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Defying the hangman – rare ‘Carter the Great’ magic poster goes on sale


Carter the Great poster offered for sale by Colophon Books

A rare magic poster promoting ‘Carter the Great’ has gone on sale on AbeBooks priced at £3,100 / approximately $4,541. Charles Joseph Carter (1874-1936) was an American stage magician nicknamed Carter the Great, who tried journalism and law before switching to magic where he became a household name and toured the world.  A fictionalized account of Carter’s life has been told in Carter Beats the Devil by Glen David Gold, published in 2001.

This beautiful poster is a prime example of the dramatic marketing used to promote stage magic during its golden age in the 1920s.  Born in San Francisco, the highlight of Carter’s stage act was his ‘cheating the gallows’ trick where the shrouded magician would vanish as he dropped at the end of a hangman’s noose.

The poster is offered for sale by Colophon Books from Leek in the United Kingdom.

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