The Stephen A. Sparks
Collection


Specializing in Houdiniana

  

 Weather in Las Vegas, Nevada

 

This WebSite will be devoted to items I currently have for sale. While most Collectible Dealers Occasionally have a Houdini item or two, we here at SASC Specialize in Houdini Material and have done so for 25+ years.

Not to mention having been in magic since 1963!

HOW TO ORDER:
This WebSite has no checkout feature. No "items in your basket", etc. etc.
To place an order, simply email or call me with your wants and I will email back within a couple hours - unless I'm out of town.
Email and phone information are located at the bottom of this page.

This WebSite isn't ALL Houdini material, as you'll see when you take the tour of the various pages.  There is something for Every Magic Collector!!

     

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This page was updated:

Saturday, December 3rd, 2016 @ 11:30am(Pacific)

4330-7547) EUROPEs ECLIPSING SENSATION HOUDINI POSTER

This poster was purchased, when they were first released, back in 1991 - now a whopping 25years ago.

Limited to only 500, the one offered here is a VERY LOW number: #36.

The poster has been professionally double matted and framed.

The frame is metal and is color coordinated with one of the colors in the poster.

Same with the double matting - the color of the matts selected/matched to the colors in the poster.

The imagine size is 21 1/2"x31 1/2"

The overall frame measures 28 1/4"x38" - $475.00/(free insured shipping within the USA)

    

4331-7547) EUROPEs ECLIPSING SENSATION HOUDINI POSTER 1000 Piece Jigsaw Puzzle

When put together, according to the box, this measures 19"x27".

A pretty good size puzzle.

As the photo below shows, the puzzle image is the Famous 1906 Houdini Poster.

Due to the box being unopened and in its original/unwrapped shrink wrap, the photos look a little washed out.

Distributed by Selchow & Righter. No date is given.

Makes a nice companion piece to the poster, above. - $45.00

          

DECKs of PLAYING CARDs LOTs

4332-4117) 18 Assorted Decks of Playing Cards - Most From the 1960s & 1970s - $40.00

1) JAJACO Round Playing Cards

2) Forcing Deck from International Magic Studio in London. (26) Eight of Diamonds -and- (26) Regular Cards.

3) Mene-Tekel Deck. Fox Lake red back cards. Haines House of Cards. Norwood, Ohio. 50 cards total with 2cards the same. 25 different pair.

4) ESP Deck. Fox Lake blue back cards. Haines House of Cards. Norwood, Ohio. Assorted/usual ESP symbol cards, plus other signs/objects, as well, A total of 61 cards.

5) 52 Blank Cards, no Jokers. Hoyle 'Official' Playing Cards. Bridge size. Red backs.

6) Forcing deck. Only three different cards in this 41 card deck. Three of Diamonds; Queen of Spades; and Five of Clubs. Fox Lake blue back cards. Haines House of Cards. Norwood, Ohio.

7) Aviator Deck with 28 Blue back cards -and- 28 Red back cards.

The next batch of decks are all regular decks.

8) Blue back Tally-Ho No.9

9) Red back Hoyle

10) Red back Fox Lake

11) Blue back Fox Lake

12) Red back Aviator

13) Red back Bicycle. Rider Back.

14) Blue back Bicycle. Rider Back.

15) Red back Club Special BEE Narrow Size. Cello is torn at the top, but the deck is still sealed with the stamp.

16) Princess Cruise Line Playing Cards Ė new/cello sealed. Cello torn on one side.

17) Snoopy deck. Produced by Hallmark.

18) Two Horses deck.

REMEMBER, all photos are Thumbnails - click on the photo to bring up the LARGER photo.

4335-1328) COMMEMORATIVE KEY CHAIN

The KeyChain is patterned in the likeness of a show ticket.

This comes from the 1994 New England Magic Collector's Association "Yankee Gathering" November 3,4, and 5 in 1994.

Charles and Regina Reynolds were being honored and their image is on the KeyChain.

It's made of metal and is light gold tent, in color.

To the right of "Admit One" is the stamped number: 150

Measures approx. 3 3/4"x1 1/2"

Still in original sealed clear plastic bag, these 20years later. - $20.00


ASSORTED IBM and SAM

PROGRAMs and PANORAMIC PHOTOGRAPHs

Did you, or a family member, attend any of these conventions? Did you receive one of these panoramic photographs and/or programs, they've been lost for years and you've ALWAYs wanted to replace it? Well, here's your chance!!!

Where you see a split in photo, this is caused by either myself trying to match up multi-photos or by the photographer matching up the sections. For a better look at each photo, please click on the 'Thumbnail' photos to see the larger.

4336-1652) 50th Annual S0CIETY OF AMERICAN MAGICIANs Convention Program and Panoramic photo from May 30th thru June 1st 1952 in Boston, Massachusetts.

Some of those performing/attending the convention (and may be in the photo) include:

Frances Ireland - Long Tack Sam - Bert Allerton - Slydini - Dr. Jaks - Silent Mora - Chan Canasta - Herman Hanson - Jay Marshall - Lou Tannen - Gene Gordon - Betty and Tommy Tucker - Dagmar - Stanley from London - Manny Williams

Those I did find include: Milbourne Christopher - Ace Gorham - John Scarne - Harlan Tarbell

Photo (29 1/4"x10") has been shrink wrapped onto a piece of foam core.

Program measures 8 1/2"x10 3/4" with 33pages.
(There are handwritten notes in the program, a newspaper clipping about the convention, and an envelope (with convention registration form and advertising flyer) from Herman Hanson to Dr. I. D. Hosman, so I'm guessing this was his program)

Photo is $75.00 - The Program is $45.00 -or- Take both for $100.00

               

4337-3544) 21st Annual INTERNATIONAL BROTHERHOOD OF MAGICIANs Convention Program and Panoramic photo from May 30th thru June 2nd 1949. Held in Chicago, Illinois.

Some of those performing/attending the convention (and may be in the photo) include:

Tony Slydini - Jack Gwynne - Dorny - H. Adrian Smith - Eugene Bernstein - Clarke C. Crandall - Joe Berg - Theo. (Okito) Bamberg - Sam Berland - Arthur H. Buckley - Bert Allerton - Paul le Paul.

Those I did find, include Tony Slydini and Jack Gwynne.

Program measures 6"x8 3/4" with 84pages.

Photo (20"x12") has been shrink wrapped onto a piece of foam core.

Photo is $75.00 - The Program is $45.00 -or- Take both for $100.00

       

4338-4587) One last Panoramic Photo from the:

ANNUAL BANQUET, 14th CONVENTION, MAGICIAN'S ALLIANCE OF EASTERN STATES

Berkley Carteret Hotel, September 29th, 1956.

Sorry to say, the only one I recognize is Ace Gorham. Maybe someone, who was in attendance or from the east coast, might find more faces and can email them to me.

Photo (20"x10") has been shrink wrapped onto a piece of foam core. - $50.00

SPHINX MAGAZINE LOTs

Choose A Lot, At Priced Marked -or- take ALL 3 Lots for $50.00

4340-1387) Five SPHINX MAGAZINEs From 1925 - $25.00

THE SPHINX MAGAZINE - Volume 24, #1 - March1925 - Official Organ of the Society of American Magicians. - Edited by A. M. Wilson, M.D. - Rosini and King on the cover. - 36 pages and measures approx. 8 1/2"x11 1/2". - Houdini's book exposing Margery the medium advertised in Hornmann Magic Co. adv (w/head shot of Houdini) -and- Houdini listed as the President of the SAM. - THE SPHINX MAGAZINE - Volume 24, #3 - May 1925 - AMAC and Chris Van Bern on the cover. - 36 pages and measures approx. 8 1/2"x11 1/2". - Houdini listed as the President of the SAM. - THE SPHINX MAGAZINE - Volume 24, #5 - July 1925 - Al Snyder, Editor of The Osirian on the cover. - 28 pages and measures approx. 8 1/2"x11 1/2". - Houdini listed as the President of the SAM. - Some paper loss along the outer edge, on the back cover. This is in the border area and no text, etc. is affected. - THE SPHINX MAGAZINE - Volume 24, #6 - August 1925 - Queen City Mystics, Assembly #11 on the cover. - 28 pages and measures approx. 8 1/2"x11 1/2". - Houdini listed as the President of the SAM. - Front and back covers are loose. - THE SPHINX MAGAZINE - Volume 24, #10 - December 1925 - Dr. Rockwell (Quack-Quack) on the cover. - 28 pages and measures approx. 8 1/2"x11 3/8". - Houdini listed as the President of the SAM.

