The Houdini straitjacket authenticated by magician Murray SawChuck on a recent episode of Pawn Stars is still looking for a buyer. The jacket has cycled several times on eBay with a price of $149,000 or "best offer." Ironically, in this weeks episode of Pawn Stars, one of the commercial break quizzes revealed the jacket as the item "Rick most regrets not buying." His offer was $25,000.
The jacket -- which I'm convinced is indeed the straitjacket Houdini used for several of his suspended escapes -- was given to the seller's grandfather, Paul J. Campbell (a coffee salesman for Fleetwood Coffee), by Houdini's brother Theo. Hardeen "in late 1927 or early 1928." It has been in the family ever since.
SawChuck identified the jacket by matching specific rivets and double stitching on the customized jacket from a photo taken at the same time as the above. By the way, the seller dates the photo at 1915, but Patrick Culliton says it's more likely 1923 (and I concur). Patrick also thinks the Houdini jacket currently on display at the Skirball Center, which is in this same style, may be the jacket Hardeen is wearing in this photo.
Here are a few more pics of the jacket, which is due to cycle off eBay in 10 hours.
With thanks to MSW.