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This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on 4/8/2023
HOUDINI, Harry (Erik Weisz, 1874 – 1926). Houdini’s “Spirit Cabinet” Escape. American, ca. 1924. In performance, Houdini was placed atop a short four-legged base, and then a series of four open boxes was lowered over him, one at a time, each successive section being locked and secured to the others below it. HOUDINI’S PERFECT MYSTERY. Once the magician was enclosed, four separate metal rods were lowered through holes in the apparatus, further locking them together (in performance, these may have been welded in some way to “escape-proof” the box). Even so, after being only briefly concealed, Houdini “dematerialized” from the device, which when examined by a committee from the audience, was shown to still be solidly and securely fastened together. Handsome furniture-grade hardwood construction, outfitted with brass handles and locks in each section. Approximately 67 x 24 x 24” (assembled). Accompanied by a C.O.A. signed and dated by Houdini collector Sidney Radner, a former owner of the device, and a photograph of the concealed internal mechanism which, once activated, makes the escape possible. Also included is the original custom-made “key” to accomplish the escape, and a placard used for display. Constructed for, owned, and used by Harry Houdini. Said by at least one Houdini aficionado as a replacement for the famous Water Torture Cell – a strenuous feat to perform, and one in which Houdini spent considerable time not only upside down, but under water – this imposing and handsome hardwood cabinet was used by Houdini on stage at New York’s famed Hippodrome in February, 1916. In addition to being locked inside the cabinet itself, Houdini was likely further restrained by ropes or handcuffs before the device was secured around him, or with ropes threaded through the large holes in the sides of the boxes. A program for the performance referred to the escape as “almost a perfect mystery.” One writer speculated that the apparatus may have been devised as a vehicle through which Houdini could further expose the methods of fraudulent spirit mediums, since he himself described the escape as a demonstration of “materialization and dematerialization.”
 HOUDINI, Harry (Erik Weisz, 1874 – 1926). Houdini’s “Spirit...
Current Bidding
Minimum Bid: $15,000.00
Final prices include buyers premium: $50,400.00
Estimate: $30,000.00 - $60,000.00
Number Bids:14
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