Thursday, December 6, 2007

Rare Water Torture Cell presentation piece up for auction

A unique Houdini Water Torture Cell related item has gone up for auction via eBay Live Auctions. Rather than me trying to explain, I’ll let the auction description speak for itself. I think this is something very special.

1912 Harry Houdini "Water Torture Cell" Presentation Piece from Circus Busch Containing the Original Concept Art for the Performance's Famous Poster

Offered is the unique Chinese Water Torture Cell Presentation. A solid brass testimonial given to Houdini to commemorate the escape's first public performance. ... The first public performance of the Water Torture Cell was at Circus Busch in Berlin, Germany, on September 21, 1912. The Busch owners, grateful for being selected as the venue for this impressive stunt's debu presented this very heavy, solid brass frame as a testimonial (measuring 11-1/4"-wide by 13-1/4"-tall by 1" in thickness). The front is beautifully engraved, complete with an oval door that displays the circus' name and the performance date in raised letters on its facing, and when opened reveals the original artist's water color concept that was used in preparation of the finished form seen on Houdini's famous 1912 poster for this act. The obverse has been inscribed with the year "1912" above and the words "UPSIDE DOWN IN THE WATER TORTURE CELL" below a large oval window of heavy glass. The glass protects what initially appears to be a plain black and white lithograph of Houdini, both entering the cell and being fully immersed in that same device, while a Teutonic giant secures the lid. This image morphs into full color when the brass handle-fitted divider insert is raised, creating an illusion of its own! (This wooden divider's brass handle section is engraved with the performer's name, as well.)

UPDATE: SOLD for $37,500.

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