Houdini Water Torture poster to set new record?

Potter & Potter will offer a rare poster for Houdini’s infamous water torture cell in its Golden Age of Magic Posters auction.  

It’s expected to make between $50,000 and 80,000 on February 4

The print dates to 1912 and features an illustration of the nightmarish cell, alongside a description of its dangers.

Houdini Water Torture

The Water Torture Cell was Houdini's most celebrated illusion

The trick is among the most famous illusions ever performed.

Houdini would be manacled upside down in the cell and a stagehand posted with a fire axe, should the unthinkable happen. A curtain would then come down for several agonizing minutes.

Just as audience anxiety reached its peak he would emerge, dripping wet and triumphant.

Only three examples of this particular design are known to exist. Another made $51,959 at Christie’s in 2000, suggesting this one will sell towards the top end of its estimate.

It could even break the record for any magic poster, set for another variant advertising the illusion that realised $55,000 at CRG Auctions in 2004.

The buyer was none other than Vegas magician David Copperfield, who also owns the remains of the original cell.

The auction will feature a huge array of other posters from other heroes of the golden age, including one for Harry Kellar’s signature trick - the Cassadaga Propaganda.

It’s valued at $20,000-25,000.

Another, for Howard Thurston’s The Levitation, is expected to make $20,000-30,000.

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