Specializing in Houdiniana
RARE and SCARCE HOUDINI Section
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Welcome to the: "RARE and SCARCE Houdini Section - Part Two" WebPage.
Below you'll find even MORE Houdini items to choose from.
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3863-3274) AMERICAN FILM MAGAZINE, Volume 3, #6 April 1978.
"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 “trick film”, 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 Houdini’s Rare Poster from his 15-part Silent Movie SerialTHE MASTER MYSTERY. - $20.00
3864-3268) THEATRE MAGAZINE for March 1923. Volume 37, #264.
This is a Large Format magazine (measuring 9 3/4"x12 3/4").
Under the heading of "Special Articles" is one about Houdini:
"The Mystery Man of the Stage"
by Burr C. Cook.
As the magazine states:
"Interesting Close-up of a Famous Magician Who Indulges Other Tastes Than Feats of Strength".
Article touches on:
(a) 1920 Webster’s Dictionary addition with exact listing described. (b) Riveted into a large, hot water boiler in 1907 by the Marine Boiler Works of Toledo, Ohio. (c) The rest of page on Houdini, the book collector. citing examples of: (1) David Garrick’s Original Diary. (2) 1584 edition of Scott’s "The Discouverie of Witchcraft". (3) "Annus Mirabilis" (1666) by Dryden. (4) "Life of Edmund Kean" by Hawkins. (4) "The Memories of the Life of Theophilus Keene" by Richard Savage.
In addition to the article, there’s a nice photo of Houdini which isn’t published very often.
This magazine looks as though it were published yesterday. Outside of a small tear, on the front covers bottom edge, it has good tight covers, clean pages, etc. etc. On a scale of 1-10, it would have to be a 9!! -$75.00
3819-6534) TOWER "DOUBLE LOCK" LEG-IRONs. From the HOUDINI-HARDEEN Collection.
In 1995, I purchased a wonderful Houdini Collection from a gentleman in Florida. In addition to all the items in this Collection, there were several sets of Handcuffs which belonged to Houdini.
What’s offered here is the Tower "Double Lock" Leg-Irons.
The TOWER company came into being some time around 1874, the date of the first Tower patent. Its restraints remained in production, in one form or another, until the 1940s. Some collector's believe that its products were made by the Union Hardware Company, right from the start, but others think that this firm only became involved when it took over the TOWER business at an unknown, but rather later date.
The TOWER cuffs have a lock case, on the inside of the bow, and is distinguished by the position of the keyhole at the bottom of the lock case. This keyhole proved to be awkward, making it difficult to unlock the leg-iron cuffs. These leg-iron cuffs came with an improved Double Locking feature.
The TOWER DOUBLE LOCK cuffs were the standard of the industry for decades.
Below, are assorted photos of the Leg Irons, their display box, a close up of the name plate and the assorted provenance letters.
The Leg Irons are in working order. The photos, below, show the cuffs in the closed and open position.
The key is the Original Key, which came with the Leg Irons.
The Leg Irons come with three letters showing, you, how they are traced back to HOUDINI.
One letter is a xerox, from the gentleman in Florida, telling about the collection and how it came to be in his possession.
The second letter is another xerox (dated 1979) from William Mahan (to the gentleman in Florida), stating the handcuffs, etc. were obtained from Hardeen, who had told Mr. Mahan, the material came from Houdini’s collection.
Mr. Mahan was a CLOSE Personal Friend of the Hardeen family and obtained a lot of Houdini’s material during Hardeen’s later life.
A portion of the letter from Mr. Mahan (dated October
10, 1979) states:
I am sorry that you missed out on the collection of magic I sold to Goulet. But, I am happy that you got the things Ray didn't. The red drape I gave you belonged to Adelaide Hermann; it was given to Lady Ruth, my wife. Also, the ivory (yellow) tipped wand you received was Theo Hardeen's. We were close to Hardeen you know. I'm giving you this wand with with a set of lock picks. I got the picks, and the handcuffs I sold, from Hardeen who told me they came from Houdini's collection. Theo's gifts were the heart of my collection. Pete, if I can be of any assistance regarding any of the posters, magic apparatus, memorabilia, etc., please don't hesitate to ask.
The last letter is from me, stating how the collection came to be in my possession.
The handcuffs have been placed in a Walnut Box, which has a glass lid, so the handcuffs may be viewed. The box measures 12"x18"x3" Deep. The box has a nice varnish and is a bit darker than the photos, below, show. The handcuffs are resting on a pillow of Red Satin (also, a bit darker than the photos show below).
