Sold at $55,000 (£39,855) by the Chicago saleroom was a two-volume scrapbook that Houdini compiled and annotated on the subject of spiritualism. One volume included newspaper and magazine cuttings from the US and other sources (shown above), but the second was almost entirely focused on Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s belief in spiritualism and the supernatural.
Bid to $40,000 (£28,985), again a much higher than expected sum, was a Houdini archive formed by Elliot Sandford, who had only joined the show in the last weeks of the great man’s life, but then spent around a year with Houdini’s family.
Sandford produced a manuscript account of that period that has, until now, remained with his family and has never been made available to any of those who have written about the life and exploits of the great illusionist and escapologist.
Among the books in the sale was a rare 1877 first of Edward Sachs’ Sleight of Hand. A finely preserved copy that was illustrated in the International Events section of ATG No 2339, it sold well at $5400 (£3915).