Saturday, February 2, 2013

Original typescript for A Magician Among the Spirits at auction Feb 18

Houdini's original revised typescript for his final book, A Magician Among the Spirits, is going on the auction block February 18, 2013 as part of PBA Galleries online auction of Rare Books & Manuscripts. The estimate is $70,000 to $100,000 (!). Here is the full auction description:

Sale Number 500. Lot 109.
Original typescript, 408 leaves on quarto sheets, numbered 1-398 + 11 pages numbered 299b-299k . 28.5x21.5 cm (11x8½"). In period ring binder, covered in green

The original typescript for a new edition of Houdini's exposé of the fraud and deception endemic amongst the spiritualists, psychics and other paranormal practitioners. When first published in 1922 by Harper's, Houdini's manuscript was dramatically cut from 175,000 words down to 75,000 words. Displeased with the published work, Houdini was preparing this typescript for a second edition at the time of his unfortunate, and untimely, death. The typescript contains several holographic notations in Houdini's hand as well as other revisions in the hand of his assistant Oscar Teale. Provenance: The Collection of Milbourne Christoper, sold at Swann Galleries, October, 1997 (lot 191); a private collection since. Bookplate from the Christopher Collection inside the rear cover. Apart from a facsimile of this typescript printed while part of the Christopher collection, this revision has never been published.

Click here to view the auction page and bid at PBA Galleries.

Thanks to Greg Jung of PBA Galleries for permission to use this photo.

UPDATE: No sale for Spirits typescript.