Friday, April 5, 2019

Houdini's lost breakfront has been found!

While we've been focused on bathtubs and bookcases from 278, our friend Eric Colleary at the Harry Ransom Center has been quietly searching for another important piece of lost Houdini furniture. This was the large antique breakfront that once resided inside 278 and held many of Houdini's important books. The newspaper clipping below tells the story of the breakfront, and Eric's tweets from Monday offers the exciting update.


The breakfront has had a very interesting journey, including residing for many years in Governor’s Reception Room at the Texas State Capitol. Eric will be writing up the full story for the Harry Ransom Center website and magazine.


The Harry Ransom Center's Houdini Collections are open to the public and available via finding aids at the Ransom Center website.

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6 comments:

  1. With the other bookcase restored in Copperfield's museum, these are good times for Harry's library.

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  2. What I want to try and figure out is where this was inside 278. At the moment, there's only a few places I think it would have fit (on the parlor/library level at least).

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  3. Photos of the breakfront in 278 might solve the mystery of its location. Never seen one yet.

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    1. I haven't either. But now that we know what this looks like, we might be able to spot a corner or small part of it in some photo, so I'm got my eyes peeled.

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  4. Incredible story - thank you for sharing. Yet another puzzle in the "what happened where" in 278 saga! For all the depth of the parlor floor, there isn't a lot of width for all these huge pieces of furniture! Harry and Bess had a big brownstone but still lived the typical cluttered life of any New Yorker. Thrilling to see this in any case!

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    1. Absolutely T & J! The space inside brownstones is in the depth, and height--not the width. Harry had enough room for those large bookcases, more books piled around, and the breakfront.

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