Tuesday, July 11, 2017

A mini Mirror Handcuff mystery

A reader named Ian sends in these images of a mini (5.5cm) brass replica of Houdini's Mirror Handcuffs with a request for help in identifying them. These belonged to his late brother-in-law, Matthew Brown, who was a handcuff and Houdini collector. Ian points out they are the size of thumbcuffs, if one had very large thumbs. He has no idea how old they are or whether they are one-of-a-kind and he does not have the key. Ian sold his brother-in-law's collection, but says, "This is the last and most intriguing cuff which is why I kept it too last."

At first I was excited to think we may have found the mysterious Tatler cuffs, but these do not appear to be the same design.

If anyone has any idea what these are, please leave a comment below or contact me. I can also put you in direct touch with Ian.

UPDATE: So it appears these are one of several different working mini Houdini handcuffs made for fun by John Bushey of Minnesota and Ian McColl of Australia. These particular cuffs are said to have been made by McColl.

Thanks to Terry Roses.



  1. mini thumbcuff made by Ian McColl

  2. Thanks Anon. That is indeed what I'l hearing.

    1. John never made a pair of these.

  3. If you go to John Bushy on Facebook, his photo has him wearing a set.
    He told me he was making them and other miniature handcuffs.
    If I remember $50.00 for any of them. I purchased a Lilly Iron miniature.
    Jon Oliver

  4. Ian McColl made all the mini brass cuffs shown in the photo of John Bushey on his FB page. Due to John Bushey battle with Cancer, John was reluctant to go to one of the Indy Lock shows due to his health. I lent John my mini handcuff collection for him to display at Indy show, He made a display case and it gave him a good reason to go. After that John produced some mini lilly iron cuffs with my instructions on how to do that. He gave /sold some of these to other collector. He also made repro of a known thumbcuff once produced by another magic. John made a one off mini Guiteau cuff for me. On John death, None of my items were returned to be despite John claiming they would . I believe they were given away .Author of this post Ian McColl