David Copperfield Eyes Rare Turn-of-the-Century Fortune Teller

The magician wants to buy this oddity amidst the kitsch.

By Beth Stebner
|  Monday, Aug 29, 2011  |  Updated 6:18 AM CDT
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This century-old fortune-teller will beat you in a staring contest.

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A rare fortune-telling machine that reads searchers their fates is perhaps the only one left of its kind, and magician David Copperfield wants it for his own.

The Gypsy, a Zolter-like fortune-teller, was kept at a mining-village-turned-tourist attraction in Virginia City, Mont. It was prominently displayed in Bob’s Place, but until recently, no one knew what the eerie figure was worth, not even the owner.

Collectors realized this artifact—which has been undergoing restoration for the past five years—was indeed extraordinary.

In fact, many say it’s one of only a handful of “verbal” fortunetellers in existence, according to The Associated Press.

“I think it’s only one of one,” Copperfield told The AP.

The Gypsy used a record player to “tell” the fates of those who dared to ask, as opposed to Zoltar from the movie “Big,” which only gave fortune-seekers a card.

Copperfield, who is famed for several largely publicized television magical feats, has a large collection of turn-of-the-century penny arcade games, and wants this to be his crowning jewel.

Though the magician refused to offer the price he made on the turn-of-the-century trinket, a curator from the Montana Heritage Commission who received a call from Copperfield’s assistant, said it was in the neighborhood of $2 million.

Copperfield, it seems, would be considerate of Bob’s Place, the original home of The Gypsy. Included in that $2 million would be funds to buy a replacement fortune-teller.

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