As expected, the Double Fold Death Defying Mystery box was the star of the show. The custom made chest beat its estimate of $20,000 - $25,000 to top out at $55,000 (before 23% buyers premium). I think that is a very good price for both the seller and buyer. And before anyone asks, I do not know if the buyer was David Copperfield, although I hope that it was. I think his International Museum and Library of the Conjuring Arts in Las Vegas would be the perfect home for this important Houdini artifact.
I'm thrilled to say the second highest selling item in the auction was the lost spiritualism scrapbook that WILD ABOUT HARRY had a major hand in helping uncover last year. The scrapbook blasted past its auction estimate of $15,000 - $20,000 and topped out at $36,000 (before premium). A very big congratulations to our friend Mike!
The Cologne Papers fell within their estimate and fetched a very respectable $26,000. Possibly what held it back from going even higher was the fact that the papers are mostly in German and the buyer will have to incur the expense of having these translated to discover what secrets they may hold. Let's hope that happens.
|SOLD for $11,000.|
The Houdini/Morritt plans for the Black and White illusion conjured $10,000. The unfurnished manuscript to Houdini's last book Witchcraft came in at $15,000. Houdini's heavily corrected revised manuscript for A Magician Among the Spirits grabbed $16,000.
Bessie's tailcoat took $9,500 (estimate $7,000 – $9,000). An early Houdini bust grabbed $10,000. The 16mm film of Hardeen doing the overboard box escape in Atlantic City fetched $1,300. Even though this blew away the estimate of $300 - $400, I still feel like it's a deal considering this film has never been shown before. (Overall, it seemed the best deals were on Hardeen and Bessie items).
What might have been the biggest surprise of the auction was a single combination padlock with an terrific letter of provenance from Hardeen that took away $16,000 (estimates was $7000 - $9000). Another surprise was a photo of Houdini leaping from a ferry that was estimated at $800 - $1000, but made a splash with $4,200.
|SOLD for $16,000.|
Speaking of photos, the image of Houdini in Russia grabbed $1,400, and the candid pic from Bess's birthday party inside 278 fetched $4000.
|SOLD for $8,500.|
The only pass in the auction (that I witnessed) was the large Europe's Eclipsing Sensation advertising board. Ironically, this is the item that graced the cover of the auction catalog. It had a whopping $25,000 - $35,000 estimate with a $15,000 opening bid; even higher than the Double Fold box!
Overall, the auction was beautifully managed by Potter & Potter. Estimates were accurate and realistic, and many items met or beat their high end estimates. There were both breakouts and deals. (I'm kicking myself for flinching and not getting a terrific handwritten Bessie letter that went for only $250.)
Congrats to all the buyers and sellers and to Gabe Fajuri at Potter & Potter Auctions. This will go down as one to remember!
Special #Houdiniana thanks to John Cox @HoudiniWild, a great resource for Houdini info, check out his blog...http://t.co/K61zv3tjuP
— Potter & Potter (@PnPAuctions) August 27, 2014