Friday, March 25, 2011

Big Brian and Houdini's walking stick

Last Tuesday I watched the premiere episode of Big Brian the Fortune Seller as I saw there would be a Houdini reference. The truTV series follows estate seller "Big Brian" Elenson and his motley crew as they sell off years of accumulated goods from various homes in the New Jersey area.

While searching a home in this particular episode, Brian stumbled on a silver tipped Victorian walking stick engraved HH. Well, that can only mean one thing -- it must have belonged to Harry Houdini! Brian went on to say Houdini was "known to have used sterling walking sticks" (news to me) and that the item could be priceless. To his credit, he said he would need to research it.

The show continued with catfights, screaming matches, and the destruction of a piano that was so obviously staged it was embarrassing (and this from a guy who watches America's Next Top Model). At the end of the show the cane came back and, much to my surprise, Big Brian's "research" found that it was genuine! He based his conclusion on the handle inscription, pointing out that the double HHs matched Houdini's unique double HH signature (it doesn't). The show ended with Brian saying he would contact one of the major auction houses and "let the world decide the real value of the cane."

So who will start the bidding?


  1. $5 but I'm not paying a buyers premium.

  2. Hey I was the HIGH BIDDER at six dollars + buyers premium!!!! . . . okay, okay, not really. BUT...

    Over a decade ago here in Los Angeles, I was offered what was said to be Houdini's walking stick with HH on the handle. I cleaned up after wetting myself and waited to to hear back from the seller.

    Although the seller or the walking stick never materialized, it sure would have been a great thing to check out.


  3. Are there any photos of Houdini holding a walking stick? I don't recall any. I know there are pics of Dash with a stick, but not Harry. What Houdini always carried with him was his camera. Hey, maybe "Big Brian" could find us that. Maybe even in the next house he looks!

  4. Well the main thing I got out of this was that you admitted to watching "America's Next Top Model".

    What if the HH stands for Howard Hughes?

    (or Hugh Hefner?)

  5. in Canada, he allegedly was punched in the stomach by a university student who was testing Houdini's well-known ability to withstand blows to the body. That punch may or may not have been the cause of Houdini's ruptured appendix; regardless, Houdini collapsed onstage a few days later in Detroit, and was admitted to Grace Hospital, suffering from peritonitis.

    so you can wear black pants and a black long-sleeved shirt. If you are traditional, wear a jacket or a cape. Carry an appearing cane, a drooping flower, a raccoon puppet, or a wand. Even make yourself levitate!

  6. or maybe the walking stick belonged to Huckleberry Hound, Herbert Hoover, or Helen Hunt.

  7. Huckleberry Hound... Good one. :)

  8. oh come on, everyone knows "big" brian is a con artist that walking stick could have belonged to anyone with the initials "HH". like Huckleberry Hound or Hubert Humphrey.