Friday, July 21, 2017

BUYER BEWARE: USD presentation piece on eBay (UPDATE: Fraud confirmed)

A rare brass presentation piece commemorating the first public performance of Houdini's Water Torture Cell is currently being auctioned on eBay. It's now up to $3,500 with 64 bids. However, something fishy is going on here.

There are three known USD presentation pieces, and Dr. Bruce Averbook owns all three. He believes the one pictured on eBay is his, and the photos used in the auction are the same photos that were used back when he purchased it in 2007. He posted the original photos to Kevin Connolly's CONJURING HISTORY Facebook group, and the similarities are unmistakable. "Natalie Antiques" appears to have been cropped out of all the current auction images.

Current auction photo (left) and 2007 photo (right).

Bruce has reported the issue to eBay, but with only 17 hours remaining on the auction, there may not be time for the website to investigate, so...BUYER BEWARE!

UPDATE: Well, this sold for $6,500.99. Here's hoping it works out.

UPDATE 2: The seller antiques_arts has vanished and the bad feedback is starting. Looks like he took a several people to the cleaners on several high priced items.



  1. The seller has a 100% feedback score, so is it possible there is a fourth presentation piece in existence?

    1. If he has one, why not post a picture of it? Why use doctored pics from a past eBay auction? What he's showing is one that has already been sold.

  2. Agreed but only the seller can answer those questions. Does anyone know how many presentation pieces were made?

    1. Not sure. The three that exist were made for Houdini, Bess, and Circus Busch.

  3. So the seller has vanished and the bad feedback is starting. Looks like he took a few people to the clearers, not just with this item, but several others. Almost 60K worth.

  4. Wow! That's terrible! I hope those buyers are covered with PayPal.


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