4341-3674) Three SPHINX MAGAZINEs From 1928 and 1929 - $20.00

THE SPHINX MAGAZINE - Volume 27, #5 - July 1928 - Official Organ of the Society of American Magicians. - Edited by A. M. Wilson, M.D. - Laurant on the cover. - 40 pages and measures approx. 8 1/2"x11 3/8" - A couple of the magic dealers advertising the new Harold Kellock book: "HOUDINI, His Life Story" - THE SPHINX MAGAZINE - Volume 27, #9 - November 1928 - Oswald Williams, John Mulholland and Jasper Maskelyne on the cover. - 52 pages and measures approx. 8 1/2"x11 3/8". - Covers loose. - Small tear through the pages at the '12 o-clock position. - Due to 'pulp-like' paper, there's chipping around the edges of the outer covers. - Please see photo above. - THE SPHINX MAGAZINE - Volume 27, #10 - December 1928 - Birch on the cover. - 48 pages and measures approx. 8 1/2"x11 3/8".

4342-4555) Six SPHINX MAGAZINEs From 1930 and 1931 - $25.00

THE SPHINX MAGAZINE - Volume 29, #06 - August 1930 - Official Organ of the Society of American Magicians. - Edited by A. M. Wilson, M.D. - McDonald Birch on the cover. - 36 pages and measures approx. 8 1/2"x11 3/8". - THE SPHINX MAGAZINE -Volume 29, #08 - October 1930 - Fred Keating on the cover. - 48 pages and measures approx. 8 1/2"x11 3/8". - Full memorial page, by Bess Houdini, on the 4th anniversary of Harry Houdini's passing. - THE SPHINX MAGAZINE - Volume 29, #11 - January 1931 - Vilmos Lenard, MD on the cover. - 52 pages and measures approx. 8 1/2"x11 3/8". - Front and back covers are loose. - THE SPHINX MAGAZINE - Volume 29, #12 - February 1931 - Francis G. Benedict on the cover. - 48 pages and measures approx. 8 1/2"x11 3/8". - THE SPHINX MAGAZINE - Volume 29, #12 - February 1931 - duplicate issue. - Francis G. Benedict on the cover. - 48 pages and measures approx. 8 1/2"x11 3/8". - Front and back covers are loose. - Bits an pieces missing from the front and back covers in the border area. - Thanks to wide margins, no text, etc. are affected. - THE SPHINX MAGAZINE - Volume 30, #6 - July 1931 - Royal L. Vilas on the cover. - 42 pages and measures approx. 8 1/2"x11 3/8".

4343-7576 THE LIFE AND MANY DEATHs OF HARRY HOUDINI by Ruth Brandon.

Two First Editions: The British Edition -and- The American Edition.

Each HardBound with DustJacket.

Besides the usual items found in Houdini Biographies, Ruth Brandon explains, in detail, the secrets of Houdiniís most celebrated escapes, but, more importantly, she asks, "What was Houdini really trying to escape from?".

Searching for the answer, she reveals a man far more extraordinary than any audience could have imagined.

As the books states:

"Ruth Brandon reveals much that is new - including how Houdini invented a phantom son and wrote daily long letters to his wife, Bess. Also, the first full description of Houdiniís fabled death; and fresh material on the early life of Margery, the Medium who played such a significant role in Houdiniís life.

Chapters include:

The Manacled Diver - Rabbits from a Hat - Metamorphosis - Aaronís Rod - Two Ladies - Freaks - Handcuff King - With One Bound He Was Free - The Disappearing Fathers Trick - All in the Mind - The Death and Resurrection Show - The Lady Vanishes - Film Star - Merlinís Cave - Magician Among the Spirits - Margery - Inside the Coffin - Houdini Lives!

55 photos, some of which you wouldnít normally see in a Houdini biography.

a) British Edition. Copyright 1993.

Published by Secker and Warburg in London. 338 pages.

SIGNED TEN TIMEs!!

On the free end page is a sticker label with Ruth Brandon's signature. I purchased this book from Frank Koval, who brought it over from England. Later, Frank had Ms. Brandon sign the sticker and then Frank mailed this to me separately.

The "Acknowledgements" page is signed by the following:

Frank Dailey
Frank Koval
Jay Marshall
Morris N. Young, MD
Elaine Lund
Sidney H. Radner
Charles Reynolds
Eddie Dawes
Patrick Culliton

Book measures approx. 6 1/2"x9 1/2" - $150.00

          
-----

b) U.S. Edition. Copyright 1993.

Published by Random House in New York. 358 pages.

SIGNED SEVEN TIMEs!!

The "Acknowledgements" page is signed by the following:

Frank Dailey
Jay Marshall
Elaine Lund
Sidney H. Radner
Charles Reynolds
Eddie Dawes
Patrick Culliton

Book measures approx. 6 1/2"x9 1/2" - $125.00

   

4344-7265)  Houdiniís Texas Tours - 1916 & 1923 by Ron Cartlidge

This HardBound book, with Beautiful DustJacket, was written by Texasí own: Ron Cartlidge.

