Showing posts with label houdini bust. Show all posts
Showing posts with label houdini bust. Show all posts

Friday, January 3, 2014

New Houdini Sculpture - Behind the Scenes

This is exciting. Artist/Sculptor/Magician Christopher Tabora has given me permission to post some photos of a HOUDINI Sculpture he is currently working on. The piece you see has about 30-40 hours of work into now and hopes to be finished with it soon. According to Christopher this is a life size sculpture. The gauze you see is only there for support prior to the drying process.

Once completed, Christopher plans to make a mold to have this cast in bronze. THIS might just be the life size HOUDINI sculpture we've all been waiting for. I'll continue to post images as the continues working on the piece. This is really cool!
Christopher Tabora also said he plans to do more life-size 'magician sculptures' in the future.

Friday, November 29, 2013

An Early Bust from the Scranton Houdini Museum

Today's photos are a special treat from Dorothy Dietrich and Dick Brooks. These show one of the early casts made during their attempt to recreate the bust to sit on Houdini's Grave. Look closely and you can see all the pits and imperfections which were later filled in for the final bust. This particular bust is made of solid polyurethane and was then coated to give the appearance of bronze.

The photos also contain a second bust much smaller. This is apparently a bust that Bess Houdini gave out. It's hollow, made of plaster and quite fragile.

Thank you Dick and Dorothy for sharing these images!

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Houdini and His Likeness

Courtesy of John Hinson, the Great Nephew of Houdini, we have another Houdini Bust. This time the Grand Daddy of them all. This bust was commissioned by Houdini in 1914 while he was performing in England. Sculptor John Cassidy created this amazing bronze bust.

This bronze bust was to be placed upon Houdini's grave when he died. However, a marble copy was mounted on the grave instead. Bess Houdini kept the bronze bust in her home and it was passed down to her sister when she died. The marble copy suffered a tragic end at the hands of vandals. But thankfully today, due to the efforts of Dorothy Dietrich and Dick Brooks a new Houdini Bust sits atop the grave.

In 1958, John A. Hinson donated the bronze bust to Museum of the City  of NY.

Friday, October 25, 2013

More Houdini Statues Continue to Come In

Here is a cool Houdini statue that sold on eBay. It has Houdini's name on the front, underneath the bust the number 1958 is printed. The bust stands 12 inches tall.

The next statue is very interesting, it's Houdini in a strongman pose. He is 6" tall and made of bronze.

Next is a 7 inch metalware statue of Houdini was that was apparently part of a "Legends of Magic"
series. It is signed by Jack Taves. I don't know if there were other 'legends of magic' or if it just stopped with Houdini.

Next is a very unique Houdini Bust. This is on the old Houdini property in California. The property is in Laurel Canyon and actually, was probably NOT Houdini's property at all. But it's been called that for years by residents and real estate people that it's now known as the Houdini Estate. Houdini expert, Patrick Culliton believes the property across the street is where Houdini's property actually was. John Cox and Patrick Culliton visited the Houdini Estate in 2012 and you can read all about it at

Special thanks to Joe Notaro for two of the images on this page. If anyone else knows of Houdini statues or busts which I've not featured and you have photos you're willing to share, please let me know at

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

The Hinson Houdini Bust

This is a real treat. John Hinson, sent me this image of a Houdini bust that belonged to his grandmother. Unfortunately, he does not know where she got it from. I can say, I've never seen another like this one. So cool. Thank you John for allowing me to share this.

I can't wait to see what other Houdini Busts and Statues show up in the coming days!

Still More Houdini Statues and Busts

Just when I think I've found them all, more Houdini art shows up. In this case, I'm looking for sculptures and statues.

This first one I found on I'm including the location of where I found the image. It's apparently a custom made piece. Still, very cool.

This next bust was created by artist Peter Close. It had been available through however their site seems to be suspended. There is no telling what that means, it's the internet, so maybe their site was hacked, who knows. But the bust is an interesting one with Houdini in a straight jacket.

As I recall, the site offered some other busts of famous people, like Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. But with the site down, I can't go back and check. Hopefully, it will be back up again soon.

