, aged 77, and McGee, 63, said she feels now is the right time to part with the collection, which had been stored in their home in Wargrave, near Henley-on-Thames.

"It feels like you're giving them away, this is the last bit of them that's still here, but I just felt that it was really important for me to pass on Paul's legacy," she told the BBC.

The illusion blade-sword box was sold for £4,420, while transposition cloaks sold for £3,250.

Some items did not sell, including the Geometrix illusion, performed on The Paul Daniels Magic Show on the BBC.

The illusion, which was estimated between £8,000 and £12,000, was the couple's favourite to perform and was built by Daniels' father specifically to fit his wife.

"I found wonderful photographs of magicians from the Edwardian times and I found these amazing letters," McGee said.

"I think his poster collection was what he absolutely loved the most but really he just loved magic."

Thomas Forrester, special auction services director said magic transports people back to childhood.

"Paul Daniels gave that sense of amazement to his audiences throughout his illustrious career and we are honoured and excited to be selling his special collection," he said.

Follow BBC South on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. Send your story ideas to