I guess there are still Houdini bargains still out there. Good luck!!
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.
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.
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.
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Here we have Harry Kardoc, a Houdini copycat, in a very strange pose. He looks-like he’s under much pressure but not from the handcuffs and chains that bind him. Kardoc was doing his best mimicking Houdini for years. Why Kardoc chose this image over a tuxedo that Houdini would use with his handcuffs, I don’t know. Maybe that is what separates these two Harrys.
It doesn’t get much better than this. Not only is Houdini challenged to escape from a packing crate, but the crate will be built live on stage by the challengers. Houdini will then be nailed into the newly constructed box and the ropes around the packing case will be nailed to the box. The requirement is for Houdini to escape from the box on stage and to keep everything intact.
Harry Houdini was successful in extricating himself….again.
This is a challenge that Edward Saint, Beatrice Houdini’s companion, managed to put away in a safe place until I could find it. The one thing I like about this handbill challenge is that the words “Milk Can” are not used, but the word milk is used. Perhaps a little light bulb went off in Houdini’s head when he did this challenge. Houdini just putting a galvanized can and milk together and voila, “The Milk Can” escape. Maybe not. What the world doesn’t need is another Houdini theory.
The other thing I like about this piece is the name of the store is “17 Ounces To A Pound Grocers”. Imagine getting an extra ounce of product when you buy something today; now a Pound Cake weighs 12 ounces. Go figure.
For Sale: Original 1924 Society of American Magicians membership card. The card was signed by Houdini when he was president, using his full name. The Houdini autograph has great contrast. The condition of the card is overall fine. Please enlarge scans for a more detailed image. We all should look this good at 90 years old. If you have any questions, please email me.
Price: $1,600.00 plus postage. Insurance is advised.
This gem recently made an appearance in my mailbox. The collecting stars had to be aligned just right for me to have found this rarity. Once purchased I then anxiously awaited its’ arrival. First the book was delayed by the seller posting the book. A true collector believes that once you pay for the latest addition to your collection you think it should be in your mailbox the next day. Unfortunately, that scenario never plays out. After the initial delay it finally began its’ journey. It was then delayed at the sender’s post office for two days. When it moved to its’ next destination it stayed at that location for another two days. When it finally reached a post office facility about 10 miles from my home I envisioned myself driving to the post office to pick it up. Two more days had passed and the book remained at that location. I was so disappointed that I had to wait another day for it to be delivered to my post office. I had given up hope that the book would arrive that day. The day’s mail arrived and I went to bring the mail in knowing that the book would not be there. All of the mail seemed to be for my wife or daughter. The small packet I thought was some kind of cosmetic package was in reality the Hungarian “Master Mystery”. Needless to say, my jaw dropped when I opened the package. In my opinion, it is an amazing and rare piece of Houdiniana. As far as the post office is concerned the booklet is still 10 miles from my house. They had never scanned the package for the rest of its’ trip here.
Here are some details of this magical booklet. It is a 48 page booklet with three images for Houdini’s film “The Master Mystery”. The booklet was published in 1922. From what I can decipher so far this booklet was produced in Budapest. How fitting, Houdini’s birthplace.
Another piece of information about this booklet comes from Houdini collector, Arthur Moses. Arthur states: “I have only ever found ONE citation and copy in the Hungarian National Library. I have looked but never found another.” With that being said, it would be my understanding that the booklet above is the only known original edition outside of the Hungarian National Library.
If anyone can add any more information about this piece please feel free to post it here.
UPDATE: It seems the great mystic knew what he was talking about.
This 1923 SAM card signed by Houdini sold tonight for over $1,800.00US+. It seems Houdini is still leading the magic collecting world in prices realized.
If anyone missed out this card, not to worry. I have a 1924 card available that is in at least as good condition with better contrast of the signature. I would like to trade it for other Houdini era items. If you have something of interest, please email me.