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A magical trove of Ricky Jay ephemera hits auction block

A woodblock poster featuring mentalists Samuel and Kitty Baldwin, from the Ricky Jay Collection, is displayed at Sotheby's on Friday, Oct. 22, 2021, in New York. The widow of the sleight-of-hand artist, card shark, author, actor and scholar turned over nearly 2,000 curiosities Jay collected to Sotheby's for an unusual auction. Divided into 634 lots, it's the focus of a live auction Wednesday and Thursday. (Photo by Charles Sykes/Invision/AP)

NEW YORK (AP) — Conjurers and cheats, hustlers and hoaxsters. Those were some of the things that interested the grizzled Ricky Jay.

The widow of the sleight-of-hand artist, card shark, author and scholar turned over nearly 2,000 curiosities he collected to Sotheby’s for an unusual upcoming auction.

Jay died in 2018 at age 72, leaving behind a vast trove of rare books, posters, broadsides and other artifacts that honored many who came before him.

The Sotheby’s Ricky Jay Collection is valued in total at $2.2 million to $3.2 million.

Divided into 634 lots, it’s the focus of a live auction Wednesday and Thursday.

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