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Topic: Houdini autograph for sale
Message: Posted by: Flec (Mar 28, 2004 11:17AM)
I live in Birmingham, UK. Anyone familiar with the city shops will know there is an autograph shop on Co-operation Street (I think) near a shop called CULT Clothing. I think it is called Sportz Memorabilia. Don't quote me on that one though.

While I was in this shop, I came across a SIGNED photograph of Harry Houdini and his wife. It was selling for £3,000 (about $4,500 I think?).

Shouldn't think it is a copy, this place sells authentic autographs, sports memorabilia, etc. Just thought I'd let you guys know. If you're interested PM me and I'll try and find a website for you.
Message: Posted by: irossall (Apr 2, 2004 06:34AM)
Las Vegas has an autograph shop and they have lots of Houdini signatures. Most are under $1000 U.S. For $300 they had a dry cleaners bill that Houdini signed. $4500 is a pretty high price to pay for Houdini's autograph but then again it depends on what it is that he signed.

Iven :patty:
Message: Posted by: Flec (Apr 2, 2004 07:57AM)
I'm only going on what I saw! I'm not an expert on magical history. All I saw was a photo of him (the handcuff king photo/poster I think).

It is signed "Harry Houdini" and his wife has signed it "Mrs Harry Houdini." Looked like a rather strange signature, thought it would have been signed Bess? I only saw it though. Didn't enquire about it.
Message: Posted by: irossall (Apr 2, 2004 11:33AM)
I am as far as one can get from being an expert on anything. I believe what you say, all I am saying is that I have seen many Houdini signatures/autographs for sale and in my opinion $4500 seems too high a price for me. Unless it is on something personal to Houdini or some unique item.

Iven :patty:
Message: Posted by: Rob Johnston (May 4, 2004 04:01PM)
It is extremely high for Houdini's signature. Houdini's "John Hancock" is not that rare...I mean, like you said Irosall, they have stuff like Dry Cleaning bills and such.
Message: Posted by: x-treem (May 5, 2004 12:50AM)
A very losse estimate on signatures for Houdini something like a laundry bill or someone "cut out" his signature from some document (not "art" related) between 500-900

SAM card, Photo signiature and the like 800-1,500

Handwritten letter, book inscription etc. 1,700-2000

AGAIN this is a very loose estimate based on talking with Houdini collectors many could argue the pricing but that is what I know.

X
Message: Posted by: Michael Lee (May 6, 2004 08:57AM)
Hello all

Please remember that it's important to keep an open mind, just not so open that your brains fall on the floor.

There is a VAST amount of Houdini memrobelia out there MUCH of it is being represented as the "Real mccoy'.??

Many say that When You can not buy talent then you Collect or open a Museum...Which is alright but again ...Buyer beware!!

The age of IDOL worship...$4,500 I don't think so!

Buyer beware.

Cheers
ML
Message: Posted by: KingStardog (May 6, 2004 12:02PM)
You bought talent? ROTFL

No realy,
There are a couple of very nice Houdini sites out there to get ideas on value, just remember if its still for sale the price may be a bit high or it would have already sold. Shops price things like that extra high so they don't sell them. They are used as a draw to get people to come in.
Message: Posted by: SANTINI (May 18, 2004 03:18PM)
Seems to me that many who collect often possess great talent in that many serious and responsible collectors have the ability, skills, and take the time to research the background and provenance of items to bear out thier claimed origins or history.

I hardly think that any serious collector, let alone a museum that does not acquire things for resale and is not retail is going to spend loads of hard earned cash to purchase items which are not authentic. People in these positions are going to go the extra mile and do research. You would be suprised at how many so called "authentic" Houdini items which have been featured at leading auction houses are not what they are claimed. However, it has been my experience that a good amount of study, research, and knowing one's subject is sufficient to protect any potential buyer of such items.


Steve Santini
Message: Posted by: Clay Shevlin (May 18, 2004 07:18PM)
Wow, all this due to a gent who was just passing info along!

Whatever we think about prices for Houdini material, it seems a testimony to his showmanship that his stuff remains so collectible and commands such high prices.

Having collected for over thirty years, I'll go out on a limb and venture to say that Houdini's signature is by far the most common of famous magicians.

As some have written above, there is quite a bit of stuff that is attributed to Houdini and isn't so. I've heard stories from the older collectors that Hardeen made a decent business out of selling ordinary handcuffs which he said belonged to his brother.

Cheers!
Message: Posted by: SANTINI (May 18, 2004 07:38PM)
Hi,
You are indeed correct about Hardeen and his business ventures regarding so called "authentic" Houdini handcuffs, padlocks, and other restraints. There are even such people today who, because they are believed to be world class experts, have been able to deal off items which are simply not what they are purported or claimed to be.

A few years ago a number of these items went on offer at a famous US auction house. I found it quite laughable that some of the restraints and locks touted as coming from Houdini's personal collection had in fact been patented and manufactured a number of years after his death! Other items had less obvious "buyer beware" signals but they were still there.

Many buyers took these descriptions on face value because the items in question had either, A) come from Hardeen, or, B) come from the collection of so called "world experts" on Houdini who, if they were in fact such great and acurate historical experts, should have known better. Shame on them!

I also agree with you about the common nature of many Houdini items especially his signature. In our museum http://www.escaporium.com we have a number of Houdini items some of which are quite rare but some of which are rather run of the mill.

That being said, if someone were to ask me which paper items are the most prized, I would have no hesitation in saying it is the material (letters, photos, etc) from the careers of numerous escapists who were not as famous as Houdini.

The mere fact that these artists never became as well know as Harry means that material about them was not nearly a widely circulated or mass produced as Harry's stuff. Many of these obscure artists are and will remain forever lost to history. A pity really.

Certainly Houdini was and is a legend. Unfortunately many people think that because of this all items related to him are "gold" incarnate. In some cases this is true when one is speaking of actual props or rare seldom seen promotional items but in many cases much of the Houdini items readilly available are so common they really do not rate that high at all nor should they.

Just the two cents of a lifelong restraint and escapology material collector. Regards, Steve Santini
Message: Posted by: x-treem (May 18, 2004 08:13PM)
One thing people have to think about too is that some big collectors have gone away from fair market value and use "Ebay market value."

Some unknowing person buys a $5 pair of handcuffs on Ebay for $50 then the "big" collectors see the financial oppertunity to cash in and charge $40 (which they state [i]I recently saw a pair of these sell on Ebay for $50...get this one for only $40[/i]) it is annoying but a lot of the time now Ebay value becomes the new fair market standard.
Message: Posted by: Clay Shevlin (May 18, 2004 08:55PM)
Steve S.: Speaking of the lesser lights, please let me know if you have a spare copy of John Clempert's little pitchbook - I've been looking for a copy of it for some time. Thanks! Clay
Message: Posted by: SANTINI (May 18, 2004 09:16PM)
Hi Clay,
Sorry, no spare at present. Regards, Steve Santini
Message: Posted by: john magic wright (Jan 2, 2019 03:32PM)
What’s the name of the memorabilia store in Las Vegas