There is a name plate, on top of the glass lid, describing the cuffs. The box has two latches, which can either be opened or locked (keys included).
As a little Bonus, I will include a copy of a Lengthy Newspaper article (Sunday, July 3, 1988, with photo’s) written about the gentleman in Florida by Times Staff Writer Laura Griffin. - $7,500.00
Leg Irons in display box, closed and open.
Display box open
Close up of Leg Irons in closed/locked position, showing both sides.
Leg Irons stamped as being "Tower Double Lock".
Close up of Leg Irons in open position.
3760-3888) HOW I GET OUT OF A STRAIT-JACKET by Harry Houdini.
From the May 1918 Ladies Home Journal magazine.
This was Houdini’s first article for the LHJ.
As the article states, Houdini would (for the most part) always perform escapes from behind a curtain.
For the sake of this article, Houdini performed this escape before the cameras and editors of Ladies Home Journal.
It shows a fine batch of pictures, with Houdini performing his Strait-Jacket escape.
Articlemeasures approx. 11”x16”.
There's a small piece of paper missing around the 9 o'clock area. This affects a few letters/words -and- I've highlighted the missing letters/words in red.
The last three sentences state:
the movements employed by
me to effect the "escape". I might
just as well get out of the jacket in a
If you click the ThumbNail photo, below, this will bring up the larger photo for a better view.
To the right, of the photo below, is another photo. This is a xerox copy I'm including, should you wish to repair the small damaged area.
For safety, the original article has been shrink-wrapped onto a piece of foam core.
The last time we had one of these, it sold quickly for $75.00. Due to the small, repairable damage, we'll price this one less. - $45.00
3789-2909) EXTREMELY LIMITED & SCARCE HOUDINI PRINT
This "Hand Cut -and- Wood Cut" Print was produced by artist Robert Allen. A great contrast of black with one other color. Print is on "Fine Art Paper" and measures approx. 11"x16".
What’s offered here is called an "Artist Proof". These are what the artist would produce, towards the very end of their work, before making the ‘limited signed and numbered’ prints. Generally, there weren’t very many of these APs produced and certainly fewer than the numbered, limited edition commercially produced.
The Artist Proof print, here, is as MINT as the day it was made42 YEARs AGO in 1971!!
It is also SIGNED BY THE ARTIST, along the bottom. This reads: "Artist Proof" - "Robert Allen".
The photo’s, below, show the front side and back side, along with a close up of the work itself and the signing at the bottom. -$50.00
3792-6389) HOUDINI...and beyond Magazine Advertising PROOF
ONLY 3 Exists!! Two have sold, this is the last one.
Back in 1992, I took an Original pastel HOUDINI painting and had a limited number of quality art prints made.
I, also, ran full page color advs. in Genii and Magic magazines.
In order to run the advertisements, I had to have made four-color separation negatives and a PROOF.
Only 3 PROOFs were made and I'm offering the last one here.
The Advertisement Reads:
Award Winning Texas Artist, Diane K. Sparks, presents her latest work: HOUDINI...and beyond. An original; limited to a worldwide distribution of only 500 art prints. Each hand numbered and signed by the artist. Print measures 22x28 on 65lb acid free cover paper with fade-resistant ink. Price: $50.00 + $5.00 Shipping and Handling for U.S.A. Delivery. Foreign orders write for shipping price. Please send check or money order (Sorry no Charges) to: Stephen A. Sparks 2142 Little Cedar Dr; Kingwood, Texas 77339 USA
The image shows HOUDINI bound in chains, while a ghostly image of his Mother looks on:from Beyond.
Ad piece has been double matted and shrink wrapped, with form core backing.
The first photo, below, was taken with my digital camera and is a little washed out, due to the shrink wrap covering. The second is from my scanner and a much better quality photo.
The words "GranHoudini.net" are not on the image - only superimposed, here, for this offering. And, there's a small printers ink smudge in the lower right corner of the white border area. If you had this piece re-matted, this would be hidden.
Measures 12"x16" - a standard size, so you can buy a nice ready made frame -and- hang on your wall. - $150.00
3793-6546) THE VALLEY SCENE Magazine
Volume 2, #2 - September 1994 - published in Appleton, Wisconsin.
Cover shows assorted items from the Houdini Historical Center.
Inside the magazine is a full page article by Tom Breuer:
Appleton's most famous native son still
draws crowds to his former home town
Measures approx. 11 1/4"x14" - $20.00
3795-5498) HIPPODROME PROGRAM FOR THE 1917-18 SEASON
The program shows all the acts performing in "Charles Dillingham presents "CHEER UP" A Musical Revue in 3 Cheers".
