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Houdini Envelope - BPOE Elks and Pickersgill
Envelope found in Houdini's desk with BPOE Elks association!
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Houdini Envelope - BPOE Elks and Pickersgill

Item Id: 90-1725
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Touched by the hand of Houdini!

Just think- you can own a piece of magical history- something that was handled by the great Harry Houdini himself! This is a one-of-a-kind collectible, perfect for framing. And what a great gift!

See a larger version of the image. Wow, would this look great framed with a photo of Houdini!

In the late 1980's, magician Peter Monticup (owner of MagicTricks.com), purchased Harry Houdini's ornate desk. The desk had been in storage in Houdini's former NYC home from 1926 until it was sold in 1980. Peter purchased the desk from this buyer, along with a number of personal items from the Houdini home.

The desk had a number of secret compartments and hidden drawers. Inside one of the drawers was a stack of envelopes from correspondence Houdini had received. Houdini was a notorious "saver", so it is no surprise that he kept these envelopes. The letters were from all different sources- his lawyers, his fans, fellow magicians, etc. He even wrote notes on some of the envelopes, either noting the importance of the contents, or just scribbling on them as scrap paper. In researching the envelopes, we've found an important connection to an event or person in Houdini's life. Of all the thousands upon thousands of letters he received each year, he saved each of these envelopes for a reason.

This is one of the envelopes found in the desk. It is postmarked January 16, 1925 from Perth Amboy, NJ. The return address is from H.E. Pickersgill, Perth Amboy, NJ

Judge Harold E. Pickersgill was a newspaper publisher and well-known New Jersey state historian. He was also the first president of the New Jersey State Elks Association. Houdini was Life Member #4896 of Elks Lodge #1 in New York City, and he had an extremely strong tie to the Elks organization. In fact, the Elks were so important to Houdini that after his death, Houdini's body lay in state on November 4, 1926 in the main room of the Lodge just before being taken to Machpelah Cemetery. You can read more about Houdini's association with the Elks here, here and here.

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