Houdiniana & Magic Memorabilia
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HOUDINI, Harry (Ehrich Weisz). Carved Meerschaum Cheroot Holder Presented by Houdini to his Brother William Weiss. Prague: Emanuel Czapek, ca. 1903. Handsome carved meerschaum cigar holder bearing a striking likeness of Houdini dressed in a loincloth and bound in cuffs and leg irons, crouched next to a three-columned structure, the reverse of which bears his name in bold block capital letters. Length 6 ¾”. In the original silk-lined fitted leather case, the fabric of the lid stamped with the maker’s name in gold, and inscribed by Houdini on the plush lining of the base in blue ink, “For Bill.” A remarkable object held closely by the Houdini family, providing a link between two of the Weiss brothers and demonstrating not only their close relationship but Houdini’s generosity and self-love. Provenance: Harry Houdini to his brother Bill Weiss, and down through his family by descent. William Gotfried Weiss was born in Budapest in 1872, two years before his famous brother, Harry Houdini. He emigrated to America with the rest of the Weiss family. Bill eventually found work as an accountant, and in 1907 married Henrietta Schonberger. A year later, the couple welcomed their son, Samuel, into the family. In later years, the couple adopted an Americanized spelling of the family name, “White” instead of “Weiss.” After a seventeen-year-long battle with tuberculosis, Bill died at the Trudeau Sanatorium in Saranac, New York, in 1925 – just one year before Houdini. William Weiss is buried in the family plot in New York near his mother, Cecilia, under a headstone inscribed with the nickname “Willie.”
 HOUDINI, Harry (Ehrich Weisz). Carved Meerschaum Cheroot Ho...
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