Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Houdini photo frees up $364 on eBay

This sensational 5x7 photo of a young Houdini escaping from a roped chair sold on eBay yesterday for $364. I knew this one was going to fetch a nice price, and I wasn't wrong. On the back is written: "Houdini removing rope from around his neck to prevent strangulation." This is almost exactly the caption that appears on this photo in Kellock. There the photo is credited to "Coover and Rasmussen, San Francisco" and dated 1898 (likely a mistake -- Houdini was in SF in 1899).

It's intriguing to think this might be the original source photo for that book. The seller states this is from the 1920s, but after Houdini's death. Kellock was published in 1928.

Congrats to the winner of this beautiful, and potentially historic, photo.


  1. Dear John;

    A way to tell if this might have been the same picture used for the Kellock book is to see if the crop marks on the picture match the way the picture was cropped in the book.

    The Houdini Museum located in Scranton, PA.
    The only building in the world dedicated to Houdini.
    2 1/2 hour tour and magic show.
    Dick Brookz & Dorothy Dietrich

    1. That's an excellent idea!
      I am the winning bidder of this photo and a faithful follower of John's blog.
      Thanks for the suggestion and I'll let you know....

      Bruce Pla

    2. Congrats on winning that photo, Bruce!

      Unfortunately, the photo in Kellock doesn't appear to be cropped at all. And as I look at it closer, there appears to be more head room in the Kellock pic. So I'm not sure my theory holds up.

      But this is still an incredible shot of HH. And I like that Kellock gives us a date of 1898. That fact that this was taken before HH was famous makes it even more special.

  2. Bwaaaaaa he’s so cute! ❤️🥺