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Price Realized: $12,500 With Buyer's Premium Show Hammer Price
Sale 2453 Lot 566
DESIGNER UNKNOWN DANTÉ / SIM • SALA • BIM!
88 1/4x40 inches, 224 1/4x101 1/2 cm. Western Posters.
Condition B+: restored losses in margins; repaired tears, creases, minor abrasions and overpainting in margins and along multiple vertical and horizontal folds; repaired pin holes in corners; ink inscriptions by Ted Henty in margins. Two-sheets.
Danté the Magician, born Harry August Jansen (1883-1955), began his magic career at age 16, appearing as "The Great Jansen." In 1922, he came to the attention of Howard Thurston and became the great magician's protégé and ultimately his successor. It was Thurston who gave Jansen the name Danté and he performed under that name for the first time in 1925. He performed in vaudeville and theaters, and at the peak of his career, even made appearances in movies, including the 1942 Laurel and Hardy film "A-Haunting We Will Go." He is considered the last of the Golden Age magicians. The title of Danté's big Broadway show in 1940 was also his signature phrase, "Sim Sala Bim." Danté himself claimed the phrase meant "a thousand thanks." Others claim they are made up words from a Danish nursery rhyme, and still others contend that it is the Swedish equivalent of "abracadabra." Whatever their meaning, the words are inextricably intertwined with the magician who made them famous. It is uncertain whether this poster is advertising the Broadway show specifically, although it does depict the "Mystery of the Stratosphere" illusion involving a balloon, in which members of the company begin ascending and then appear running through the aisles of the theater. This two-sheet poster is the marriage of separate images, likely from different parts of the performer's career. The inscriptions on the poster were made by Ted Henty, a former policeman from Brighton, turned prominent ghost hunter, who may have signed the poster for a fellow supernatural fan.
Estimate $12,000 - 18,000Price Realized (with Buyer's Premium) $12,500