Debbie McGee flogs Paul Daniels’ magic props for £156k – with fan bidding nearly £3k for toupee

Debbie McGee flogs late husband Paul Daniels’ magic props for £156k – with super fan bidding nearly £3k for trademark toupee

Debbie McGee has sold her late husband Paul Daniels’ epic collection of magic tricks, props and costumes for £156,000.

Surprisingly, one of the star attractions in the auction was the late magician’s toupee which a superfan paid a hair-raising £2,730 for. 

Some of his iconic tricks that sold included a see-through guillotine which fetched £3,380 and a red sword illusion box which achieved a price of £4,420.

Wow! Debbie McGee has sold her late husband Paul Daniels' epic collection of magic tricks, props and costumes for £156,000

Wow! Debbie McGee has sold her late husband Paul Daniels’ epic collection of magic tricks, props and costumes for £156,000

A transposition cloak and masks made £3,250 while playing cards, wands and his magic top hat sold for hundreds of pounds each.

A letter from Harry Houdini to magician and writer Will Goldston discussing another magician’s trick sold for £1,690.

Iconic: Surprisingly, one of the star attractions in the auction was the late magician's toupee which a superfan paid a hair-raising £2,730 for

Iconic: Surprisingly, one of the star attractions in the auction was the late magician’s toupee which a superfan paid a hair-raising £2,730 for

The auction saw the biggest collection of magic posters ever sold in the UK.

Two posters from the 1870s for a Victorian double act, Maskelyne & Cooke, sold for £5,720 and £4,160. And five magic handbills from 1849-51 sold for £3,510.

The auction was packed with fellow magicians who were keen to own something from the legendary performer and TV star.

Daniels died in 2016, aged 77, after being diagnosed with an incurable brain tumour.

His magic collection had been stored at the home he shared with wife and former assistant Debbie in Henley-on-Thames, Berks, since then.

Debbie said she felt it was the right time to pass on her late husband’s collection for others to use and enjoy.

Woah!  Some of his iconic tricks that sold included a see-through guillotine which fetched £3,380 and a red sword illusion box which achieved a price of £4,420

Woah!  Some of his iconic tricks that sold included a see-through guillotine which fetched £3,380 and a red sword illusion box which achieved a price of £4,420

Caw-dropping: Two posters from the 1870s for a Victorian double act, Maskelyne & Cooke, sold for £5,720 and £4,160. And five magic handbills from 1849-51 sold for £3,510

Jaw-dropping: Two posters from the 1870s for a Victorian double act, Maskelyne & Cooke, sold for £5,720 and £4,160. And five magic handbills from 1849-51 sold for £3,510

Raking it in: A letter from Harry Houdini to magician and writer Will Goldston discussing another magician's trick sold for £1,690

Raking it in: A letter from Harry Houdini to magician and writer Will Goldston discussing another magician’s trick sold for £1,690

She said: ‘I am delighted that so many people chose to buy something of Paul’s. It has been an emotional and inspiring couple of days passing on his legacy.’

Thomas Forrester, director of Special Auction Services of Newbury, Berks, said: ‘We’ve had a tremendous two days and great fun selling Paul’s fantastic legacy to many magicians and magic lovers around the world.

‘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.

Incredible: The auction saw the biggest collection of magic posters ever sold in the UK

Incredible: The auction saw the biggest collection of magic posters ever sold in the UK

Exciting: The auction was packed with fellow magicians who were keen to own something from the legendary performer and TV star

Exciting: The auction was packed with fellow magicians who were keen to own something from the legendary performer and TV star

Selection: His magic collection had been stored at the home he shared with wife and former assistant Debbie in Henley-on-Thames, Berks, since his death in 2016, aged 77

Selection: His magic collection had been stored at the home he shared with wife and former assistant Debbie in Henley-on-Thames, Berks, since his death in 2016, aged 77

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

‘It’s a real once in a lifetime auction.’

Debbie met her husband in 1979 when she got a job performing in his summer show in Great Yarmouth and then became his regular assistant, appearing alongside him on his BBC TV show which ran from 1979 to 1994.

The Paul Daniels Magic Show regularly attracted audiences of 15 million in the UK and was sold to 43 countries.

Items: His magic collection had been stored at the home he shared with wife and former assistant Debbie in Henley-on-Thames, Berks, since then

Items: His magic collection had been stored at the home he shared with wife and former assistant Debbie in Henley-on-Thames, Berks, since then

Letting go: Debbie said she felt it was the right time to pass on her late husband's collection for others to use and enjoy

Letting go: Debbie said she felt it was the right time to pass on her late husband’s collection for others to use and enjoy

Happy: She said: 'I am delighted that so many people chose to buy something of Paul's. It has been an emotional and inspiring couple of days passing on his legacy'

 Happy: She said: ‘I am delighted that so many people chose to buy something of Paul’s. It has been an emotional and inspiring couple of days passing on his legacy’

Despite an age gap of 20 years the couple became an item and married in 1988.

According to Debbie, her husband started wearing a toupee at the age of 30 when he still had a thick head of hair but it was starting to recede.

He hoped that by wearing it early, audiences would not notice when he finally did go bald.

Wowzers: Classic: A transposition cloak and masks made £3,250 while playing cards, wands and his magic top hat sold for hundreds of pounds each

Wowzers: Classic: A transposition cloak and masks made £3,250 while playing cards, wands and his magic top hat sold for hundreds of pounds each

Emotional: Before the sale Debbie said: 'I'm never going to use the tricks again and I don't look at these things'

Emotional: Before the sale Debbie said: ‘I’m never going to use the tricks again and I don’t look at these things’

His plan was not successful though, as his hairpiece was one of the worst kept secrets of 1980s show business.

The wig had been expected to sell for £300 but went for almost 10 times that amount.

Before the sale Debbie said: ‘I’m never going to use the tricks again and I don’t look at these things.

‘Before now I couldn’t really let anything go apart from some things to his sons, but it seems unfair of me to hold onto these things without sharing it.

‘There’s a lot of magicians around the world that collect magic things like Paul did and he always had this feeling that you have a time owning something and then it’s time for somebody else to own it.

‘At first it was such an emotional wrench but now I’m actually getting some pleasure from going through everything. It’s been cathartic.’

Happy couple: After working together, Debbie and magician Paul married in 1988. Paul died aged 77 with a brain tumour (pictured in 2007)

Happy couple: After working together, Debbie and magician Paul married in 1988. Paul died aged 77 with a brain tumour (pictured in 2007)

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