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:
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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:

Sunday, February 7th, 2016 @ 1:00pm(Pacific)

4304-5455) THE UNMASKING OF ROBERT-HOUDIN and HANDCUFF SECRETs by Harry Houdini

Chestnut brown cloth pictorial hardcover with black lettering on the front cover and gold gilt titles on the spine, heavy stock paper. The spine has a bust or cameo of Houdin.

In checking my sales records, I find I haven't had this particular edition to offer (with black lettering) since October 2005.

Before searching my records, I tried to take the easy way out by contacting, well known magic bibliographer, Stephen Forrester, for information.

To my surprise, Steve responded:

I have NEVER seen the copy of THE UNMASKING WITH HANDCUFF SECRETS in black titles and a light brown cloth!

I was shocked, as I thought Steve had seen EVERYTHING, by now, having to do with Houdini literature.

On the inside cover, handwritten in pencil:

Aah or Sah (I can't make it out) 1/3/25

On the free end page is pasted a calling card for Mr. G.H. Lunge, King's College, Cambridge. This measures approx. 3"x1 5/8"

The book was published, in 1909, by George Routledge & Sons, Ltd., Broadway House, Ludgate Hill, London, England.

Prior to the contents page, there's a two page Addenda and Corrigenda to the writings of Mr. H. Evans by the author.

There's are two advertising pages, in the rear of the book, by George Routledge & Sons, Limited.

The book has a ding or two, but please refer to the photos, below, to see how it's actually in really great condition for being almost 107 years old.

There are five pages listing the approximately 225 illustrations.

The first part of this book:

THE UNMASKING OF ROBERT-HOUDIN

333 pages which includes a full index.

Contents include:

The Significant Events in the Life of Robert-Houdin; The Orange-Tree Trick; The Writing and Drawing Figure; The Pastry Cook of the Palais Royal; The Obedient Cards---The Cabalistic Clock---The Trapeze Automation; The Inexhaustible Bottle; Second Sight; The Suspension Trick; The Disappearing Handkerchief; Robert-Houdinís Ignorance of Magic as Betrayed By His Own Pen; The Narrowness of Robert-Houdinís "Memoirs".

The second part of this book "HANDCUFF SECRETs" begins with a preface by Harry Houdini.

Contents include:

Introduction: Opening Sealed Handcuffs; Blunders of Some Handcuff Exposers; Fake or Spoof Manacle; American Manacles; French Letter Cuff; Lock Pickers; Safe-Opening Micrometer; Skeleton Keys; Cologne Police Sued for Libel; More Lock Picking Implements; Strait-Jacket Release; Method of Escape; Historical Lock Picking Contests with James Sargent as the Centre Figure; Handcuffs and Their Keys.

This includes approximately 50 illustrations and a total of 110 pages.

The book is HardBound and measures approx. 5 3/4"x8"

This is an Extremely Scarce book - $750.00 (Sorry, this book has sold to none other than Stephen Forrester - who will now be able to say, he has not only seen the book -but- owns it!!!)

      

     

4305-6325) TOMMY COOPER, Always Leave Them Laughing by John Fisher

The Definitive Biography of a Comedy Legend.

Published, in 2006, by Harper Collins Entertainment. Hammersmith, London, England

Table of contents has been reproduced, below, for ease in reading. Click the Thumbnail photo to bring up the larger image.

This is a Large size HardBound book, with original DustJacket, in that it measures approx. 6 1/2"x9 1/2", contains 470pages and over THREE DOZEN photo's.

Doesn't really appear to have been read - on a scale of 1-10, I would call it a 9.

The author was Cooper's friend and colleague, who witnessed first hand Tommy's comedic genius.

The author has provided his intimate knowledge with additional material accessed, for the first time, from the archives of Tommy's agent and manager, Miff Ferrie -and- with full co-operation of the Cooper family.

Simply put - this is a GREAT read. - $45.00

    

   

       

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4306-4321) THE RIDDLE OF CHUNG LING SOO by Will Dexter.

Published by Arco Publishers, Ltd of New York and London.

Will Dexter was born in 1909, always interested in Magic and one of the officers of The Magic Circle.

