Sunday, February 24, 2019

Houdini portrait sells in Jim Rawlins Auction Part 1

Yesterday saw Potter & Potter's auction of The Jim Rawlins Collection, Part I. The auction included several nice Houdini lots, including this terrific original framed portrait of Houdini that sold for $2,640 (including buyers premium).

It's credited as being Russia in 1903. Intriguingly, the auction description says, "Not examined out of frame." Really? Could there be a message from Houdini on the back!? Let's crack it open!

Potter's next magic auction will be The Magic Collection of Ray Goulet on April 27. The next Jim Rawlins auction (there will be four total) is not yet listed.

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13 comments:

  1. Great portrait. Many of these early portraits of Harry were remarkably handsome, and one could more easily recognize the distinct Eastern European "look" in his countenance compared to when he got older. (Perhaps the back says, "Hey, John, what's happening? Great post today - Your pal, Houdini!")

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    1. It says it came from the Houdini Magical Hall of Fame. There might be a message from Henry Muller that says, "Sucker." ;p

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  2. The hairstyle is right for about that time. Not quite parted down the middle.

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    1. His hair obsesses me. :) It's also a good way to date photos.

      In the early years, his part goes back and forth. But it's parted in the middle in 1898-99. Once he's in Europe, he gets a very short haircut parted on the side. I'm wondering if a side part was more fashionable in Europe? Anyway, he lets it grow out into a mop, but it stays parted on the side. After his return to the U.S. in 1905, he starts parting it closer to the middle again (maybe with his first U.S. haircut -- again, fashion?). It then remains kinda off centered, with a tendency toward the middle as it got shorter and thiner.

      See, obsessed.

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  3. I thought it was just me who was obsessed with his hair! He grows a kind of mullet around 1914-15. An article can be written on just his hair.

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    1. Yes, his hair gets long from 1914-18, and very grey at the temples. That becomes kind of an iconic look for him. I love that Houdini. Then he has his dramatic makeover for the movies. Remember this post?

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    2. I remember that post. Harry gets his hair dyed and cut. His wildness gets reigned in, like cutting Elvis's pompadour before his stint in the Army.

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  4. Clearly, there is a need for a Houdini Hairstyle Chronology!

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    1. YAY! "The Hairy Houdini Timeline, Part 1 (left), Part 2 (right) and Part 3 (middle)!"

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    2. And then I think we need to debate whether Part 4 (off center) is intentional or just a bad hair day. This could be controversial!

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