I'd also add that this image appears to me to deliberately evoke similar photographs of popular strongmen of the era, such as Eugen Sandow. These photos where considered artist studies of the "perfect physique", recalling classical Greek and Roman sculpture. So Houdini was doing what he did so well -- mixing art forms and taking it to new level; a Grecian Ideal strongman in chains from which he escapes. Electric!
Click the headline to read the full interview at The Hot Bid. Potter & Potter's "The Magic Collection of Jim Rawlins Part III" auction can be viewed HERE.