The Stephen A. Sparks

Collection

Specializing in Houdiniana

 

RARE and SCARCE HOUDINI Section

Part One

 

Weather in Las Vegas, Nevada

 

Welcome to the: "RARE and SCARCE Houdini - Part One" WebPage.

Below you'll find quite an assortment of Houdini material to choose from.

All  photos below are "Thumbnails". This means, what's showing on your screen is a smaller version of the actual photo. Click on the smaller photo and this will bring up the regular size photo -then- use your "Back Arrow" to come back to this WebSite Page.

     

(After viewing this Houdini Section - Part One page, please click on any of the buttons above to move to any of the other Pages)

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

       

   

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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

         

4218-3687) APPLETON CRESCENT, Special Edna Ferber Edition

Printed in Houdini's hometown of Appleton, Wisconsin, July 29, 2002.

Approx. 12 1/2"x21 1/2", one sheet, printed on both sides.

While this paper was a Special Edition about the Pulitzer Prize Winning Author and telling of the postage stamp about to be issued in her honor - this paper has also reprinted an article, which Edna Ferber wrote back on July 23, 1904, when she interviewed HOUDINI.

The Houdini piece spans two nice LONG columns, complete with Houdini photo, at the bottom of the page.

Now here's something you don't see everyday!! - $12.50

    

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. - $40.00 (Sorry, this book has sold)

      

         

     

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

      

 

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4253-5522) Where Houdini Was Wrong (A Reply To "The Unmasking of Robert-Houdin") by Maurice Sardina.

SoftBound with 123pages and measures approx. 5 1/2"x8 1/2"

First published in Paris by Maurice Sardina in 1947.

This is the British Edition, which is the first one to be published in the English language.

Copyright 1950.

Translated and Edited with notes by Victor Farelli, including a Supplement by the translator.

Published by George Armstrong in London.

As can be seen from the photos, below, there's some light water damage to the final several pages, in the real of the book. This only affects the final five pages (or so), which are blank and advertising pages. There's also a couple small pieces of tape on the front cover. These are loose, as someone, at some point in time, tired to remove them and I'm guessing stopped, due to the cover paper starting to come up, so they put the tape back down. - It's not that bad, click on the first photo, below, to bring up the larger photo, for a better look. The shading on the upper left corner of the cover and a larger are on the back cover were probably caused by something sitting, in these area, and just discolored (a little) over time.

All this has been taken into consideration in the pricing.

I've included a photo of the title page -and- the Contents page, for ease in viewing. - $85.00

           

4254-5455) TWO POSTCARDs and TWO PHOTOs - HOUDINI RELATED

1) Postcard showing Houdini's home in New York.

2) Photograph showing Houdini's gravesite

3) Photo showing Bess serving a meal out doors. - If memory serves me right, this was when Houdini was attempting to be the first to fly a bi-plane, in Australia and Bess was entertaining the crew, news people, etc.

4) Postcard showing the wonderful Houdini stained glass, which hangs in the Houdini Historical Center, Appleton, Wisconsin.

All these were obtained in the early 1990s and probably from that period. - $25.00(for all four)

     

4255-1325) HOUDINI SPEAKs OUT by Arthur Moses

Revealing new insights, this ground-breaking book vividly recreates Houdini's solitarian lectures which he presented from 1922 until his untimely death in 1926. The reader becomes involved in understanding his struggles to reach into the afterlife to contact his deceased mother during an era filled with deceptive spirit mediums. Each of the fifty glass lantern slides that Houdini used to highlight his lectures are painstakingly recreated and matched to his original lecture text.

Self-published, in 2007, by the author.

This book was published in both SoftBound and HardBound editions.

Table of Contents include:

Foreword
Introduction
Chapter One - Mr. Houdini, You're On
Chapter Two - Nothing Scared Him
Chapter Three - Where They Came From
Chapter Four - Ladies and Gentlemen
Chapter Five - He's Gone
Chapter Six - Addendum - It's All in Print
Bibliography
Photo Credits
Lantern Slide Credits 
Footnotes

This is the HardBound with 102 pages and measures approx. 8 5/8"x11 1/8"

Inscribed and signed by the author.

