Monday, August 15, 2011

Life-size Houdini mystery mannequin

A life-size Houdini mannequin wearing a straitjacket is currently listed on eBay with an opening bid price of $2,700.00. The seller doesn't have any history on this, but he says the face made of a rubber material and the hair is "punched in."

From the looks and description, this appears to be a professionally made prop, right down to what the seller says are vintage clothes and boats. I suspect it was used to show Houdini suspended in the jacket -- it looks to me like the rope that is now wrapped around his neck was originally used as the suspension line.

But what could this be from? As with the coffin that cycled a while back, could this turn out to be a prop from Ragtime? Or did it come from another Houdini stage or screen project? The face sculpt appears to be Houdini himself, not an actor, so we don't have any clues there.

I doubt the seller is going to get anywhere near his price without some information where this came from. So does anyone recognize this fella? Who are you, Houdini?


Thanks to Kevin Connolly at Houdini Himself for the find.

UPDATE: Reader Timothy Randall has provided the following:

"It's a figure sculpted by a guy from Niagara Falls and was displayed in the Ripley's Museum in Orlando. An exact replica was used in the Water Torture display at the Houdini Magical Hall of Fame (and was destroyed in the fire) and a copy also was/is displayed in the Louis Tussaud's Waxworks (also in Niagara)."

Thank you, Timothy.

5 comments:

  1. It looks familiar. Possibly I saw something similar in a Ripleys Believe it or Not museum, here in England. Also could it be the one in the steel cage at the entrance to the Convention room at the last Cannon's Convention?

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  2. OMG, how cool this would be to have hanging upside down by the ankles in a magic room!!!!

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  3. Yeah, this does seem like something out of a Ripleys museum or the like.

    I've got a pic somewhere of that Cannon display, but I don't think this was it. This is out of Florida.

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  4. It's a figure sculpted by a guy from Niagara Falls and was displayed in the Ripley's Museum in Orlando. An exact replica was used in the Water Torture display at the Houdini Magical Hall of Fame (and was destroyed in the fire) and a copy also was/is displayed in the Louis Tussaud's Waxworks (also in Niagara)

    ReplyDelete

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