For this biography Dexter has gathered material from all over the world. He tells of Robinson's early experiences in the United States, of his appearance and calamitous failure at the Folies Bergeres as "Hop Sing Soo" - and his great success the following night as "Chung Ling Soo". He tells of the battle with Ching Ling Foo, a genuine Chinese magician. The truth behind the greasepaint and the Oriental mask, and yet retains all the glamour and colour of a great illusionist and a great personality.

Chapter's include:

Introduction - Acknowledgment - Who Was Chung Ling Soo? - Misadventure - The Man of Mystery - Exit Loo, Enter Soo - Foo Versus Soo - The Conquering Hero - "House Full" in Australia - A Change of Mind That Was Fatal - Close of an Era - The Man Who Wrote "Sensational Tales" - Fulton's Fantasy - The Trick That Scared Houdini - Front Row, Orchestra Stalls - Guardians of the Secrets - Secrets For Sale - Appendix One - Appendix Two - Index.

Table of contents has been reproduced, below, for ease in reading. Click the Thumbnail photo to bring up the larger image.

Spine is a little faded, but the rest of the book is just fine.

1955 First edition. HardBound with 223pages. - $45.00 (Sorry, this book has sold)

         

    

4307-1452) 1966 CLOWN STAMP issued by the US Postal Service.

Actually you get four stamps. Whatís offered here is a "Plate Block", which consist of four stamps (still attached) and the corner serial numbers
. This would have come from a Ďfull sheet of 20 stampsí. There's only one plate block per sheet of stamps.

As the photo below shows, itís a very colorful and Happy picture of a Circus Clown.

This stamp was issued almost 50 years ago to commemorate the American Circus and the Clown.

These are as new as the day they were issued.

Know someone who does Clown magic, etc. - well, hereís a great gift for them (or yourself). - $5.00(upto three available)

4308-1347) 1971 ROBERT-HOUDIN Stamp from France.

Portraits of Famous Frenchmen Issue. Scott Catalogue Numbers B445-B450.

This colorful set was issued to commemorate the lives of a few of Franceís distinguished historical figures. The color shadings of the stamps are subtle but visually stunning. Each is pictured on a stamp with an object symbolizing his lifeís work.

Those honored by the set are:

Daniel Francois Auber, composer
Gen. Charles Diego Brosset, architect
Victor Grignard, Nobel Prize winning chemist
Henri Farman, aviator
Gen. Charles Georges Delestraint, soldier
-and-
JEAN EUGENE ROBERT-HOUDIN, Magician

The stamps in this set have vivid, fresh colors, superb centering and perfect, never hinged gum. The striking colors would make these stamps gorgeous as a framed set. They are as New as the day they were produced, almost, 45 Years Ago. - $15.00

      

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


 

4309-1347) 1971 ROBERT-HOUDIN Stamps from France

Portraits of Famous Frenchmen Issue.

This colorful stamp was issued to commemorate the lives of a few of Franceís distinguished historical figures, of which one was Robert-Houdin.

The color shadings of the stamps are subtle, but visually stunning and show an object symbolizing his lifeís work.

The stamps have vivid, fresh colors, superb centering and perfect, never hinged gum.

They are as New as the day they were produced, almost, 45 Years Ago.

A total of four stamps for the one price. - $25.00

4310-8491) PHILIP MORRIS WINDOW CARD for his Pasadena, Texas performance of "Wonderful World of Fantasy" on Tuesday, September 16, 1969.

Measures 14"x22" and is Virtually Mint. Not bad for being, almost, 47 years old.

The BONUS of this offering is the Window Card is Autographed by Mr. Morris. - $25.00

4311-8522) MICKEY MOUSE "SORCERER's APPRENTICE" NIGHT LIGHT

Has a light sensor -so- the night light comes on automatically when the room, you use this in, goes dark.

Measures approx. 3"x4 1/2" and I believe it's from the 1990s.

I tested this for workability and it does work - see second photo below.

So cute and probably hard to find. - $25.00

    

4312-7478) WINDOW CARD POSTER FROM HOUDINIs FINAL TOUR

Providence, Rhode Island, Opera House.

September 20th, 1926 - just a little over a month before Houdini would die.

Measures approx. 14"x21 3/4".

Piece missing from upper left corner.

