Fresh Houdini Today!

Kevin Connolly Collection

This arrived today by Fed Ex. This was lot 196 form the Houdiniana Auction this past Saturday. I’m glad I have something new to look at.

Houdini Warehouse / Workshop Circa 1920′s

Kevin Connolly Collection

If you read the post “Houdini Haunt” below, we showed you what Houdini’s warehouse/workshop looks-like today.  The above picture is of the area, and maybe even the warehouse, circa the 1920′s, when Houdini was located here.

I was going through some books and I ran across this image. The book was celebrating West New York’s, in New Jersey, Golden Jubilee in 1948. I grew up about 37 blocks away from Houdini’s workshop when I was a living in the next town of West New York. The water at the top right of the photo is a reservoir. Behind the water are homes and factories. This may be the area where Houdini’s warehouse was.  If you go back to the map in the other post, you’ll see 19th street and the reservoir are almost right next to each other. I can’t guarantee it that it is his workshop, but the image above is from the era when Houdini was there.

It’s something to see the reservoir and the open space back then. Today, Union City is the most densely populated city in America and probably on the face of the Earth.

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This Way To Houdini’s House —->

Street Sign To Houdini's House Courtesy of David Stahl

No, not 278 West 113th street in New York City. This is Houdini’s  home in Budapest. Noted magic historian and collector, David Stahl, has tracked down Houdini’s home in Budapest. David was kind enough to send some images of the building and surrounding area. Please click on the pictures for more details.

David Stahl In Front Of Houdini's Home In Budapest

This is a photo of David standing in front of Houdini’s home. It’s a great image of the building and the activity near it.  One can almost imagine the Weiss family being there. I asked David to look for anything Houdini related material, like a new book on Houdini. He said there wasn’t anything being sold in the area with Houdini’s relationship with Budapest. He did say the locals knew of Houdini, but not of Ehrich Weiss.

Houdini's Birth Record Building Courtesy Of David Stahl

Here is the building that holds Houdini’s birth record. Unfortunately, it was closed when David arrived. He does have the contact information and will inquire more about acquiring copies of the record.

David tells me that he will post more images on his Facebook  page when he can. He even has a video of the area. You have to leave it up to David Stahl to find all this wonderful material on Houdini. He’s been turning up material on the Great Lafayette for years. Not an easy task, to say the least. Thanks David.

If you would like to comment about this subject or any other topic on this blog; just click on the title of the post or the “Comment” icon and type away. You will have to enter your email address, but that will not published on the blog.

There’s Still Hope…Stanhope That Is

Kevin Connolly Collection

Sample of image inside one of the Stanhopes

If you missed out on lot #136 “Houdini Stanhope Lens Viewer”, your luck may just have changed. I have both variants of these little trinkets for sale. One has the image you see above. The other one has Houdini’s signature in the image under the airplane which is probably the one that is more difficult  to find.

Here is the deal. The Stanhope sold on Saturday for $900.00 plus 20% commission, for a total of  $1080.00. That is the price for just one piece.

I’m selling both known variants from my collection for $1,950.00US for the two of them. I will accept $1,900.00 if paid by check or money order. If you are interested in them, let me know. These are the only ones I have. I will consider a trade for other Houdini items or from other magicians of his era.

Opinions Needed

I just received the email below from a regular visitor here. He gave me permission to post it here. What do you have to say about his queries?

Hi Kevin,

I was wondering what your thoughts were on my two purchases. Did I do well? overpaid?

#23 Houdini Miracle Mongers Signed Twice by Houdini and Bess $2600
#199 Houdini owned packing box challenge (20×30) $2400

I saw you won two of your lots. Any chance you’ll share which ones?


Houdini For President Postcard for $1,800?

Kevin Connolly Collection

While flipping through the Houdiniana Auction catalog tonight, I ran across this image. It was lot #118.  I looked-up the price realized for it. It sold for $1,500 is what I wrote down on my sheet. Add to this the 20% commission, the final total is $1,800.00US. Is the final hammer price correct? Maybe I entered the wrong price during the heat of the battle..

What I do know is when I first used the term “Houdini For President” some 35 years ago, the poster with this image didn’t sell for very much more than what this postcard just sold for.

Please Have Some Patience

The Houdini auction was just yesterday, so don’t expect Harry to be in your mailbox on Monday. The funny thing about collectors is as soon as they pay for their items, they seem to transform. They change from collector to mail detective. The usual signs of change are checking the mailbox frequently, asking if the mail came yet, checking tracking numbers online, etc. This behaviors are performed multiple times daily.  If this sounds-like you, you’re a collector.

Just relax. It will be worth the wait.

You May Have Needed This Today

There was $490,000 spent in today’s Houdiniana Auction and that’s before the 20% commission. So if you were a buyer, your pot of gold is a little lighter today. If you were a seller, then you might just have to buy a larger pot.

I hope you all managed to buy something for your collection. I managed to buy 2 things(out of 10 tries), so I’m happy.

Tighten Your Seat Belts

Now we are in the home stretch and it should be wild and wooly. The top bids will change very rapidly, so be on your toes. Check your phone, mouse, bidding paddle etc. It should be an exciting day.

Good luck to all!

Houdini Auction On The Daily Beast Today

Houdini is featured in an article today on “The Daily Beast” website.  Patrick Culliton and Gabe Fajuri are interviewed for the upcoming Houdiniana Auction that will be held tomorrow in Chicago. Here is the link to the article:

If this piques your interest, here is the link to the auction: