Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Briggs auction previews start today


Previews start today for Briggs auction of Houdini artifacts from the private collection of former Philadelphia 76ers president, Pat Croce. The auction will take place this Friday, February 21 at 4pm. Among the items you can get a look at are:

* A large color lithograph Houdini billboard, titled "The World Famous Houdini, Master Mystifier" (pre-auction estimate: $8,000 - $10,000). The poster proclaims Houdini as “The greatest necromancer of the age perhaps of all times” and illustrates Houdini displaying his magical skills.

* Important letter from the American magician, Harry Kellar, to Harry Houdini (pre-auction estimate $2,000 - $3,000). The letter mentions several other notable magicians and also discusses the recent popularity of the "sawing trick", referring to sawing a woman in half. This piece is significant due to its discussion of the sawing trick, which was surrounded by much debate and controversy, and is still one of the most recognizable illusions.

* Collection of ancient padlocks used in Houdini’s escape acts, including 12th century European castle locks, two keys, and a pair of cuffs presented in a two-sided wood shadow box with red velvet lining (pre-auction estimate $50,000 - $70,000). This amazing collection was displayed in the Houdini Museum in Niagara Falls and also used as set dressing in the 1953 movie "Houdini" starring Tony Curtis and Janet Leigh.
* Collection of wrist and ankle shackles, containing twelve individual contraptions including a wrist, ankle, neck shackle, a large padlock, and wrist and ankle shackles (pre-auction estimate $60,000 - $80,000), which were formerly on display in the Houdini Museum collection in Niagara Falls. Prior to the Museum's acquisition, Henry Miller purchased the collection from Joseph Dunninger, who acquired them from Beatrice Houdini.

Auction previews will take place on the following days at Briggs Auction, 1347 Naamans Creek Road, Garnet Valley, PA :

Tuesday, February 18: Noon-5pm
Wednesday, February 19: Noon-5pm
Thursday, February 20: Noon-7pm
Friday, February 21: from 9am

See the full auction catalog on BriggsAuction.com. Absentee and telephone bidding will be available during this auction. Live online bidding is offered through liveauctioneers.com.

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