Sit back, relax and enjoy the ins/out of Houdini Fraudulent Medium Spirit lecture, from the 1920s. - $45.00

    

4256-5432) DOROTHY YOUNG ASSORTMENT OF SIGNED MATERIAL

A nice batch of collectibles on Houdini's last living assistant- $85.00/Lot

a) THE LINKING RING Magazine - Volume 76, #7 - July 1996

Inside, a four page article entitled: Dorothy Young, Houdini's "Radio Girl".

The article touches on Ms. Young's life with Houdini, her husband and her Houdini art work, which was donated to the Houdini Historical Center, in Appleton, Wisconsin.

Ms. Young was an American entertainer who worked as a stage assistant to legendary magician Harry Houdini for 1925-1926 touring season. She left the act two months prior to his death on October 31, 1926. She appears in the 2005 television documentary "Houdini: Unlocking the Mystery". After Houdini's death, she appeared on Broadway in "Jarnegan" (1928-1929), "Conquest" (1933), and "New Faces of 1936". After leaving acting, she and her husband, Gilbert Kiamie, toured the world as the popular Latin dancing team of "Dorothy and Gilbert". She is the author of two novels loosely based on her life: "Diary Without Dates" and "Dancing on a Dime", the latter of which was made into a feature film in 1940 by Universal Studios. She, also, wrote the booklet "Touring with Houdini", published in 2003. Young was the last living member of Houdini's touring show.

 

=====

b) COLLECTORs FORUM Magazine - Volume 5, #4 - December 1995

Published quarterly by Fred Evans in Knoxville, Tennessee. Printed 5Ĺ" x8Ĺ.

Dorothy Young photo on the cover. Cover is signed by Ms. Young.

Some of the articles include:

The Voice From The Attic - Index of Articles in the Yankee Magic Collector, Numbers 1-6 - Houdini and Thurston on the Same Vaudeville Bill? by Ron Hilgert. - Harlan Tarbell: Master Teacher of Magic by Harold F. Puff - Dorothy Young: Houdini's Last On Stage Assistant by Stephen A. Sparks - Does That Look Like His Other Signature? by Stephen A. Sparks - Why The Big Spread? by Stephen A. Sparks - Curious Artistry by Enrique Jimenez-Martinez - Some Publishing Curiosities Associated With Charles Lang Neil by Edwin A. Dawes - A Profile on Micky Hades by Stephen Forrester.

Supplements include:

A Real Miracle N11 and N12, published by Bert Sperber
Facsimile of Voice From The Attic [7000] V12N10 October 1941

Also included is a handwritten and signed letter, from Ms. Young, saying how much she enjoyed the article about herself.

=====

c) TWO 8X10 SIGNED PHOTOGRAPHs of DOROTHY YOUNG.

The first photo a wonderful reproduction of Ms. Young as the Radio Girl of 1950 in Houdin's show. Orange sticker (with Ms. Young signature) affixed to the lower left corner.

Second photo, taken at one of the Collector Gathering, back in the 1990s. Ms. Young has signed the photo:  Best Wishes, Dorothy Young, "Houdini's Radio Girl"

  

4267-3543) DRAWING of HOUDINI

I acquired this during the 1993 SAM national convention in New Orleans.

I was set up as one of the dealers, and was approached by one of the attendees stating he had a drawing of Houdini - would I be interested.

It appears to be a combination of charcoal and pencil.

This print is a copy of his original.

He only had this one print and wasn't interested in selling the original.

Measures approx. 10"x12 3/4" and has been laminated for protection - although there are a few creases in, the lower right corner.

I don't know when the drawing was originally done -and- I've not seen another of these offered, in the 22years I've owned this. - $25.00

4238-3436) THREE 5X7 Reproduction PHOTOs of HARRY HOUDINI

Professionally printed by photo lab -not- a computer printer.

All three quality glossy prints for one price - $25.00

      

LayAway is available - if this is for you, 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.

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

All photo's are the Copyright of The Stephen A. Sparks Collection and may not be reproduced in any form or manner without permission of Stephen A. Sparks.

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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