Now here we have something interesting. A Houdini bust from across the pond, as they say. It comes from TheTwinsFX, through,
This is cast in resin and comes in two different finishes. It stands a whopping 21 inches tall. The website says it is limited to 100 busts and it also says the first run sold out. So maybe they are doing more than 100, or they cast less than 100 to start. At any rate, check their website for purchasing info.

Next up, a Houdini and Bess set. I think I might actually have these. I know I own something very
similar but they are in storage. I have no idea who made these and I'm sure they are no longer for sale. But they are an interesting addition to the Houdini bust collection.

There is an amazing sculpture and article featured over at that you must go check out. There are several photos of the piece created by sculptor  Mel Zapata. It's a truly striking piece of Houdini art.

The final one today was featured over at It's a sculpture by artist Victoria Mock. The piece has Houdini in a straight jacket sitting on a box. It's quite cool.

If you want to see more Houdini art, check out some of the past articles on the Houdini Busts.
I'm sure I'll be back with more!

Sunday, October 20, 2013

More Houdini Busts and Statues!

Joe Fox has really gone the extra mile and provided me with some great photos of MORE Houdini Busts. Just when you thought you'd seen them all, a few more pop up!

First is the Collectors Workshop Bust called 'The Houdini Bronze'. The bust stands 14 inches tall, weighs approximately 15 pounds and rests on a polished wooden base. Many years ago, I visited Nick Ruggerio at the Collectors Workshop-Workshop. And he had one of these busts in the office. I remember holding it and hearing Nick tell the story of how they went about recreating the bust. It was a limited edition of only 18. As I recall it had a pretty hefty price tag at the time.

Next, we have an unusual bust that Joe Fox can't recall where he got it. But it's clearly Houdini
though not of the same quality and craftsmanship as some of the other busts. I'm wondering if this was maybe a plaster cast that was sold and people could paint them on their own. It has a similar look to the copper colored bust in the article
Houdini Busted!

It appears maybe to be a copy of a copy because some of the details are less visible on this particular bust. Though it could just be the white color, which makes it look like a white chocolate bust of Houdini......(that sounds rather cool).

Gary Frank, the magician and historian offered this Houdini bust a few years ago. It's 9 1/4 inches tall and weighs approx 5 lbs. It was limited to 200 pieces and the ad for the bust mentions it was the first in a series of magic busts. But I don't know if any others were created.

The final two don't actually fit into the category of BUST. But they are statues of Houdini. The first
one is a ceramic covered Beer Stein. I want to say the Fox Brewery from Appleton commissioned this but I'm not 100% on that. The one in the photo is Joe Fox's (no relation to the Brewery). Mine is in storage so I can't look at the bottom to read what it says. But it's a very cool. The stein is 9 1/2 inches tall and will hold 26oz of liquid.

 A companion item with the beer stein was a Bottle Opener with the same sort of design as the beer stein.

The final 'statue' was done by sculptor Mo Flint. His statue of Houdini in a Straightjacket is incredibly
striking and looks 100% like Houdini. I had contacted Mo when these were first announced and he was hoping to do other Houdini statues if these sold well. But I think the sale of these statues was a little disappointing. From what I've heard, the run was supposed to be 500 but only 250 were ever made. No other magic or Houdini statue followed.

A friend of mine who is an amateur sculptor created a Houdini statue for me many years ago. It was a statue made from the image on the left. It was an amazing statue. It stood a little over 12 inches tall and my friend put real chain on where needed. The reason I cannot show it to you know is ole Houdini in Chains committed suicide! One day he fell off the shelf he had been displayed on and came crashing into too many pieces to repair. Sadly, I never took a photo of the amazing piece of art, my loss.

*Special Thanks to Houdini Historian and all around great guy, Joe Fox, for sharing the above images from his collection!

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Houdini Busted! Updated!

My previous article about the statues dedicated to magicians points out that there are no HOUDINI statues. However, there isn't a shortage of Houdini busts. It's not likely I'll get all of them captured here, but I'm going to try and get the top ones.