Printed by Capital Printing Co., Inc. of Austin, Texas.

119 pages with some NEVER BEFORE SEEN photographs and illustrations of Houdini performing in and around the Great State of Texas.

The book was Privately Published by the author.

Total production was a mere 700 copies. 648 copies of what Ron likes to call the "First Editions" -and- 52 "Special Editions".

Needless to say, the Special Editions sold out quickly.

If youíve followed the other books on Houdini, then you already know, you wonít find hardly anything having to do with the two tours Houdini made in Texas. Making this a Wonderful, New and Fascinating area to explore - and thatís just what the author, Ron Cartlidge, has done.

As the author puts it:

"Houdiniís two trips to Texas are covered in detail. The names of Texas citizens who assisted Houdini or challenged him are here, as well as the names of the cities that were lucky enough to host him. This book is not only for the magic historian but will be of interest to the general public as Houdiniís life is covered from beginning to end".

"Houdiniís tours of Texas include numerous challenges from the citizenry of Texas. There were also the escapes from straight jackets while hanging up-side down from tall buildings. Houdini enjoyed frequent visits to civic clubs, radio stations, and other groups to discuss Spiritualism and his life in magic".

"Houdini made a prediction on the outcome of the annual Texas-TexasA&M football battle. He called San Antonians remarkable, when 12,000 turned out in cold weather for a Houdini "hanging" and said, "The Deputy Sheriffs of Bexar County had the strongest arms of any men Iíve ever met".

Chapters include:

One: Houdiniís Life Before Texas
Two: 1916 - Fort Worth
Three: 1916 - Dallas
Four: 1916 - Houston
Five: 1916 - San Antonio
Six: 1916 - Austin
Seven: 1916 - Dallas
Eight: 1923 - Houston
Nine: 1923 - Galveston
Ten: 1923 - San Antonio
Eleven: 1923 - Austin
Twelve: 1923 - Fort Worth
Thirteen: Houdiniís Death and Funeral
Fourteen: Escapes and Challenges in Texas & Houdini Time-Line
Fifteen: Postscripts 2002

This is followed by the Bibliography and a detailed listing of the 41 photographs scattered through out the book.

As mentioned earlier, this is Great reading in an area of Houdiniís life, which the other Houdini biographers, simply didnít have the space and time to research.

GOOD THING MR. CARTLIDGE DID!!!

I am offering, here, the Numbered and Signed "SPECIAL EDITION": #13 of 52

GREAT inscription, by Mr. Cartlidge inside. - $150.00

               

      

4345-5467) HARDEEN TYPED WRITTEN, PERSONALLY SIGNED LETTER with ORIGINAL PHOTO

The letter (which shows his New York address)  is dated April 4th, 1945 and is on Hardeen's stationery in which he states he is: 'The Master Illusionist" -and- "Successor to his famous brother HOUDINI".

Hardeen would pass away, only a couple months later, on June 12th.

The letter is to Mr. Otto J. Regling, Hardeen writes:

"Replying to your letter of March 13th, wish to let you know that you can get a swell umbrella trick from Abbott. I have one, but it is not for sale. Have a nice Fish Bowl production from which you can produce a 14" fish bowl and at the same movement produce a large pot of flowers. Price complete with table $35.00. Have a couple foulards of Houdini's at five dollars each. Also a nice small gallows trick. Perhaps some day you may be able to come and see me at my home (by appointment) and then I could show you some of Houdini's belongings. Best wishes, I am Sincerely yours".

And it's signed "Hardeen" with "Theo. Hardeen" typed beneath this.

Letter measures approx. 8 1/2"x11" and while there is some chipping along the edges, none of the printed area is missing.

The letter is framed, along with a great Original photo of Hardeen, seated, wearing a suit, 3/4 face pose.

Photo is stamped: "Proof, Mitchell Galleries, 1500 B'way, NY".

This oversized photo measures approx. 9 3/4"x12 3/4".

There is a vertical crease, in the photo, 1 1/2" from the right border. This only goes through Hardeen's coat jacket, just up from his right wrist.

Letter and photo have been professionally matted with a beautiful museum quality frame. Over all size of the frame is approx. 22 1/2"x31 1/2" - $1,500.00

     

4346-1258) HOUDINIs ADVERTISING POSTER FOR HIS BOOK:

The Unmasking of Robert Houdin

Poster measures approx. 12"x18 1/2". Has a nice photo of Houdini sitting sideways on a chair, with book in his lap.

