AMAZING HARRY HOUDINI USED STRAIGHT JACKET AND HANDWRITTEN NOTE.
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Thursday, April 21, 2005 1:10:00 PM Eastern Standard Time
Auction #183 - Part II
Item numbers 1292-2528 in auction 183
The master of escape, magician Harry Houdini, astounded the world w/feats of escape whether it be from hand cuffs, chains, jail cells, water, various other containment devices. He is most famously known for his straight jacket escapes. Offered here is a stunt-used jacket. Not to be outdone, Houdini picked elaborate straight jackets, this one being made from heavy canvas and leather. Jacket has a series of straps at the back, four used to fasten jacket and one large strap used to restrain arms which were crossed over chest in usual straight jacket fashion. Also has long leather strap beginning at bottom center of front which was placed between the legs and fastened in the back at a buckle, thus making escape even more difficult. This jacket is signed on the inside collar on the front in black pen "Harry Houdini." Signature is bold and clear and continues over line of stitching. Also included in this lot is a 3.25x5.5" unlined card written in Houdini's own hand "Dear George: I'm giving you this strait jacket that I used in one of my stunts. It was one of many that did not keep me restraint for long. Harry Houdini." Written in blue fountain pen. Card has tanned and has two very ft. 1" creases, one at upper right margin and one running vertically at top center margin. These creases are only visible under close inspection. VF. Jacket has some overall aging, right sleeve has some fraying at leather cuff where attached to canvas, 1" segment of restitching at back of right sleeve, some scattered fabric pulls but piece remains structurally sound and is VG w/Exc. and bold signature. A legendary piece of magic history. Last year a Houdini straight jacket that was stunt-used but unsigned and accompanied by a signed photo sold for over $36,000. Comes w/letter of authenticity from Hake's.
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