Arthur Rackham, William Wilson ; from Poe's Tales of Mystery, 1935.
Your number, sir?
Lot 665, ladies and gentlemen:
a papier-mache musical box,
in the shape of a barrel-organ.
Attached, the figure of a monkey
in Persian robes playing the cymbals.
This item, discovered in the vaults
of the theatre, still in working order.
May I start at twenty francs?
Fifteen I am bid
for thirty francs to the
Vicomte de Chagny. Thank you, sir.
The Raven (Edgar Allan Poe's poem)
A collector's piece indeed ...
every detail exactly as she said ...
She often spoke of you, my friend ....
Your velvet lining,
and your figurine of lead ...
Will you still play,
when all the rest of us are dead?
Lot 666, then:
a chandelier in pieces.
Some of you may recall
the strange affair of the Phantom of the Opera:
a mystery never fully explained.
We are told ladies and gentlemen,
that this is the very chandelier
which figures in the famous disaster.
Our workshops have restored it
and fitted up parts of it with wiring
for the new electric light,
so that we may get a hint of what
it may look like when re- assembled.
Perhaps we may frighten away
the ghost of so many years ago
with a little illumination, gentlemen?