Saturday, September 17, 2011

Signed Houdini calling card sells for $5,120 at Tony Curtis estate sale

A signed Houdini calling card that mentions Harry Cohn and belonged to actor Tony Curtis sold today for $5,120 (including commission) as part of the Tony Curtis estate sale at Julien's Auctions in Beverly Hills. The Houdini calling card was lot #403 and blew away the auction estimate of $600 - $800.

The calling card is dated April 19, 1919, when Houdini was making movies for Paramount-Lasky and Cohn was just starting out in the business. Cohn would later become one of Hollywood's biggest moguls as President and founder of Columbia Pictures.

Ironically, Cohn would reject doing a Houdini biopic at his studio, complaining that it was "lacking in romance and needed a better ending than a punch in the solar plexus." Paramount would be the studio to finally tackle Houdini's story in a 1953 movie which starred, of course, Tony Curtis.

Visit the Julien's Auctions website for the complete Tony Curtis Estate Sale catalog.


  1. I didn't even know they were auctioning off his estate. I'm just a tad bummed. Though still sad that Tony Curtis is no longer with us.

  2. The auction is still going on. You can watch it live at the Julien website.