Friday, March 6, 2020

Milk Can and Iron Box surprise at auction

The Iron Box seen in Houdini (1953) and a Milk Can that might be the can Houdini used for his Double Fold Death Defying Mystery sold in auction at Bonhams in New York today. The Milk Can sold for $50,075 and the Iron Box for $6,325 (both prices include premium).

I admit I find both these prices surprises. The Milk Can sold for more than I expected and the Iron Box for far less (although I knew the 50,000 - 70,000 estimate on the Iron Box was astronomically optimistic). Try as we might, we could never quite authentic either of these as ever having been used by Houdini himself, although they have interesting history nevertheless.

The real mystery now is who the new owners are. If you're the lucky winner, or know who the winner is, please drop a comment below or shoot me an email. I'd love to know where these intriguing pieces of Houdini history will now reside. [See update.]

My thanks and congratulations to the good folks at Bonhams who allowed me to examine these up close a few weeks back.

UPDATE: It appears the Milk Can has found a new home at the Houdini Estate in Laurel Canyon, CA.



  1. Interesting when you mentioned that the two items could not be conclusively connected to HH. Is there any documentation of the Can in Box escape in a poster or newspaper ad or article? We can connect the iron box to Tony Curtis.

    1. The trick is placing this exact can in the Double Fold box. There is the pic in the Ransom Center of a can inside the box with a very similar lock on the neck, but rivets are a mismatch.