Harry Houdini, escape artist and magician extraordinaire, was born today in 1874 and continues to be highly popular with investors in magic memorabilia.
The Hungarian born performer made his reputation through escaping from all manner of constraints, often while hanging upside down or submerged in water.
Houdini's magical skills are less celebrated, although his disappearing elephant act at the Hippodrome in New York was the talk of the town.
Houdini related memorabilia continues to be popular with collectors and investors. On Saturday March 26 a rare poster comes to auction at Potter & Potter in Chicago with a high end estimate of $20,000.
Depicting Houdini in court at the fraud case brought against the performer by a German police officer, the Houdini-commissioned 1902 print is a prime example of his commercial sensibilities. It is one of just five known remaining examples.
Houdini posters are big business. In 2005, a specimen promoting his Milk Can Escape made $78,664 at a Random Treasures auction, while a set of handcuffs once used by the great man achieved $17,122.
The last surviving Houdini stage assistant died on the weekend. Dorothy Young was made famous in the 1950s when she habitually emerged from a giant radio.