But what has me most intrigued is what's tipped into the front of the book. The seller doesn't mention it, but does include a picture. It's Houdini's famous "Apology in the Name of the Kaiser" poster from 1902. But if you look closely, it is not the same poster we are all familiar with.
|Click to enlarge.|
In this version, Houdini is presented looking much closer to middle age. Note the grey temples. In the more familiar poster (which you can see here), he's the youthful 1902 version. In fact, the entire poster appears to be redrawn. The judge on the far right has his hand to his cheek, which he does not in the original. Overall, I think it's a much better illustration, capturing the moment with more drama, and Houdini looks fantastic.
This is not the first time we've seen this variant. It also appears on page 8 of Houdini on Magic by Walter B. Gibson. But this one offers better clarity and is less cropped, allowing confirmation of just how different it really is.
It's hard to say if this image was tipped into the book by Houdini himself. But we do know he tipped photos of himself with Teddy Roosevelt into copies of The Unmasking (I own one of these myself), so possibly he did the same with this image. I'm curious if anyone has ever seen one of these in a copy of Unmasking before? Or anywhere else for that matter?
You can view the 30 day eBay auction HERE.
UPDATE: Looks like my post succeeded in getting the already crazy price bumped up to $6,950.00. Lordy.