VIRGINIA CITY, MT -- British newspapers are reporting that magician David Copperfield is believed to have offered $2 million to purchase a fortune-telling novelty.
The Gypsy is owned by the state of Montana and resides in a public museum run by the Montana Heritage Commission. Some Montana officials said they had no plans to sell the machine; other officials said they had seen no offers in writing.
Built by the Mills Novelty Co. around 1906, The Gypsy may be worth up to $10 million on the open market, according to some collectors. The machine used two Edison wax cylinder-style recording playback devices to "talk" to players.
Copperfield, who collects turn-of the century penny arcade games, said he believes The Gypsy may be one of a kind.
Before being acquired by Montana's state government as part of a collective real estate purchase, The Gypsy sat virtually unnoticed for decades as part of the décor at a restaurant called Bob's Place.