Thursday, April 7, 2016

Four legends, one photo

This press photo recently sold on eBay for $132.50. It's a terrific image that includes four legends of magic in one shot. Care to count them?

In this pic we see Bess Houdini (#1) and Edward Saint (#2) with Harlan Tarbell (#3) who is holding the Mirror Handcuffs (#4).

This photos appears to have come from a series of shots, most likely taken in Bess and Ed's Hollywood home during the run-up to the Final Houdini Seance in 1936. I shared another image of Bess and Tarbell as part of my "Hinson Endowment" back in 2013.



  1. She took the Darby's off the Mirror cuffs so that Tarbell could examine it more closely unimpeded.

  2. On a related post on my blog:
    Narinder commented that the darby which has appeared in photos snapped to the mirror cuff as early as April 13, 1936 the day Thurston died, may have signified the eternal bond between Bess and Harry. Is it possible that the cuffs were separated after the final séance and this photo of the four legends was taken some time after?

  3. It's a good possibility Joe. Bess has a look of relief since, as I understand it, she just wanted to get the Last Séance over with.

    The symbolic connotation of the Darby cuffs is an interesting angle. It would certainly explain why they were snapped to the Mirror cuffs.