Tuesday, June 30, 2015

11 Houdini lobby cards sell in auction

A treasure trove of rare Houdini silent movie lobby cards sold yesterday at the Profiles in History auction of The Morris Everett, Jr Collection, Part 1. Included was an ultra-rare title card for The Grim Game which sold for $5,500. I expect this is a new record. The auction featured lobby cards from all of Houdini's films except The Man From Beyond.

  • The Master Mystery - "The Madagascar Menace" - $2000
  • The Master Mystery - "The Water Peril" - $1,500
  • The Master Mystery - "The Mad Genius" (electric chair) - $3000
  • The Master Mystery (2 cards) - "The Mad Genius" & "Barbed Wire" - $1,600
  • The Grim Game - Title card - $5,500
  • The Grim Game - "Get above him, I’ll drop to his plane" - $2,500
  • The Grim Game - "Over the edge – with death below and imprisonment above!" - $1,900
  • The Grim Game - "Lock him in the strongest cell!" - $3000
  • Terror Island - "Attempt to murder Harper" - $1,900
  • Haldane of the Secret Service - "What a story he listened to!" (color) - $1,900

Collectively the cards took in $24,800, and that's before the 20% to 28% commissions. You can see each of the cards on the Profiles in History auction catalog pages below.

Click to enlarge.


  1. HH looks catatonic in that Haldane lobby card. You can almost hear the blonde who's hugging him from behind say:

    "Harry, get out of the movie business."

    1. Ha! But I love the color on that card and the Haldane title logo. That's the card I would have gone after if I was flush enough.

  2. John: Looks like your Grim Game Lobby Card just went up in value.
    BTW: I am aware of two other styles of Grim Game Title Lobby Cards that are even rarer than the one that sold for $5500.

    1. Yep, I think the value of all HH lobby cards just shot up. :)

  3. The value of everything HH shot up since that Houdini Potter & Potter auction last year. Unsigned original photographs are now in the thousands.

    1. That's true. There has really been an explosive of Houdini in popular culture lately, and I think this is also helping push up values.

  4. Houdini was hot well before the Potter was even in business Leo.In 2006 a Houdini Poster sold at Swann for $78,000, actually two of them sold for that.Other examples too. Recent photos show the market for Houdini is still strong. That last Haversat auction a small photo went for nearly $4,000. The market for Houdini has been strong since the 1990's with the Butterfield auction, some record prices at that time as well.

  5. The Houdini market got even hotter after the Potter & Potter auction. Posters of famous magicians have been expensive for a long time. That was a given. I referred to the smaller ephemera that had hitherto been much more affordable.

  6. I'm sorry, but that statement is still incorrect. Here are some figures to ponder with prices going back well over 10 years ago. Compare the dollar then to now and the prices are higher. Houdini photos, postcards, challenges and posters were in demand well before any of the current auction houses were in business. The auction company you are promoting has nothing do to with the uptick of higher prices.
    Swann Galleries Auctions -
    Milbourne Christopher Auction 1997 -Magician Among the Spirits Manuscript $36,800
    Manny Weltman Collection 2002. Houdini Challenge (unsigned) $2,530
    Manny Weltman Collection 2002. Houdini Pitchbook (unsigned) $2,530
    Manny Weltman Collection 2002. Houdini postcard (unsigned) $1,093

  7. Can you believe an original Houdini pitchbook just sold on eBay for only $130? Nice to know this can still happen.