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    Rare 1924 Houdini Photograph Signed to Oscar S. Teale Picturing Annie Eva Fay. "Crystal Gazing." A 1984 comedy film brought the term "Ghostbusters" to our language. Back in the 1920s, when the spiritualist movement was still active in the United States, Houdini, Teale and Fay appointed themselves the "phony spiritualist-busters" of the day. Harry Houdini, the most famous magician of all time, took an interest in the movement in the early 1920s and embarked on a serious study of it with the purpose of debunking the many fakes. The incredible item offered here is a 10" x 8" sepia photograph showing Houdini standing and gazing intently into a crystal ball situated on a birdbath in an outdoor garden. He has signed "Aug 29/24. To O.S. Teale Best Wishes Houdini." The woman standing across from him is none other than the famous psychic and spiritualist Annie Eva Fay. She had, for many years, toured Europe performing all sorts of magic tricks. After her retirement in 1924 she told Houdini all her "trade secrets" thus helping him to expose the dozens of frauds preying on unsuspecting believers. Fay died just a few months after Houdini in 1927. The third individual, Oscar S. Teale, to whom Houdini inscribed the photo, was a renowned architect and magician, a former President of the American Society of Magicians (as was Houdini). He became Houdini's assistant and aided in the debunking crusade. Teale was later a pallbearer at Houdini's funeral and the designer of the memorial at his gravesite. You probably wil not be surprised to hear that he also died in 1927! On the verso of this photo Teale has written "Houdini and Annie Fay crystal gazing at Fay's home in Boston."

    Any signed photograph of Houdini is rare and desirable but one with such an incredible association to spiritualism and these other two individuals is almost certainly a one-of-a-kind item. Do not be sorry that you did not bid higher when the hammer falls on this unique and historical lot. The photo is in very fine condition. With COA from PSA/DNA.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    October, 2005
    8th Saturday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 7
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 1,053

    Buyer's Premium per Lot:
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    Heritage helped us feel we served the memory of our uncle with respect for his life's work and Heritage reflected that respect. You make a great team and gave us all a most memorable experience. We hope to work with you again some time in the future.
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