Envelope found in Houdini's desk - Regarding Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine
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 and Roosevelt!
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 19, 1925 from New York, NY. The return address is from The Committee for Completing the Cathedral of St. John the Divine, Cathedral Heights, New York City.
Houdini and Theodore Roosevelt became good friends during a 1914 trip aboard the ocean liner Imperator on its last voyage out of Germany before the outbreak of WWI. Back in the States, the two men remained personal friends, with Houdini visiting the various Roosevelt households on numerous occasions and entertaining the adults and the grandchildren alike. In 1925, Franklin Roosevelt became chairman of the fundraising drive to complete construction of the mother church of the Episcopal Diocese of New York, he no doubt started by contacting all of his powerful and wealthy New York friends, including Houdini.
You provide the frame if desired.
This is a standard size envelope (about 9.5" x 4"). It's old, it's been through the mail, it's yellowed. 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.
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