Thursday, August 14, 2014

Bess Houdini's Costume


The Potter and Potter Auction that is coming up on August 23rd, features a costume apparently worn by Bess Houdini. It is Lot #77. The piece has a nice description of the costume and some information on who Bess gave the costume to and how it has survived. The estimated value is $7000 & $9000.

John Cox over at WildaboutHoudini.com wrote about the costume. And he provided a photo of Bess wearing the costume from an old postcard. However, to my knowledge, no one has given much more information than that. Until now.

This is the costume Bess wore around 1900+ when she performed the Metamorphosis with Harry. I'm not sure if that adds more value to the costume or not. She probably wore the costume throughout the whole act, but for sure she wore the costume during the Metamorphosis. And how do I know this???

In the book, Metamorphosis by Bruce MacNab, on the Table of Contents page near the front of the book is a photograph, actually a series of photos (4) of Harry and Bess presenting their Metamorphosis routine. Bess can plainly be seen wearing this incredible costume. The photos are from the Harvard Theatre Collection, Houghton Library. Try as I might, I couldn't dig them up online.

But if you turn to the Table of Contents in this book, assuming you have a copy, you can see Bess wearing this incredible costume in action, for yourself!

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