Saturday, October 29, 2016

First subscriber's copy of Conjurers' Monthly sells for $20,910

The first subscriber's copy of Houdini's Conjurers' Monthly Magazine inscribed to Oscar Teale sold for a remarkable $20,910 in today's Potter & Potter auction of The Magic Collection of David Baldwin (Lot 279). The auction estimate was $3,000 - $5,000. Sale price includes the buyers premium.

Description: Houdini, Harry (Ehrich Weiss). First Subscriber’s Copy of the First Issue of Conjurers’ Monthly Inscribed and Signed by Houdini, Together with an Inscribed and Signed Photo of Houdini. August/September, 1906. Two pieces, matted in handsome presentation in a gilt wooden frame. Including Oscar S. Teale’s copy of the first issue of Houdini’s magazine Conjurer’s Monthly, inscribed and signed by Houdini: “To O. Teale, the first subscriber./This copy is the first one sent to anyone!! The regular subscribers will get theirs when others are made. 14th Sept. 1906/ Harry Houdini.” Together with a 1906 portrait of Houdini, inscribed and signed: “Aug 14/06. Dear Mr. T/Your dollar to hand for yearly subs. for Conj. Mag. and you are the first one to send money, therefore you are the first authentic subscriber/ Thanks/Houdini.” Both pieces torn in places, the magazine cover toned in nameplate. 21 x 12”. Not examined out of frame. Unique.

Houdini launched his Conjurers' Monthly Magazine in September 1906. The magazine ran for 23 issues until August 1908. In 1945, Hardeen helped revived it as The New Conjurors' Magazine, which lasted until 1949.

Overall, this latest Potter auction saw some remarkably high prices, with a Robert-Houdin Electric Pendulum Clock selling for $61,500 and another for $51.660. I tried for two Houdini photos (Lots 282 & 286), but lost out on both. (Still looking for my "Moses Buy" for 2016.)



  1. Good try my friend. Original HH photos are going for at least $500 these days.

  2. My late father's magic collection includes autographed and inscribed copies of one of Houdini's books, a photo and a Christmas card. All going well they will be auctioned by Potter and Potter early next year.