July 28, 2009

Who Knew? Mike The Magicat

mike_magicat_sloans.jpg

Our era didn't invent the idea of people being famous merely for being famous. Gong Show judge/psychic Jeane Dixon, I'm looking at you. I'm old enough to have seen your later TV career, but too young to know how you really got there. And I'm not just talking about your hyped prediction of JFK's assassination; I mean your real start, as a social-climbing, fortuneteller-for-hire on the Washington DC benefit circuit of the 1950s, where you'd modestly decline any gifts or gratuities for yourself, but if someone wanted to make a present of something to your amazingly telepathic pet, Mike the Magicat, well, I'm sure something could be arranged.

Dixon died in 1997; her lawyer died last year, and the contents of the Jeane Dixon Museum he'd established were emptied out at an auction Sunday at Sloans & Kenyon in Bethesda. The haul included many portraits and costumes for Mike the Magicat, but also three lots of illustrations for Magicat storybooks. Below: "Mike 'interrogates' the staff."

magicat_interro_sloans.jpg

Two lots contained drawings of Mike "in everyday and magical dress."

magicat_outfit_sloans.jpg

But the real score is/would have been the full-scale mockup up top, Jeane Dixon's Magicat, which was sold "Together with 'Jeane Dixon's Mike, the Magicat' sheet music written by James L. Dixon, Jeane's husband, business papers, manuscripts, and other ephemera pertaining to Mike the Magicat."

Also, a typed letter to Mrs. Dixon from the artist: "NO ONE WILL BUY TOYS, COMIC BOOKS, CAT FOOD OR ANYTHING ELSE UNLESS MIKE IS MADE INTO A LOVABLE CHARACTER." And the crazy thing is, half of that prediction came true!

Sale No. 44, lots 1349-1351, Mike the Magicat artwork, storybook, and business documents, sold for a total of $410 [sloansandkenyon.com via the awl]

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