Sunday, July 15, 2012

Houdini pitchbook with Weed Chain cover nabs $1,230

A rare copy of Houdini's Life and Adventures pitchbook sold in a Martinka auction today for $1,230.00 (plus 15% commission). What makes this copy especially desirable is it features a fantastic image of Houdini in the Weed Chain tire grips challenge on the cover. Martinka also notes the condition as "the finest example we have encountered".

I'm not the expert on pitchbooks (John Bushey is), but I expect this might be the rarest cover of this particular book. In fact, I don't recall seeing one in auction before. According to the mighty Bushey, there are two variants of the Weed Chain edition -- a "one signature" and a "two signature."

Houdini nicely cross-promoted himself with the Weed Chain Tire Grip Company in 1908. Not only did he feature an ad for Weed Chain on the back of his pitchbooks, but the Weed Chain Company themselves featured an account of the challenge, complete with this same photo, in their own company pitchbook (click here to see that).

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