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

Sunday, October 15, 2017

The First Statue of Houdini, in Washington DC?

Did you know that there was a proposed Statue of Houdini that would have been put in Washington D.C.? I live here and I sure didn't know that! Where does this information come from and is it for real?

In the October 1971 issue of Genii Magazine in The Vernon Touch by Dai Vernon, he writes,
"Houdini almost managed to have a statue of himself placed in Washington D.C.. At the last minute, one of the Senators or Congressmen got up and squelched the whole deal. That would really have been something - having a statue of an escape artist in Washington. And he almost made it. It was a bitter blow to him when it failed to pass"

I've lived in the DC area most of my life. I've never heard this story. Never heard it from the older local magicians, never heard it from friends in the govt., never even came across a mention during research on Houdini in Washington D.C..

I would say that the last person to want to promote fiction about Houdini would be Dai Vernon, so I'll have to take him at his word. Although I guess technically it's a negative story about Houdini, so maybe Vernon would do that, lol.

Now, I did find the following story printed in numerous newspapers in late Jan and early Feb 1926.
"Senator Copeland told this one to Houdini, the magician, while the latter was in Washington. John F. Hylan, then mayor of New York, was crossing city hall park with a friend. Their steps led them past a statue of a man with his hands tied and his feet ironed together. I always regarded that as a very fine statue of Nathan Hale, remarked the friend. Nathan Hale? said Hylan, Who's he? I thought that was HOUDINI."
For those who don't know, Nathan Hale was a Revolutionary War Hero who famously said, "I ONLY REGRET THAT I HAVE BUT ONE LIFE TO LOSE FOR MY COUNTRY"

For the record, I've been unable to uncover any other information on a possible Houdini Statue in DC. But if I find it, you'll be the first to know! Check out the next article, I have some info on an actual Houdini statue, but not from DC.

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.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

In Search of Magician Statues

 The surprise success of the various Houdini Bust/Statue blogs has me interested in doing something similar with magician statues and busts. I know there are a lot of them out there. I actually have quite a few. The success of the Houdini Bust blogs was because many people submitted photos that I was unaware of and thus helped to really enhance the photo collection.

So I need your help. I'm looking for busts and sculptures and statues/figurines of magicians to include here. If at all possible, if you could also include some information on the statues such as who created them, where the statue came from, what it's made of, and things like that. IF you know that is, if you don't just send me the photo.

Unlike the Houdini blogs which continued over several days, I'd like to gather up as many of the magician statue images and then present them all at once, or least keep the blogs to just a couple. I already did a blog a while ago on large magic statues which can be seen here.

So if you have anything, please send to

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!

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Houdini Hand Carved Sculpture & More

I was so excited to discover this yesterday. What you are viewing is a wooden hand carved sculpture by artist Ed Pribyl. He is an American Folk Artist from Northern Illinois. Every piece is hand carved from basswood then painted using his unique multi-layered antiqued finish. And as you can see, the pieces are amazing.

The Houdini Water Torture was a commissioned piece for a client and sold for $5500.00. Ed told me he is willing to recreate it for the same price and is open to doing other Houdini poses/tricks. So for the collector out there who wants something extra special, Ed's website is

Next we have a magic related sculpture, the iconic magician pulling a rabbit from top hat. It is titled "Abracadabra" and is 18 inches tall, 9 inches wide and 4 inches deep. The cost for this sculpture is $1200.00

Finally, we have a very cool sawing a woman in half sculpture. It is titled "Two For One" and is 17 inches tall, 16 inches wide
and 12 inches deep.  This is simply a beautiful piece of art.
It is available for $1800.00

To see additional images of this piece go here.

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!