University Archives

Lot 107

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Harry Houdini Signed Vintage Postcard Photograph from the "Handcuff" Period

A vintage black and white matte postcard photograph showing Harry Houdini (1874-1926), the world-famous illusionist, signed and inscribed by him as "sincerely / yours / Houdini" along a diagonal at top. The signature is large and bold, measuring 2.75" x 1.25" alone. The stuntman is depicted wearing a dark suit, stiff white collar, bow tie, and watch chain under the caption "Harry Handcuff Houdini" at upper right. Blank verso. A horizontal fold extends along the bottom of the postcard 1.125" above the edge and nowhere near the spectacular signature. Light overall toning verso, else near fine. 3.125" x 5.375." Accompanied by a Beckett Letter of Authenticity dated November 25, 2019.

The handsome turn-of-the-century Hungarian-born American entertainer wasn't that skilled at card tricks, but he excelled at performing escapes from all imaginable restraints. Between 1899-1908, during his "Handcuff" period, Houdini delighted crowds by escaping from custom-designed handcuffs, chains, shackles, ropes, and straight jackets. Later on in his career, Houdini was also buried alive, suspended over water tanks, sealed in milk cans, and interred in 500 lb. whale carcasses; each time he triumphantly escaped via unknown means.

This item comes with a Certificate from John Reznikoff, a premier authenticator for both major 3rd party authentication services, PSA and JSA (James Spence Authentications), as well as numerous auction houses.


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September 30, 2020 10:30 AM EDT

Westport, CT, US

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