Saturday, December 24, 2011

Did 'Real Deal' buy a Houdini fake?

Just a couple of quick TV alerts before I take a break until the new year. First, there will be a repeat of The History Channel's Real Deal that features a Houdini autograph on December 27th at 9:30am. The episode is called "Autograph Anarchy" and first aired December 11. You can also watch the full episode online or buy it on Amazon.

I gotta say, I would not be comfortable authenticating this autograph (below), which the show bought for $1,200. It could be legit, but it looks a little suspicious to my eye. The seller says he bought the autograph in Las Vegas, but has lost the certificate of authenticity.

Also watch out for an episode of The Discovery Channel's Oddities featuring what is said to be a Houdini throwing knife. The episode is called "Piece of Mind" and repeats on January 31 at 6:30am.

Houdini had throwing knives? That's a new one to me. I've not seen this episode yet, but I hear the seller does supply a letter of provenance, so I'll be curious to check it out.

UPDATE: Well, the "Houdini" throwing knife on Oddities seemed as sketchy as this autograph. It sold for $1,300.


  1. This should have been aired on April 1st. :)

  2. I was hoping you'd comment on this, Kevin. You are the man to make the call on this one. :)

  3. I have many HOUDINI autographs (Books, letters etc.,) and I must say I have nothing that looks like even close to this one. I'm aware of several autograph dealers in LV, who sell nothing but FAKE autographs of everyone imaginable along with a good story and let's not forget that CERTIFICATE of AUTHENTICITY, which usually isn’t worth the paper it's printed on. Buyers BEWARE!

  4. I don't think it looks completely bogus. It's hits all the points of a Houdini signature. But there's just something about it that FEELS wrong. That and the letters seem just too close together. It's looks and feels like a practiced forgery.

  5. I own a genuine Houdini signed letter to Oscar S. Teale.

    First off, this autograph IS A FAKE, period. It's very obvious there is no pen flow in the signature. The person obviously studied a real Houdini signature and tried their best to copy a known real exemplar and the result is amateurish at best.

    Here is the dead giveaway, Houdini always broke his signature between HOU and DINI. So you will see them connect, but the line pressure wanes off quite a bit. That is consistent with nearly every authentic Houdini sig you will see.

    Further, the dots in the "i's" are in the wrong spots consistent with Houdini's signature flow.

    Sorry but they got conned.

    1. I'd say your're right on all points, Anon.

    2. You cannot decide an autograph "pen flow" as fake, just by seeing a picture of it. Please,leave autograph authentication to forensic handwriting experts.