Saturday, July 25, 2020

Houdini's wagon wheel rolls away with $4,200

The wagon wheel that came from the basement of Houdini's 278 sold today at Potter & Potter's Magic Collection of Jim Rawlins Part IV auction for $4,200 (not including the buyer's premium). This was the only 278 artifact to sell in today's auction. The two sinks, wine press, and bathtub received no bids.

The medicine chest from 278 did sell for $1,600 in Haversat & Ewing's auction last week.

Some other Houdini standouts in today's Potter auction was a photo of Houdini hog-tied in chains ($3,200); five behind the scenes photos from The Grim Game plane accident ($2,200); a unique autograph album ($4,200); a pair of Cummings handcuffs ($4,200); a German Bell Padlock ($3,400); a photograph of Houdini and Ching Ling Foo ($2,200); and a curious postcard written the day before the Mirror Challenge in which Houdini expresses his wish to one day become a Mason ($900).

A magnificent photo of Houdini emerging from a safe sold for $1,400. I was the unbidder on that one.

In other auction news, a Mastery Mystery Episode 10 poster sold for a reported $43,200 in a recent online Heritage Auction.

Congrats to all the buyers and sellers!

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11 comments:

  1. FWIW: In Dixie Dooley’s Book, Houdini Question Reality, he mentions on page 87 that Mr. Wilkes offered him “large wagon wheels” from 278, but he didn’t have room for them. Dixie did have room for a ladder and a packing crate that Houdini used in his escapes.

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    1. Interesting Dixie says "wheels", as in more than one. I've only ever seen the one in the pre-Fred photos of the inside of 278. But if there were more than one, it sends me back to a pet theory that these might have the wheels off the vanishing elephant cabinet! But that might be too fanciful.

      I wonder who got the wheel? It apparently wasn't DC.

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    2. John--you saw a photo of a wheel inside 278 before Fred owned it?

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    3. Well, what I've seen are the photos Fred took when he first bought the house, showing the condition it was in and what was there. It's was a mess! And, yes, the wheel is there. I'll share them at some point if the owners are okay with it.

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    4. Thanks! I'd love to see those photos. Are you saying the basement was a mess or the entire house?

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    5. Entire house. It clearly suffered some rough years between the Bonannos and Fred.

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  2. It looks like Rose Bonanno didn't take care of the house, prolly the last years she lived there. Fred had to deal with the upkeep. Any way you cut it, a house is work.

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    1. I wouldn't blame the Bonannos. They sold in 1980 to Louis Moise. Fred bought it in 1991. These 11 years are when things really went downhill.

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    2. Ah! I wasn't aware of Louise Moise--the culprit.

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  3. Are there any known interior photos of 278 from the Bonnano years?

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    1. There are some of the Bonnanos in the kitchen and Rose during seances sitting with Walter Gibson, etc. But you can't really see much of the house.

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