News-Antique.com - Jan 28,2009 - Santa Fe, Jan. 28, 2009 -- The myths surrounding Harry Houdini’s showmanship are as big as the footprints he left behind in magic history.
Death-Defying escapes. Impossible hocus-pocus phenomena. Audiences were so thrilled by Houdini’s act they were sure he had supernatural powers.
His legend made for great box office fodder.
“The easiest way to attract a crowd is to let it be known that at a given time and a given place some one is going to attempt something that in the event of failure will mean sudden death,” Houdini said.
Nowadays, holding a letter, wand, canvas straightjacket, hand-cuffs or leg-irons Houdini used in his stage act is almost as exciting as seeing the man himself in action.
On Oct. 28, Swann Auction Galleries, New York, featured the Magic Collection of a Gentleman on the block. Houdini artifacts were offered in the sale. Here are a few current values for Houdini items.
Photograph; manacled Houdini in bathing attire; standing on end of boat; 5 inches by 7 inches; signed by photographer Harry Gibson; $1,920.
Handcuffs; Houdini owned; standard pair; with key; stamped Houdini; $8,400.
Magician’s Wand; wood with silver tips; plaque in center says “Harry Houdini President Magicians Club London,” hallmarked; 15 ˝ inches long; $10,200.
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