Just think- you can own a piece of magical history- something that was handled by the great Harry Houdini in his daily life! This is a one-of-a-kind collectible, perfect for framing.
What a great gift!
This is one of the envelopes found in Harry Houdini's personal desk. The postmark is Feb 26 1926Return address: S.A.M., Richard Van Dien, Secretary, 230 Union Street, Jersey City NJThe envelope is addressed to Houdini at his NYC residence.
Richard Van Dien was President of the Society Of American Magicians from 1915 until 1917. Houdini was then elected President of S.A.M., a position he held until his death in October 1926, the year of this letter. Richard Van Dien served as Secretary of the S.A.M. while Houdini was president. This correspondence most likely concerned S.A.M. business.
See a larger version of the front of the envelope here.
In the late 1980's, magician Peter Monticup (owner of MagicTricks.com), purchased Harry Houdini's ornate personal 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 some other 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. The envelopes 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 each of 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.Houdini was a notorious "saver".These envelopes were used as his personal Rolodex (address directory).
This is a standard size envelope (about 4.5" x 5.5"). It's old, it's been through the mail, it's yellowed, it's brittle.Someone (Houdini?) tore it across the top (probably with a dull letter opener) to remove the contents. This envelope is in "AS FOUND" condition.
DISCLAIMER: Though these envelopes are absolutely original and absolutely came from Houdini's desk, we cannot be totally sure of the contents of the correspondence that was sent in the envelope, because the envelopes in the desk were all empty. What you read in the description above is our BEST GUESS about the contents of any correspondence, based on our research and our own conclusions. WE MAKE NO CLAIM TO BE EXPERTS ON HOUDINI.