Greatest Magician of the Age

HOUDINI

Master Mystifier

3 SHOWS in ONE
A full Evening's Entertainment
Magic - Illusions - Escapes
And Fraud Medium Exposes

All this has been professionally matted and framed. Overall measurements are 22 3/"4x31". - $15,000.00

     

4313-8387) REMINISCE Magazine. Volume 10, #1 - January/February 2000.

Inside is the wonderful, one page, article: "HOUDINI...MY MAGICAL UNCLE" by Marie Hinson Blood.

Marie tells of the many memories of her favorite uncle. - $15.00 (check out the signed photo just below)

 

4314-0834) - Harry Houdini and Marie Hinson Signed 8x10 Photograph

This photo was produced and signed, almost, 23 years ago, in 1993.
 
Houdini and niece, Marie Hinson Blood, taken on set of one of Uncle Harry's silent movies.
 
HAND SIGNED in 1993 by Marie Blood
 
The delightful Marie Blood, niece of Harry Houdini, and the only relative (aside from Bess) to have appeared on stage with, and to have lived in the home of Houdini, passed away on November 2, 2004.
 
Marie wrote a portion of Pulitzer-Prize winning author Kenneth Silverman's biography on Houdini. She lectured to the national conventions of The International Brotherhood of Magicians and the Society of American Magicians.
 
Along with David Copperfield, Marie introduced the popular HOUDINI POSTAGE STAMP, in New York, on the date the stamp was released to the public. Marie participated in a nationally televised David Blaine publicity stunt (buried beneath a container of water), and was featured on other nationally broadcast Houdini-related specials including THE SEARCH FOR HOUDINI, hosted by Star Trek's William Shatner, as well as several episodes of television's INSIDE EDITION, and a nationally broadcast special, produced by Wisconsin Public Television.
 
Marie was also featured in TIME MAGAZINE, when she took part in the 50th annual Houdini Sťance, in Appleton, Wisconsin.
 
The photograph offered, hand signed by Marie Hinson Blood, was created for her appearances at shopping malls, theaters and magician's conventions.
  
If you had the opportunity to meet Marie, at one of the national conventions, you carried away treasured memories of a unique personality, and special memories, not only of Magic's most famous performer, but of his wonderful niece. - $50.00

4315-8725) HOUDINIs GERMAN LOCK

From the Houdini Magical Hall of Fame and the Houdini-Hardeen Collection.

Professionally framed, with reproduction portrait of Houdini -and- Certificate of Authenticity signed by Henry Muller, Owner and Curator, Houdini Magical Hall of Fame -and- Sidney Radner, Honorary Curator, Houdini Historical Centre.

This offering was part of the 1999 Butterfield and Butterfield auction, in Los Angeles, on November 15, 1999.

Auction catalogue is included with this offering.

        

The catalogue list 465 auctions lots with 150+ COLOR photo illustrations.

SoftBound with 67pages.

The catalogue measures approx. 8 1/2"x11".

The auction description states:

Houdini German Lock
From the Houdini Historical Center
Small smoothed metal padlock with key
from Harry Houdini's personal collection.
This particular type of lock dates back to the
1800s. Together with reproduction
photograph of Houdini and letter of
provenance signed by Sidney Radner.
Honorary Curator of the Houdini Historical
Center. Framed in shadowbox.
14 1/4 inches by 15 3/4 inches
See Illustration
Estimate 6,000/8000

This offering - featured with photo, etc. on page 60 of the auction catalogue - $6,000.00

         

   

4316-8432) HOUDINI COMMEMORATIVE STAMPs FROM 1951.

For what was billed as the MID CENTURY CONVENTION in New York, the SAM and IBM got together and had this stamp created ďIN MEMORIAMĒ of the 25th anniversary of Houdiniís passing.

A single stamp measures a little over 1 1/2Ēx2Ē (larger than our postage stamps of today), it has purple lettering and drawings of Houdini, set against an off-white background.

What's offered here are two different sets of two stamps - you choose the pair you'd like.

Now, almost, 65 years old itself  - $25.00each for a) or b)

a)   b)

4317-5646) HOUDINIs FABULOUS MAGIC by Walter B. Gibson & Morris N. Young

HardBound with Grey DustJacket.

Original copyright 1961.

I'm guessing this is the third printing, as the letters "a" and "b" are missing from what would be "a" thru "h".

