Mob memorabilia discovered in club rafters to sell
Potter & Potter have announced that their June 23rd Gambling Memorabilia auction will include an incredible discovered cache of Mob memorabilia.
Discovered in the rafters of a suburban Chicago club, secret ledgers detailing the gambling wins, and much less frequent losses, of an illegal mob-run casino in Cicero, Illinois will be the highlight of Potter & Potter’s second annual Gambling Memorabilia sale. The records, unearthed by a construction worker while demolishing the building in the 1960s, represent the era of the 1930s – prohibition, illegal gambling dens, and the glory days of the Chicago mobsters. One book contains names of employees at the Casino. This particular establishment was part-owned by one of Al Capone’s bodyguards, El Patio, and this connection makes these books all the more interesting.
The Gambling auction will also feature a selection of gambling cheating devices, such as Holdout Tables that add or remove cards from the players’ hands, and another table that allows the house to see through the backs of the playing cards held by the gamblers.
Numerous early and rare examples of gambling books and books instructing on the art of cheating will also be offered, including a first edition of How Gamblers Win, of which there are only five known to exist.
Alongside these items, a selection of ephemera, decorative items, slot machines, roulette wheels, dealing boxes, case keepers, trade stimulators, punch boards, and any gambling memorabilia imaginable will be offered by Potter & Potter.
The top achieving lots at their first Gambling Memorabilia auction of the year, held on January 29th, 2011, were a book by George Hanger, The Lives, Adventures, and Sharping Tricks of Eminent Gamblers (1804), sold for $12,000, and an extremely scarce book by F. R. Ritter, entitled, Advantage Card Playing and Draw Poker from 1905, sold for $16,000.
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