May 05, 2016 - Sale 2413

Sale 2413 - Lot 53

Price Realized: $ 4,420
?Final Price Realized includes Buyer’s Premium added to Hammer Price
Estimate: $ 700 - $ 1,000
HOUDINI PERFORMS FOR THE ROOSEVELT FAMILY HOUDINI, HARRY. Group of 3 Typed Letters Signed, "Houdini," to magician Leslie Guest. The first, written in the blank lower portion of his partly-printed telegram form, explaining that he would forward his items to NY for inclusion in next issue of M.U.M. [magazine published by the Society of American Magicians]. The second, requesting that he be put in touch with people who have Roosevelt negatives and offering to teach him a trick. The third, explaining how an ordinary trick in Houdini's hands becomes extraordinary. Together 3 pages, oblong 8vo or 4to, the 1925 letter on "Society of American Magicians" stationery; moderate even toning to 1923 letter. New York, 1923-25

Additional Details

13 April 1925: "That party never called on me regarding the Roosevelt negatives. . . . I have changed my mine about that special trick of mind and was waiting at the theatre to show it to you, so that you could teach it to Judah. Next time you come around, will teach you the trick. It is one of my favorites, but nevertheless as it requires a little practise, you are certainly welcome to it."
16 December 1925: ". . . You see a trick when performed by an ordinary magician is not the same in my hands. I weave an air of romance and mystery about it and it appears in a different light, for example my card star trick, silk trick, fish bowl stack, and even Palagenesia, so when I get hold of the effect I will see what I can do with it. Remember I try out lots of tricks and throw them away."
On February 20, 1925, Houdini performed a private show at the home of Mrs. H.A. Alexander; in attendance were a group of the grandchildren of the late President Theodore Roosevelt, his widow Edith, and Mrs. Kermit Roosevelt. The "Roosevelt negatives" presumably refers to photographs taken on the day of the show.