Saturday, February 27, 2021

Soo's Unmasking bullseyes $26,400

In what must be a record for a signed Houdini book, a copy of The Unmasking of Robert-Houdin inscribed by Houdini to his friend Chung Ling Soo blew past its $4,000 - $8,000 estimate and sold for a whopping $26,400 (including 20% commission) in this weekend's Potter & Potter magic auction.


All the Houdini lots were red hot. A signed playing card sold for a stunning $11,400. A pair of gaffed Peerless handcuffs from the Wresch collection took in $13,200. A production baby said to have belonged to Houdini in his early days sold for $7,800. A collection of Dai Vernon's own mementos of the night he famously fooled Houdini at the Grand National Hotel in Chicago sold for $6000.


The auction also included a program for Houdini's last appearance at the Garrick Theater in Detroit in October 1926. That topped out at $7,200. This is likely another record for an unsigned program.

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5 comments:

  1. This was without a doubt an auction for those with really deep pockets. Very few items sold for less than a $1,000.

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    1. That really wonderful Bessie letter to Dunninger stayed reasonable. I considered taking a run at that.

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    2. Yeah that letter was only $420. This auction reminded me of the scene in Warren Beatty's film Bugsy. The mob leaders are meeting over the fate of Bugsy Seigel. One of them says: "Seigel has no respect for money."

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  2. The Houdini brand is as strong as ever..

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    Replies
    1. Indeed. I resisted the urge to gloat that last month a signed Thurston playing card sold for $468. Pretty big gap there!

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