Saturday, October 28, 2017

Houdini muscles in on Blackstone auction

Potter & Potter's latest auction may have been devoted to Harry Blackstone, but just as in life, his chief rival Harry Houdini was there to try and steal his thunder!

The Blackstone auction include several nice Houdini lots, including the remarkable signed cabinet photo seen on the right ($11,685), Houdini's "Handcuff King Breaker" Lilly Irons ($22,140), and a file of papers related to Houdini's formal complaint against Blackstone for performing his Overboard Box escape ($4,920). The complaint resulted in Blackstone's expulsion from the S.A.M, and the file includes what's described as his "biting and anti-Semitic-laced four-page response", including this choice quote:

"...this chosen son of the great Patriarch, seems to be hankering for the limelight constantly, and not satisfied with being the ‘Handcuff King’, a motion picture idol, and a sometime headliner, will still stoop to the old time worn stunt of his kind to cry ‘Thief’, when he never had an original trick in his whole career…"

But Blackstone did pretty well himself today. Many of his lots reached Houdini-like prices, including $46,740 for a performance-worn tuxedo.

Potter & Potter's next "Winter Magic Auction" will be December 16 and will include "a selection of escape artist-related items, including handcuffs, locks, keys, and memorabilia."

Related:

8 comments:

  1. Harry referred to Blackstone as the man with the bad hair.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Is that a joke, or did he really?

      Delete
    2. No joke, I read it somewhere but can't recall the source. It's not in Silverman but could be in the Kalush bio. I don't have that book with me now.

      Delete
    3. Funny. From what I can see, Blackstone had sensational hair. His hair, especially after it turned grey, became kind of his trademark.

      Delete
    4. Blackstone's hair always had that shaggy unkempt look. Not unlike Bob Dylan's hair in the 60s.

      Delete
  2. Like Houdini had great hair....But he looks tired already in that photo as he was already looking to retire and get out of impossible performance routine.......it was killing him

    ReplyDelete
  3. 11,600 for the pic thats crazy money, King of Cards poster sold for the same, no??

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's really amazing what original signed photos of HH are selling for these days. But this one has a lot going for it. An unpublished image. Nice Harry Handcuff Houdini inscription. And I guess we are to assume that L. Hoffmann is THE Professor Hoffmann. So a lot here to attract the big gun collectors. And it only takes two.

      Delete

Translate

Receive updates via email