This is a very interesting item that would be a great addition to any Houdini or magic historian’s collection. The image of the three men are Houdini’s assitants. They are Frederick George Vickery(L), Franz Kukol(C) and Harold James Vickery(R). The postcard is inscribed on the front “Kind Regards, April 25, 1909″ “Paris”. Included with the postcard is an image Franz Kukol writing at a table. In front of Kukol is a “Three Assistants” postcard, similar to the one here. Did Kukol write these out? I really don’t know. I would guess someone in Houdini’s troupe wrote it out, with my money on Kukol. If you like to read more about this card and image, here is a link to a post about them on my site.
The postcard is in very fine condition. There is a small blemish over Vickery’s head. Please click on the postcard to see more images. If you’re looking for something that is interesting and different, this is it.
This is a postcard of “The Four Londons”. Their act consisted of the four lads performing on the horizontal bars. They must have had some act indeed; as the person who reviewed the bill said they were “one of the best, if not the very acme of the acts presented this week” and that includes Houdini, who was the feature. Please click on this link to see when Houdini and the Londons performed together in Boston in 1906. http://tinyurl.com/73gvso7 -
Also of interest to the Houdini, vaudeville or entertainment collector is the image of the “Four Londons”. I couldn’t find another image of them anywhere on the net. This may be the only image extant in private hands.
Needless to say, I only have this one card from “The Four Londons” addressed to Houdini. The postcard is dated 1914 and coincides with the time when Houdini was also appearing in the UK. This real photo postcard was printed in England and is in very fine condition. Please click on the image to view both sides of the postcard. The elongated Houdini penny is not included with the piece. It is used to deter copying of the image.
If you want an item that belonged to Houdini to add to your collection; this nice gem might just be it.
This gem was published in Paris, 1921. It is a softcover pulp book with 239 pages. The covers are clear and sharp, although the scans shows differently. This book sold for $1,725.00 back in 2000 at Swann Galleries. Swann used to hold a yearly magic auction for many years. This book was one of the highlights of the auction. It would also be a highlight to any advanced Houdini collection. If you want something different in Houdini, something you don’t see every day, this is it. If you are interested in the book or have a question, please email me
This is a very nice poster for Houdini’s big tour, the Three In One show. This is the show Houdini did it all. He performed magic, escapes and exposed spiritualists. Please click on the poster to see another image of the poster.
The size of the poster is 4 feet high and 9 feet wide. The poster has been professionally mounted by J. Fields in NYC. The condition overall fine.
If you want a centerpiece for your collection, this is it. If you truly want a complete Houdini collection, you should have at least one Houdini poster in it. Here’s your chance to do so.
Here is an item that would be a cornerstone piece for any Houdini or magic collection. This is an original carte-de-visite photograph of Giuseppe Verdi, The Opera King. The photo is from circa 1860 and is one of the earliest, if not the earliest photo of Verdi known to exist. This same image was featured in an exhibition in 1972 by the New York Public Library. Please read the footnote below at the end of this description. Also take note of Desderi’s connection with his connection to Robert-Houdin.
Houdini, besides owning the largest magic library had also owned the second largest theater collection in private hands. This photo is most likely from Houdini’s personal collection. Houdini was very generous and one can find many accounts of his gifts to others with just a little research. The writing and signature is clear and sharp. The contrast is amazing. Please click on the photos for larger and more detailed images.
“Andre Adolphe-Eugene Disderi: French photographer (1819 – 1889): He started off as a daguerreotypist in Brest as well as a photographer in Nimes. He opened a studio in 1854 and in that year he patented the carte-de-visite photograph. This new carte format became immensely popular and rapidly became a growing industry. He became the favorite photographer of Napoleon III’s court. By 1861 Disdéri was reported to be the richest photographer in the world. In addition to his French accolades, he was appointed court photographer in England, Spain, and Russia. He opened an additional studio in London. However, by the 1860s there was a decline in the popularity in the 1860s. Disdéri left Paris and opened portrait studios in Nice in the 1880s. Despite the wealth he attained, Disdéri died in a poorhouse.”
The photographer, Disderi, had his studio above the Theatre Robert-Houdin in Paris (8, Boulevard des Italiens) from 1854 onward. In fact, Robert-Houdin’s brother-in-law and successor, Hamilton, was his landlord during this period, and several of the most famous images of Robert-Houdin were taken by Disderi.
Verdi in New York
Vincent Astor Gallery
June 12, 1972 through September 30, 1972
The exhibition illuminates the theatricality of the Verdi opera repertoire with major emphasis on the changing styles of set and costume designs in New York City, drawn from the archives of the Music Division, the Metropolitan Opera, and New York City Opera as well as from personal collections of performers, designers, and private collectors. The realization of opera designs is documented with production photographs as well as some of the actual costumes. Other materials range from stage props, posters, unpublished photographs, photographic slides, and sheet music to bronze sculptures. The display demonstrates the variety of New York responses and approaches to Verdi’s operas.
Image: Giuseppe Verdi photographed by Disderi. Iconography Collection, Music Division
Click on the link below to see image used by the NYPL.
Condition: Very Fine
Size: Approx. 2 ½” X 4”
This would be a welcome addition not only the Houdini collector and historian, but also to the Verdi, Robert-Houdin and early photography enthusiast. This is an item that will set your collection apart from most other Houdini or magic collections.
This is an excellent, original, signed Harry Houdini photograph that has many things going for it. Here are some of its’ attributes.
1) Its format. Signed 8×10 photos of Houdini are rare. For display purposes, it doesn’t get much better than this. I’m almost positive that this is from a silver negative.
2) The autograph. It’s clear and sharp. The contrast of the ink to the background is perfect. Please take a look at the close-up.
3) The image. This is a professional pose Houdini had taken. The photographer was Butler. Houdini’s eyes are the sharpest of all the features. The rest was purposely blurred to enhance the piercing eyes. Please take a look at the tie versus the eyes for instance.
4) The subject of the inscription. Charles J. Dietsel was a magician and magic apparatus maker. One can only imagine the connection between the two.
5) The date signed. Houdini has less than 75 days to live when he signed and dated this, but here he looks-like he’s on top of his game.
The condition is overall fine. There are are some nicks around the edges. There is a closed tear on the right side, mid photo. Please see image.
If you want just one gem of an original Houdini item for display in your collection, this might be it. If you have seen other signed Houdini photos, like I have, most can’t measure up to this one being offered. Here’s your chance to add a cornerstone item to your collection.
Please click on the photo or the title above for more images.