Early Spring Houdiniana And Magic Memorabilia Event Realizes $629,000 Signature Auction Included Stellar Collection Of Books, Photographs, Lithographs, Props, And Other Rarities Related To Harry Houdini

May 10, 2024

Potter & Potter Auctions is pleased to announce the results of the 370-lot magicana sale held on April 13. It celebrated all things Harry Houdini (Hungarian/American, born Erik Weisz, 1874-1926). The auction had a nearly 100 percent sell-through rate. Prices noted include the companys 20-percent buyers premium. The top lot in this Houdiniana sale was Guy Jarretts (1881-1972) book Jarrett. Magic and Stage Craft Technical. Estimated at $6,000-9,000, it made a breathtaking $60,000. It was self-published by the author in 1936 in New York. This example was both a presentation copy and the first bound copy. It was signed by Jarret Guy Jarrett/Dec. 4th/36 to Morris Blum. Its next owner, Larry Weeks (1919-2014), wrote about Jarrett, and this copy in particular, in a 1961 issue of the journal Magical Bookie. Another book, Harry Houdinis The Unmasking of Robert-Houdin, was estimated at $25,000-$35,000 and delivered $33,600. This presentation copy, first-edition book was published in New York in 1908. It featured a portrait frontispiece of Houdini guarded by tissue and a profusion of plates picturing rarities from Houdinis collection. This near fine example was inscribed and signed by Houdini, possibly to his brother, Leo Weiss, M.D. The inscription read, in full: To my real Pal / Doc / with best wishes / and compliments of the / author. May you / enjoy reading my / book with as much pleasure / as the gathering of the / contents gave me. / Harry Houdini / (Ehrich Weiss). This was one of a handful of autographs in Houdinis hand extant using the Americanized spelling of his birth name, Ehrich Weiss. This signature example was the first of its type the auction house had presented for sale. The original poster, Buried Alive! Egyptian Fakirs Outdone. Master Mystifier. Houdini, estimated at $8,000-$12,000, sold for $22,800. The ca. 1924 linen backed, eight-sheet lithographed poster was printed in Cleveland by Otis Litho. and measured 109-by-89 inches. It advertised a stunt that Houdini would never perform, his escape from a coffin buried under mounds of heavy earth. It was decorated with Houdinis head floating above an Egyptian scene featuring the Sphinx. Jumbo Hippity-Hop Rabbits was estimated at $500-$1,000 and traded hands at $22,800. This apparatus was made by the company Owen Magic Supreme around 1985. These stencil-painted pair of black and white rabbits each measured 26.5 inches tall and were marked on their undersides. According to Potters experts, this pair was the only model in this rare size that they had ever handled. Remarkable consignments bring in remarkable results! The wonderful material in this sale yielded great returns for our consignors. Our next magic-themed auction is scheduled for June 8, summed up Gabe Fajuri, president at Potter & Potter Auctions. For further information, visit www.potterauctions.com.


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