Has Red colored cloth covers. 214 pages.

Published by Bell Publishing Company of New York.

Content's Include:

The Substitution Trunk - Houdiniís Handcuff Act - Houdiniís Jail Escape - Houdiniís Card Scaling - The Straitjacket Escape - The Needle Trick - Houdiniís Box Escapes - The Milk Can Escape - Other Milk Can Escapes - The Mailbag Escape - Walking Through a Brick Wall - The Vanishing Elephant - The Orange Tree - Houdiniís Radio Illusion - The Giant Card Star - The Buried Box Escape - Pillory Escapes - Underwater Escapes - The Water Torture Cell - About Houdini.

Book measures approx. 5 1/2"x8 1/4".

The BONUS of this offering -  the book is signed four times:

1) On the title page by Morris N. Young, MD
2) By Sidney H. Radner on page 41
3) Again, by Sidney H. Radner on page 179
4) Again, by Morris N. Young, MD beneath his photo of the back of the DustJacket

All this and over 55 Illustrations and photographs. - $45.00

   

                

         

4318-5456) HOUDINIs FABULOUS MAGIC by Walter B. Gibson & Morris N. Young

HardBound with orange DustJacket.

Original copyright 1961.

Since all letters "a" thru "h" are present, I'm assuming this was the first printing published by Bell Publishing Company of New York..

Has orange colored cloth covers. 214 pages.

Content's Include:

The Substitution Trunk - Houdiniís Handcuff Act - Houdiniís Jail Escape - Houdiniís Card Scaling - The Straitjacket Escape - The Needle Trick - Houdiniís Box Escapes - The Milk Can Escape - Other Milk Can Escapes - The Mailbag Escape - Walking Through a Brick Wall - The Vanishing Elephant - The Orange Tree - Houdiniís Radio Illusion - The Giant Card Star - The Buried Box Escape - Pillory Escapes - Underwater Escapes - The Water Torture Cell - About Houdini.

Book measures approx. 5 1/2"x8 1/4".

The BONUS of this offering - the book is signed four times:

1) On the title page by Morris N. Young, MD
2) By Sidney H. Radner on page 41 (Sid has added: "Burned May 1, 1995)
3) Again, by Sidney H. Radner on page 179 (Sid has added: "Burned in Niagara Falls, CA May 1, 1995)
4) Again, by Morris N. Young, MD beneath his photo of the back of the DustJacket

All this and over 55 Illustrations and photographs. - $45.00

      

         

     

4319-7640) HOUDINIs FABULOUS MAGIC by Walter B. Gibson & Morris N. Young

SoftBound with with 214pages..

First Barnes & Noble Book edition, published in 1977.

Content's Include:

The Substitution Trunk - Houdiniís Handcuff Act - Houdiniís Jail Escape - Houdiniís Card Scaling - The Straitjacket Escape - The Needle Trick - Houdiniís Box Escapes - The Milk Can Escape - Other Milk Can Escapes - The Mailbag Escape - Walking Through a Brick Wall - The Vanishing Elephant - The Orange Tree - Houdiniís Radio Illusion - The Giant Card Star - The Buried Box Escape - Pillory Escapes - Underwater Escapes - The Water Torture Cell - About Houdini.

Book measures approx. 5 1/2"x8 1/4".

The BONUS of this offering - the book is inscribed and signed on the free end page by Morris N. Young, MD

All this and over 55 Illustrations and photographs. - $35.00

                     

4320- 9030) HOUDINI, HIS LIFE and ART by The Amazing Randi and Bert Randolph Sugar

PaperBound with 192pages, FULL of Information, Photos, Illustrations, etc. about Houdini.

First Printing. Copyright 1976, published by Grosset & Dunlap of New York.

Chapters include:

Little Ehrich The Great
The Houdini's
Rising Star over Europe
American Conquest
Sorrow, Straitjackets, and Vanishing Elephants
Silent Movies and Spirit Mediums
The Closing - Houdini the Showman
The Handcuff King
Slander in Germany
To Restrain the Murderously Insane
"Failure Means a Drowning Death"
The Chinese Water Torture Cell

The BONUS of this offering - the book is signed three times:

1) By Sidney H. Radner on page 152, beneath a photo of a sťance being held at the Houdini Museum in Niagara Falls, Canada
2) Again, by Sidney H. Radner on the same page, 152, and Mr. Radner has added: "Ann Fisher was the Medium".
3) A nice inscription and signature, on page 153,  by Jay Marshall, who was also in attendance.

