Harry Houdini’s autograph: What you need to know

Harry Houdini’s autograph: What you need to know 

Escapologist Harry Houdini’s autograph is in high demand among collectors.  

Houdini was, in his prime, the most famous entertainer in the world. He remains a tremendously popular historical figure. 

Here are a few pointers to take into consideration if you aspire to own his signature. 

He signed a lot

Houdini’s autograph is, on the face of it, relatively attainable.  

He was a legendary self-promoter. Some celebrities will go to almost any length to avoid signing an autograph. They may palm this task off onto secretaries.

Harry Houdini autograph

(Image: Wikimedia Commons)

Houdini did not think this way.  

His drive for self-promotion was relentless.  

So, he would regularly walk amongst fans and sign for them. Add to this the vast archive of signed documents in circulation and you have a signature that is pleasingly accessible for the vast majority of buyers.  

But just because there is a good number in circulation does not mean they come cheap.  

Demand is huge 

Houdini’s autograph appeals to a wide variety of buyers; from dedicated collectors of magic memorabilia to those with only a passing interest in the period.  

 Harry Houdini autograph

(Image: Wikimedia Commons)

This latter class might dip their toes into the market just once. 

But they make a big difference. 

What is it about Houdini that buyers respond to? I believe it’s because he’s a romantic figure. He lived a fascinating life. And he represents a moment in American history that gets many of us misty-eyed.  

This interest extends across the generations.  

Houdini remains relevant today.  

He’s still very much a household name. 

Signed photographs are most sought after 

When it comes to determining the value of a Houdini autograph, quality is everything. 

Harry Houdini autograph

(Image: Paul Fraser Collectibles)

A hastily scrawled cheque may only be worth a few hundred dollars, while a beautifully preserved signed photograph is worth a great deal more.  

Expect to pay in excess of $5,000 for a good quality signed photo.  

That value increases depending on the rarity of the image.  

Letters can be more affordable – although this depends on content. Houdini typed most of his correspondence (and handwritten is always more desirable when it comes to letters from notable people). 

In 2014, a set of 14 letters discussing a fraudulent psychic sold for $24,000.  

Paul Fraser.   

PS. I have a wonderful (and rare) signed photograph of Houdini for sale. Click here to take a look.  

PPS. Interested in learning how to invest in autographs? Click here to get my brand-new guide. 

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