First up is the classic Houdini Bust that we all know, the bust on top of his grave. The original bronze cast of this bust resides in The Museum of the City of New York. This was the creation of sculptor John Cassidy of Manchester England.  After Houdini died, this bust became the property of the Hinson Family. Mr. and Mrs. John A. Hinson donated the bust to the Museum in 1958.

Copies of this bust have been part of the Houdini Grave Site since his death. Sadly, many of those copies were stolen or destroyed.

This plaster copy was recovered recently. It was believed to have been stolen from the gravesite in 1975. John Cox has a full report about the stolen/recovered bust at his site. This plaster copy now resides in the AKA Houdini display in Appleton Wisconsin.

Thanks to the valiant efforts of the Houdini Museum in Scranton PA, a fully restored bust was placed back on the grave site.  Dorothy Dietrich and Dick Brookz are the curators of the museum. They are now the keepers of the grave site from what I understand.I accidentally left them off of here when I first posted this. My apologies to them because they deserve a huge thank you from all Houdini fans and magic fans for the work that they have done!

Without their tireless efforts there would be no bust on the Houdini Grave site today.

There have been various reproductions of this bust over the years in many different sizes. Some lack the quality of the original and even the look. But they are interesting none the less. One of the best was done by Collectors Workshop but I don't have a photo of the bust they produced. It was identical to the Cassidy bust.

These two busts were done by artist Joseph Juneau for the Houdini Magic Shops. The one of the left is called 'The Great Houdini' while the other one is called 'The Young Houdini'. 

They are cast in resin and stand about 10 inches tall.

Next we have the latest Houdini bust, this time by the artists at Spectral Motion. It's an expensive one, $2000.00, but the bronze cast version is breathtaking. They actually produced several busts of magicians, including: Harry Kellar, Howard Thurston, Robert Houdin and Chung Ling Soo.

I think I like this one the best out of all the various busts. It has a little more character to it and shows Houdini at a younger age. I do not think the HOUDINI bust is available any longer however.

Finally, I'd like to show this unique piece. I'm not sure it fits within the traditional bust format, but it is very cool. Unfortunately, I don't recall the name of the artist. I know there was talk of him making several of these in the future of other magicians, but I only ever saw this one. This particular piece is from my own collection.

There are a number of other busts of Houdini in different poses and styles. I'll post links to those below and if I happened to have missed any, let me know and I'd be glad to feature them here, or at least put the link up. has a very nice Houdini Pewter statue which can be seen here.
Sculptor/Artist Robert Toth has a very nice Houdini bust which can be seen on his website.
Sculptor Peter Close created this Houdini bust for this website
A company called features this bust, which they say only 50 were made but I don't see where it's available now.
This final bust is being sold by Apparently, it is a reproduction of a bust that Houdini himself owned.

I shouldn't have been half asleep when I posted this because I missed some stuff. I forgot to add the photo from the Houdini grave about and give Dorothy Dietrich and Dick Brookz proper credit. Also, John Cox over at has posted an article about an old issue of Genii Magazine with a picture of a unique Houdini bust on the cover.

I just got this note from Dick Brookz and Dorothy Dietrich, "There was a small hollow olive drab dark bronze colored Houdini bust about 8" tall that I believe Bess herself used to make and sell or give out. It was similar but slightly different from the John Cassidy one. We have two or three in our collection.  We experimented in making these before we attempted the full sized ones.  We even sold them in the store for a while.  We may make some more when time permits.

The final large mold was made of expensive Platinum Silicon which should last 20 to 30 years.  We made several large busts out of different materials until finally we made 3 expensive statuary cement ones, with the best one destined for Houdini's grave site after it was sealed with a special sealer."

I wonder if the greenish colored one above is one of the one's that Bess gave out???

John Cox sent me this link of another Houdini bust, which might be one of the ones that Collectors Workshop put out in the 1990s.

Here is an image, courtesy of Joe Fox, of the Houdini bust that was given out to attendees of the Society of American Magician's Centenary Celebration. This was during the 2002 SAM National Convention. Only 1000 were made and I think it's rather small if I'm not mistaken.

this original article was first published on August 12, 2012