Lot 237

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Houdini Signed 1st Ed. "Miracle Mongers and Their Methods"

Harry Houdini (1874-1926). A signed presentation copy of his book, "Miracle Mongers and Their Methods". New York: E.P. Dutton & Company, 1920. First Edition. Warmly inscribed to Dr. Joseph E. Waitt: "To my good / old friend / Dr. J. E. Waitt / all good wishes / from the author / Houdini / May 14/21". Frontispiece photograph of Houdini, 240pp, illustrated, 5.5" x 8". Ochre cloth boards with corner bumping, minor soiling and creasing to the spine. Pages lightly toned. In near fine condition and boldly signed.

Waitt was a Boston dentist and an avid magic fan since childhood. He was enlisted by Houdini to provide the appearance of respectable impartiality when inspecting the devices Houdini used in his performances. In time, Waitt would become a good friend and confidant, even helping Houdini design some of his later spectacular devices. 

In the 1920s, Houdini turned his energies toward exposing fake psychics and mediums in order to show how they were taking advantage of the bereaved, a pursuit that was in line with the debunkings by stage magicians since the late nineteenth century. His training in magic allowed him to expose frauds who had successfully fooled many scientists and academics. Houdini was so dedicated to his search for a genuine medium that he created a $10,000 challenge to any medium who could successfully demonstrate supernatural abilities. 

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 6, 2023 11:00 AM EDT
Wilton, CT, US

University Archives

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Bid Increments
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$100 $299 $20
$300 $499 $25
$500 $999 $50
$1,000 $1,999 $100
$2,000 $2,999 $200
$3,000 $4,999 $250
$5,000 $9,999 $500
$10,000 $19,999 $1,000
$20,000 $49,999 $2,500
$50,000 + $5,000