Wednesday, January 9, 2019

What's wrong with this picture?

This "Harry Houdini Signed Photo Sheet" is up for auction by High End Memorabilia in Gardena, California. It is being offered on Liveauctioneers and comes with a certificate of authenticity from Stephen Rocchi GFA. Estimate is $1,000 - $1,375.

But there's something very, very wrong here. Do you know what it is?

This page is from Houdini His Life Story by Harold Kellock, first published in 1928, two years after Houdini's death! So this is an out and out fake. What troubles me is the signature looks pretty good, so that tells us there is a skillful forger out there.

I tried to notify the auction house. Here's their reply:

"Thank you for letting us know and we will look into this we do our normal steps and provide two different COA's with each of our items: one that is a third party authenticator, and the other that comes from us as a LuxeWest 100% lifetime guarantee. If you have any other questions, please do not hesitate to reach out again. Please remember if you do a direct buy I can take off the 25% buyers premium for you and even give you a discount code."

Bidder beware.

Thanks to Kevin Connolly.

UPDATE. Here we go again. Also a page from Life Story.



  1. This lot is still up with a letter of authenticity posted. Letters of authenticity can mean nothing.

    1. It's actually listed under a few different lot numbers with different end times. One ended yesterday with no bids.

      Click the link on the name of the guy who supplied the COA. Eye opening.

  2. Maybe Houdini DID come back from the grave after all and signed this page while he was here? I hope some poor soul doesn't get duped into buying this. Shame on them for keeping such a blatant and laughable fraud up for auction.

    1. And I'm not the only one who has notified them about this. I would beware buying anything from this auction house.

  3. I sent an email to Liveauctioneers and it looks like that did the trick. The active auction has been pulled.

  4. Somewhere Harry is smiling down upon you. You know what his reaction would have been! --Dale

    1. Thanks! But I'm sure they heard from a few people, not just me.


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