Harry Houdini handcuffs to auction at $5,000 with Dreweatts

A collection of props used by Harry Houdini, including a pair of handcuffs, is to star at Dreweatts & Bloomsbury Auctions' Bibliophile sale on December 12.

The handcuffs were bought by magician Billy McComb from the widow of Houdini's brother, Dash, who was Houdini's one-time stage partner. They are now consigned to the sale with an estimate of ?�2,000-3,000 ($3,276-4,915).

Harry Houdini handcuffs auction
Houdini has altered the handcuffs, which means that they were most likely used for his most challenging acts

The handcuffs, which have been modified by Houdini, are accompanied by a letter of provenance from McComb. Houdini usually used unprepared equipment, so it is likely that this pair of cuffs were used for his Chinese Water Torture act or other high-risk manoeuvres.

Dunninger was also a very talented mentalist and escapologist

Also included are a pair of Lilly Leg Irons from Houdini, valued at ?�2,000-3,000 ($3,276-4,915), and a round barrel screw key padlock, which is estimated to sell for ?�1,000-1,500 ($1,638-2,457).

Both were left to Houdini's friend and mentalist Joseph Dunninger, a gold star member of the Inner Magic Circle, and were previously owned by escapologist Richard John Silmser and handcuff collector Joseph Tanner.

In July, a hand-corrected manuscript from Houdini sold for $40,000 with RR Auction.

Paul Fraser Collectibles has this wonderful signed photograph of Harry Houdini for sale.


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