Saturday, August 11, 2012

Original Houdini handcuff photo locks down $687

Despite being in pretty poor condition, an original photo of Houdini in shackles sold on eBay today for an impressive $687 (the auction started at $14.99 without a reserve).

Taken in 1904 at the height of his fame as "The Handcuff King", this shot was used to illustrate Houdini's beautiful Europe's Eclipsing Sensation poster. It also appeared on the cover of his pitchbooks, tobacco cards, and continues to be widely used on book covers today. In many ways, it's the quintessential image of the great escape artist. This is probably why it fetched top dollar.

As always, congrats to the winner.


  1. I didn't think the big boys would go for it because it was so trashed. Thought I might be able to grab it for a price. I was wrong. :)

  2. I was going to bid but the price was too high based on it poor condition.


  3. Condition matters, but so does the background. Was there anything to indicate it was from a significant collection?
    I feel that the buyer could have waited for a better condition photo for that price.
    Bruce Thomson

    1. Nope. The auction just said: "From a cache of over 2,000 rare original B&W photos found in an old footlocker."