Saturday, February 16, 2013

Treasure trove of Houdiniana at auction Feb 22

A treasure trove of recently discovered magic memorabilia from the collection of the late Edwin A. Dearn will be auctioned by Lawsons in New South Wales on Friday, February 22, 2013. The auction includes many Houdini letters and photographs, some never before published, such as these beautiful portraits of Houdini and Bess below.

According to a story in The Daily Telegraph, Dearn's daughter-in-law discovered these forgotten gems in a wooden chest while she was cleaning out her garage in Sydney. Items include books, signed photos, several letters between Houdini and Dearn, and a remarkable letter from Bess written two months after Houdini's death detailing the dressing room punch and her final moments with her husband (Tom Interval highlights this letter on his blog, Houdini Museum).

Lawsons auction house managing director Martin Farrah said, "Not in your wildest dreams would you expect a collection like this to pop up in Australia."

The auction is called Houdini Magic & Einstein Memorabilia and the estimates are remarkably low. Several of the Houdini photos are in Lot 1813 along with a wealth of other rare photos of famous magicians and magic ephemera.

This is going to be a blood bath.

Thanks to Tom Interval at Houdini Museum and Robert Teicher from Sydney for the alerts.

UPDATE: Lawsons Houdini lots blow past auction estimates.


  1. wow
    Amazing find....drooling :-)

  2. I don't like this.

    Cultural Heritage Act
    Australia operates a Cultural Heritage Act to control the export of works thought to have or be of cultural significance. It is the responsibility of the purchaser to obtain the necessary permit prior to exportation.

    1. Interesting. But I don't see anything here that has specific cultural significance to Australia, so I'd think you'd be in the clear. That would be something to ask the auction house.

  3. Two things I can spot Australian - flavoured are - Amazing Mr Rooklyn poster ( Australian magician, Jewish in the 30's onwards) And Davenport Brothers diary ( one of them is buried here). But I don't see why they can't be sold. Very exciting to see such goodies!