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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