Sunday, December 1, 2013

Houdini and Hardeen magic props sell well at Martinka's

SOLD for $18,750.
A Houdini Gambling Bottle and a Magic Wand that belonged to Hardeen sold today at Martinka's latest auction of vintage magic memorabilia. The Houdini bottle fetched an impressive $18,750 while Hardeen's wand waved up $2000.

What's notable is the Hardeen wand failed to sell back in March when it topped out at $971 without meeting the reserve. Today it doubled that. Is this a sign that we are in a bull market for Houdiniana?

The Houdini Gambling Bottle is a metal bottle approx 10" tall made of painted copper and is gimmicked so that when the top rim is twisted the contents inside are exchanged. Numbered dice or balls would be switched so that the resulting totals could be controlled. The bottle was gifted to Al Flosso and includes a Certificate of Authenticity from Al's son, Jack.

Hardeen's yellow tipped ivory wand belonged to William Mahan who received it directly from Hardeen himself. Says Mahan, "We were close to Hardeen you know. Theo's gifts were the heart of my collection."

SOLD for $2000.


  1. I know Houdini had a collection of wands used by other magicians, but come to think of it, I don't recall him ever using a wand himself. Am I wrong about that?

    1. I've never seen any image of him using a wand. There are pics of him wielding a cane as he does large scale magic.

    2. Now just a minute here. There is a photo of HH with a wand under his armpit. He must have used it to poke the silk into the tube to change its color:

    3. Oh my gosh, yes, of course. How could I forget this? It's just one of the most famous photos of Houdini. :) Indeed, he's using a wand. Circa 1897. Thanks Leo.