Harry Blackstone Sr’s tuxedo makes 333% over estimate

A black tuxedo worn onstage by the great American magician Harry Blackstone Sr has made $39,000 in a sale hosted by Potter & Potter Auctions.

That’s a 333% increase on the lot’s $9,000 high estimate.  

Harry Blackstone Sr

This is the only matched Harry Blackstone Sr tuxedo known to exist

Blackstone was among the last of the Golden Age magicians, whose elegant performances transfixed audiences in Europe and America in the late 19th and early 20th century.  

This suit contains secret pockets for his opening illusion, a trick called The Enchanted Garden that involved silk scarves and an enormous florists bill.

The suit was originally a part of the Egyptian Hall Museum in Brentwood, Tennessee, a long-established museum of American magic.

This is one of two surviving stage-worn tuxedos belonging to Blackstone Sr. It’s also the only set with the matching trousers.

A set of Harry Houdini’s “king breaker” lily iron handcuffs achieved $18,000 – a big increase on the $12,000 valuation.

Houdini designed the cuffs to be impossible to open. He used them to humiliate other escapologists who dared challenge him.  

The auction house comments: “Houdini had these cuffs altered to stump other escape artists; they do not operate like a normal handcuff.

“They were meant to ‘stump’ a would-be handcuff artist so they cannot get out even with a key.

“Only two ‘king breakers’ have sold publicly, both from the Dick Wresch Collection.”

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