A wide selection of memorabilia relating to the famous escapologist includes many of the potential highlights of this event.
Among them is a photo of the young Houdini looking elegant in white collar and tie dating to the turn of the last century and signed Harry Houdini Jan 9, 1905, estimated at $2000-3000 (pictured above).
A New’s Year’s postcard featuring a view of Houdini in chains sent to a hotel operator in Odessa is also guided at $2000-3000 and a signed salary receipt issued by Moss Empires Ltd for the week ending April 10, 1920, showing that Houdini was paid £400 for his work at The Empire, Cardiff, has an estimate of $1000-1500.
The sale also features a personal notebook or diary signed by Houdini giving details such as descriptions and diagrams of various tricks and apparatus. The notebook, written in two different hands and dating from c.1908, also carries a $2000-3000 guide.
The auction, which runs to almost 600 lots, will take place in the firm’s gallery on May 2 as a live streamed sale with online and phone bidding
In addition to the items relating to Houdini there is a huge variety of other magic related apparatus, books, posters and memorabilia both antique and modern on offer. This includes a collection of broadsides spanning two centuries of famous and lesser known entertainers.
Among these is a c.1880 broadside advertising the famous Maskelyne & Cooke’s Marvellous Entertainment from the Egyptian Hall, London to be staged at the Victoria Rooms, Clifton between November 16 and 20 The lithographic poster, which is mounted on linen, depicts some of the highlights of illusions from the show such as a dancing skeleton, a ghostly apparition and a lifting table.