By Janet Dodrill
In 1908, Schmitz-Horning Company (est. 1905), a Cleveland, Ohio lithographic printing company, manufactured a series of large color lithographic advertising posters for professional magician Karl Germain. Additionally printed was a brochure.
Karl Germain (Charles Mattmuller), 1878-1959, was a native of Cleveland, and performed unique magic of his own creation in both America and England until his stage career ended prematurely in 1916 due to blindness.
These posters, and those of other magicians, have become highly collectible in ‘magicana’ collections (antiques and collectibles related to magic and magicians). Several international auction houses (and eBay) have offered these rare magic lithographs, and other wall murals by the Schmitz-Horning Company, for sale since around 2010.
Potter & Potter Auctions of Chicago, Illinois has auctioned dozens of Schmitz-Horning Co. Karl Germain magic posters.
Recently, one of the Karl Germain’s magic posters became available in Google Arts & Culture for the public to enjoy and learn about.
Schmitz-Horning was known for their early large scale capacity printing presses. At the time they owned two of three such custom-built presses in the world, and the 40″ x 80″-plus plates were shipped-in from Germany.
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