Houdini appears twice on the bill.
Houdini's two appearances in the show are:
(First appearance) EXCLUSIVE ENGAGEMENT OF THE WORLD-FAMOUS HOUDINI. Who Offers His Latest Creation, "The Vanishing Elephant". The Most Colossal Disappearing Mystery that History Records. Dissolving into thin air, on the largest stage in the world, an elephant weighing 10,000 pounds. Before one’s very eyes, in a full blaze of light, with bewildering rapidity, this pachyderm monster suddenly eludes the vision.
(Second appearance) EXCLUSIVE ENGAGEMENT OF THE WORLD-FAMOUS HOUDINI. Introducing at every performance his original, uncanny and perilous feat of extrication. The Submersible Iron-Bound Box Mystery. Manacled and roped, Houdini will be nailed into an iron-bound box burdened with 300 pounds of weights, and the box lowered into a tank containing 500,000 gallons of water. The box, being perforated, will fill with water within twenty seconds. To escape drowning, Houdini must therefore release himself while submerged. A committee of investigation is invited on stage at every performance.
Earlier in the program, Houdini has aFull Page Advertisement, which shows a packing case, roped and being lowered over the side of a ship, with an oval insert photo of Houdini.
The adv. reads:
"The World’s Most Famous Dare-Devil HOUDINI In The Submersible Iron-Bound Box Mystery. Note - it is generally conceded that it is a physical impossibility for any Human being to escape from a submerged submarine. Houdini submits this marvelous experiment as suggesting a possible solution." At the lower left corner of this adv. is: "© HOUDINI 1917."
This was Houdini's Longest Run at any one theatre. 19 weeks, from Jan. 7th to May 18th, 1918.
There's small paper loss, at the lower right corner, of the front cover. Back cover has a small tear, along the top edge, near center.
Click on any of the ThumbNail photos below, to bring up the larger photos, for better viewing.
Program even has part of the "5cents" Sticker, which would have been used to keep the program sealed.
As an extraBONUS, included is a Hippodrome Theatre PostCard. The PostCard has a handwritten message and is postmarked Nov. 19, 1909. The message has nothing to do with Houdini. The PostCard didn't originally come with the program. It's something I came across, later, and thought it a great companion piece. - $250.00(for everything)
3799-8900) HARRY HOUDINI BEER STEIN
Shows Houdini in an oversized milk can.
Houdini did a beer challenge once and the fumes almost made him pass out.
The stein is a LARGE 9 1/2" tall and holds approximately 26 oz.
It was developed for the Appleton Brewery in Appleton, Wisconsin. The makers of Houdini Beer and Houdini Root Beer.
This is the scarcer/limited/numbered edition - as noted on the bottom of the stein.
This is number:475
On a good Ebay day, I have seen these numbered limited edition steins sell for as high as $150.00.
The one offered here has some damage. If you click on the bottom left photo, you'll be able to see a repaired cracked section, located on the bottom portion of the stein.
This being the case, we'll price this accordingly. -$50.00
3742-3295) THE SEARCH FOR HOUDINI
HOUDINIs name is embossed on the white portfolio cover and the printed pages inside.
It's a little hard to see in the ThumbNail photos, below, but visible when you click-on the photos, which will bring up the larger photos.
This multimedia release is from April 6th, 1987 and has to do with the live 2hour TV broadcast event:"The Search For Houdini".
This advertising portfolio would have been sent to various TV stations around the country airing the show.
(1) Three 2page information sheets. One telling about the show, one is a bio on Houdini, and the last is a bio of the producer, Ken Ehrich
(2) Two 8x10 glossy photos showing Houdini in assorted chains; a charcoal portrait of Houdini; and a reproduction of Houdini's bookplate.
(3) And, to my surprise, they also included a reproduction of Houdini's final tour souvenir program
This is a wonderful bit of Houdini memorabilia from 25+ years ago. -$45.00
3752-2287) THE RIGHT WAY TO DO WRONG, an Expose' of Successful Criminals by Harry Houdini.
This IS NOT a reprint, but an actual ORIGINAL COPY from 1906!!
Front Cover has pieces missing, as does the Back Cover (see photo's below). Inside pages are just fine.
For those of you not familiar with this book, the chapters include:
Income of a Criminal - Professional Burglary - Difficulties of Burglary - Burglars’ Superstitions - Thieves and Their Tricks - The Aristocrat of Thievery - Pickpockets at Work - Beggars and Dead Beats - Begging Letter Swindles - Tricks of Bunco Men - The Game of Wits - Fake! Fake! Fake! - Bogus Treasures - Famous Swindles - The Fair Criminal - The "Brace" Game - Cheating Uncle Sam - Humbugs - About Myself - Conclusion
Gee, seems we could use this book TODAY!!