Poster is vanilla in color with black and red printing. Price of the book: $1.00

Some of the printing on the poster states:

"The Truth About Magic. The most fascination and Only Authentic Expose' and History of Magic Ever Written. 200 Superb Illustrations."

Then at the bottom is listed: "Conjurer's Magazine Publishing Company - New York City. N.Y."

Poster has been professionally matted and placed in a black wood frame. TruVue glass has been used, which provides for 98% of UV protection.

I've scanned three different sections. Please click the ThumbNail photos, below, to bring up the larger photo.

The scanned images are brighter than the actual poster itself. The first two photos, below, are truer to the actual color. Some reflection can be seen in the first photo, due to the glass.

Poster has a stain, at the top, which is actually on the backside and has bled through. I could of had this hidden, with the matts, but believe a Houdini poster should be displayed in its entirety. If you don't agree with this thinking, you could have the poster reMatted to hide the stain.

Poster was folded in the middle, at sometime over its lifetime.

Poster mounted onto Linen for protection and preservation.

With most all other Houdini posters bringing Hugh Sums, these days, this may be the only under valued one at this time.

Overall size of framed piece is approx. 19 1/2"x25 1/2" - $5,000.00

       

   

4347-4557) TWO HANDWRITTEN LETTERs, PERSONALLY SIGNED by BESS HOUDINI with TWO ORIGINAL PHOTOs

The first letter is written on Houdini's "On Tour" stationery. Under the words "HOUDINI (On Tour)", Bess has written "Forever"

One of Houdini's fans had written for a photo, but Houdini had passed away before the letter could be answered -so- Bess was now answering the letter.

Bess (in part) informs Miss Jackman:

"No doubt by this time you know my dear husband has gone forever. I thank you for the nice things you say of him, his untimely death has left me crushed and broken."

Bess goes on to tell about the two photo's she's including, with the letter, and to inform Miss Jackman that if she had seen the full evening performance, that it was her (Bess) who was Houdini's assistance in the trunk trick.

While this first letter isn't dated, the 5"x7" portrait photo of Bess (in her early years) is dated "Dec. 19 - 26". 49 short days after Houdini's passing.

The photo is signed:

To
Villa D. Jackman
from
Beatrice Houdini
Dec. 19 - 26

The second photo is the Famous Hollywood pose of Houdini, with his right hand just to the left of his face and his haunting stare.

The photo is rubber stamped:

Good Luck
Houdini

The second letter is also to Miss Jackman and dated Jan. 23 - 1927, at the lower left corner.

This stationery, with black borders, has a portrait of Houdini, in the upper left corner. - This was Houdini's mourning stationery, he used, after his Mother passed away in 1913.

Evidently, Miss Jackman must have written Bess a thank you for her letter of Dec. 19th and Bess is again answering Miss Jackman's second letter.

In this letter, Bess (in part) says:

"Thank you for your sympathy, the world will never know what I've lost. I have taken up the study of birds, and have quite an aviary now of the dearest canaries, and one darling parrot. I am also writing a book, a brief history of our lives, my dear hearts and mine, you will receive one of the first copies off the press."

The first letter measures approx. 8 1/2"x11" and the second 8"x10 1/4".

Both letters and photos have been professionally matted with a beautiful museum quality framed. Over all size of the frame is approx. 20 1/2"x41 1/2"

The glass looks cracked, on the letter to the right, but this turned out to be only a hair, on the camera lens. The glass isn't cracked.

Ken Silverman used the information, in these letters, to confirm Bess working with birds in her aviary -and- how she was "crushed" over Houdini's death. The letters are referenced in Silverman's book, "Notes To Houdini" (pages 180-181), which lists all his research material for his Houdini biography

Two RARE and informative handwritten letters by Houdini's widow, in such a short time after Houdini's passing. And, two Wonderful original photographs. - $5,000.00

         

LayAway is available, just email for details.

     

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Please CLICK HERE to check out my BioPage. Besides the Bio - there are 40 great photos of RARE Houdini items. Many from my Personal Collection.

If you've any questions or need further information, please don't hesitate to contact me:

Stephen A. Sparks (a/k/a Sparky)
The Stephen A. Sparks Collection
Specializing in Houdiniana
2873 Foxtail Creek Avenue
Henderson, Nevada 89052 USA

702-558-6110 (HomePhone)
702-350-5076 (Cell)

 

Email: Houdini374@aol.com       Ebay's: Gran*Houdini

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We, at SASC, are pleased to offer a LayAway Plan for those of you who would like this service. Just email for more information.

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