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This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on 4/28/2018
[Houdini] Elliot Sanford’s Houdini Manuscripts and Archive. A collection of manuscript material, books, clippings, and ephemera kept by Elliot Sanford, secretary and assistant to Harry Houdini. Included are a one-page TL from Houdini to Sanford (three-hole punched); newspaper clippings related to Houdini’s library and funeral; a Houdini theatre program from his final tour; an ALS from Beatrice Houdini to Sanford; an engraved invitation bearing Sanford’s name inviting him to attend the unveiling of Houdini’s bust at the Macpelah Cemetary where he was interred; a holographic postcard in Bess Houdini’s hand with Houdini’s annotation addressed to Sanford at the Houdini home on 113th Street in New York, two books from Sanford’s library presented to him by Beatrice Houdini (one, a scarce presentation edition of Elliott’s Last Legacy, inscribed and signed “To dear Elliot Sanford, with thanks for his kind help to Beatrice Houdini”, the other a book of toasts bearing the holographic note from Sanford stating that the tome was a gift from Houdini’s wife); and, most importantly, a dearth of manuscript material detailing the considerable time Sanford spent in the company of the Houdinis during the final year of the great magician’s life. The manuscripts total over 100 pages, both holographic and typewritten, and are filled with tantalizing looks inside the Houdini home, Houdini’s ill-fated final tour of America, including the fateful episode in Montreal that would cost Houdini his life. Other elements discussed include the Weiss and Rahner families, the aftermath of Houdini’s death, and even the magician’s finances and the nature of his estate and how it was dealt with after his untimely passing. Various drafts and outlines, both typewritten and handwritten are included. In all, an archive of historical significance, filled with tantalizing unpublished data and anecdotes regarding the most famous magician the world has ever known. Sanford began working for Houdini as his business secretary in the last weeks of the magician’s life. His story, told in these pages, but as yet unpublished, describes in minute detail his time with the great magician, from the moment of his first interview for a position as assistant in Houdini’s dressing room, to the time of the fateful death blow delivered to Houdini in Montreal, and beyond. Sanford had a front row seat to these moments in history and recounts them in great detail in the pages of his unpublished memoir, offered here for public sale for the first time. The material in these pages has been virtually unknown until now and is an un-mined trove of lore not incorporated in to any published Houdini biography. In fact, Sanford’s name is generally unknown to magic historians. The only published mention of Sanford in any major Houdini biography is in Milbourne Christopher’s Houdini: The Untold Story, where on page 263, Christopher lists Sanford as one of the pallbearers at Houdini’s funeral.
Elliot Sanford’s Houdini Manuscripts and Archive.
Current Bidding
Minimum Bid: $5,000.00
Final prices include buyers premium: $48,000.00
Estimate: $10,000 - $15,000
Number Bids: 22
Auction closed on Saturday, April 28, 2018.
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