Were the book in Near Mint condition, we would price it at $750.00. And, there's one running on Ebay, in better condition, for over $1000.00.
Don't miss out of this RARE FIND!! - $500.00
3720-6336) HOUDINI, His Life Story by Harold Kellock
HardBound with Extremely Hard To Find Original DustJacket.
Copyright 1928 - FIRST EDITION.
Published by Harcourt, Brace and Company of New York.
384 pages and has a very small address label, on the inside cover, from a previous owner.
As can been seen from the photos below, the book and DustJacket are in pretty decent condition. - $500.00
3721-7478) 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
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
3723-6639) THE ORIGINAL HOUDINI SCRAPBOOK written by Walter Gibson
Copyright 1976 and published by Corwin Sterling Publishing, Inc. of New York.
PaperBound with and 224pages.
The book has some wear, but this is to be expected from a paperbound book from the mid1970s. Previous owners name rubber stamped inside the front cover. Small piece of tape on the bottom of the covers spine.
Book measure's approx. 8 1/4"x11".
AND, thrown in:
CHAIN ESCAPE by CB Productions.
Complete with chain, instructions and two keys. - $15.00/(for book and chain escape trick)
3724-2695) HOUDINI...and Beyond
20 Years Ago, Award Winning Artist, Diane K. Sparks (no relation), did an Original painting of Houdini. From the Original, this poster was produced.
The image area measures 21 1/2"x27 1/2". The overall poster measures 24"x36", which leaves plenty of boarder area - should you wish to have the poster framed.
Poster is on a glossy paper stock with fade resistant ink.
The words: "Harry Houdini Poster" are only super imposed for this listing and isn't on the actual poster itself.
The Print shows Houdini bound in chains, while a ghostly image of his Mother looks on: from Beyond. - $15.00
Buy 10 for the special price
of $100.00/shipping included within the USA.
Keep one for yourself and use the extra's as gifts, door prices for magic club meetings, etc.
3725-9215) 8x10 PHOTO OF HOUDINI BEING PLACED INTO A STRAIT-JACKET
This repro photo comes in an ‘antique looking’ frame, would sit nicely on your desk. Plus, there's a tab on the back, should you wish to hang it on your wall. Overall size of the frame is 9 7/8"x11 3/4".
Don’t want to spend hundreds on an Original Houdini photo? Then this is for you.... Just click on the 'thumbnail' photos, below, for a better look. - $20.00
3726-4117) HOUDINI - THE MASTER MAGICIAN. His Life and Some of His Secrets by Harold Kellock.
This appears as the Lead Article for the March 1928 issue of The American Magazine. Volume 105, #3.
The article is spread out over a total of Seven Pages and has Four Photos.
As the magazine puts it:
"This is about Houdini the magician, and Houdini the man. Everyone knows of Houdini, but very few persons really knew him, and of these his wife knew him best of all".
Great early reading just 17 months after Houdini passed away. - $25.00
3727-9731) HOUDINI - THE MASTER MAGICIAN. His early hardships, the beginning of his fame, and the explanation of some of his tricks by Harold Kellock.
April 1928 issue of The American Magazine. Volume 105, #4.
The article is spread out over a total of TEN Pages and has SEVEN Photos.
Again, Great early reading just 18 months after Houdini passed away. This issue is missing the back cover and some advs, etc. have been clipped out -BUT- none of this affects the Houdini article. It is complete and intact. - $25.00
3728-7887) HOUDINI’S CONQUEST OF AMERICA by Harold Kellock.
This article spreads out over NINE pages in the June 1928 issue of The American Magazine.
As the magazine puts it:
"He gives a séance that baffles Theodore Roosevelt; he gratifies a lifelong ambition by filling his Mother’s apron with gold; he escapes from a Federal prison cell; releases the prisoners and then locks them up again; he is buried under six feet of earth, but comes to the surface".
Great early reading just 20 months after Houdini passed away. - $25.00
LayAway is available, just email for details.
(After viewing this Houdini Section - Part Two page, please click on any of the buttons above to move to any of the other Pages)
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
The Stephen A. Sparks Collection
Specializing in Houdiniana
2873 Foxtail Creek Avenue
Henderson, Nevada 89052 USA
Email: Houdini374@aol.com Ebay's: Gran*Houdini
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