Book measures approx. 8 1/4"x10 3/4"

This is a Great 39 YEAR OLD book for your library, whether for reference material -or- just learning more about Houdini. - $35.00

      

 

4321-2695) HOUDINI...and Beyond. An Extremely Limited Art Print.

24 Years Ago, Award Winning Artist, Diane K. Sparks (no relation), did an Original painting of Houdini.

From this Original, a Limited Edition of Quality Art Prints were made.

Along the bottom white border, each print was Hand Numbered, Titled and Signed by the Artist.

The Art Print measures 22Ēx28Ē on 65lb, Acid Free, THICK Cover Paper with fade resistant ink.

The Print shows Houdini bound in chains, while a ghostly image of his Mother looks on: from Beyond. - $50.00

     

4322-3274) AMERICAN FILM MAGAZINE, Volume 3, #6 April 1978.

Inside article:

"THE MAGICIAN and the MOVIES" by Erik Barnouw.

Before Mr. Barnouw published his 128 page, hardbound book by almost the same name ("The Magician and the Cinema"), he wrote a smaller version, of the topic, for the American Film Magazine.

Like the book, this Lead-in article discusses the extensive role Magicians played in the evolution of cinema. Magicians created the ďtrick filmĒ, which laid the foundation for the special effects of modern cinema.

This article shows what Magicians were doing with moving images, magic lanterns, etc. long before the motion pictures.

As a nice bonus, the magazine has a Great Cover shot of Houdiniís Rare Poster from his 15-part Silent Movie Serial THE MASTER MYSTERY. - $20.00

 

4323-3574) MAGICAL BOOKIE Issue #34. September 1970. Published by Stephen R. Patrick.

A great source of information came from the pages of The Magical Bookie. These were issued on legal size paper and ran around 6 pages each. Some printed on one side, some printed on both sides.

This issue contains: Magic At The University of Texas by Stephen A. Sparks - Readers writing in with interesting news, include Claude Crowe, Topper Martin, Mickey Hades, John Henry Grossman, Lt. David F. Ginn, and William F. Becker. - Five books are reviewed.

Need this issue to help complete your file? Or to start your new file? - $10.00

 

-----

4324-4687) MAGICAL BOOKIE Issue #39. March 1972. Published by Stephen R. Patrick.

This issue contains: Examining Those Wild Book Prices. No author given. - Does Binding Magazines Really Help? by Stephen A. Sparks. - Topper Martyn writes on Non-Magic Books. - Reminiscences of Marcus Henvit (Two full pages) - Magical Appetizers (books and posters available for purchase, their descriptions and from whom) - Notabilia (Stephen R. Patrick's editorial).

Well, here you go - the 2nd Magical Bookie for your file. - $10.00

 

(Take the pair for $17.50)

4325-8755) MAGAZINE WITH "MAGIC THEMED" COVER

THE FARM JOURNAL Magazine for November 1926. Volume 50, #11.

The magazine measures approx. 8 1/4"x12".

The Cover has a Wonderful 'Magic theme' by Walter Beach Humphrey.

A Magician in full tux, holding a magic wand in his left hand. His right hand holding a rabbit by its ears - as if having just produced it from the farm boy's hat. The boy is holding the hat between his two hands and his face has a look of 'wonder' as to how the Magician just performed this miracle. On top of the Magician's table an empty glass, a couple balls and a top hat with silks draped over the hat's edge. On the floor are playing cards scattered about.

Some discoloration at the top, some page folding at lower right corner, but the overall appearance is actually pretty good. Please refer to the photo, below, for better detail.

Great period piece from the 1920s - now pushing 90 years old. - $45.00

4326-8938) SEYMOUR DAVIS On The Cover of MUM Magazine

The BONUS of this offering is Seymour Davis has Autographed The Front Cover!!

To Joyce, that great
lady of magic
Seymour Davis

Volume 71, #1 - June 1981 - $10.00

        

LayAway is available, just email for details.

 

 

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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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