TLS signed “Harry Houdini,” one page, 8 x 10.5, June 18, 1917. Letter to Edwin Fay Rice, in part: “The enclosed may i[n]terest you. There you are with Kit Clarke, Houdini and yourself. I won that case against those imitators, they have been stopped doing the trick.” Houdini adds a postscript in his own hand, in full: “I saw Harry Kellar in the hospital. He has an infected hand. He is in Post Graduate Hospital 20 St & 2nd Ave, N. Y. City. The S. A. M. Bot $1000. Liberty Bond!!!” Attractively matted with the original mailing envelope and the two original photographs Houdini had noted in the letter and framed to an overall size of 18.75 x 15.25. In fine condition, with intersecting folds (passing through portions of the signature, but in no way affecting the bold writing), a couple of small spots of toning. A journalist for the Boston Daily Times, Edwin Fay Rice had a short but impactful career in the world of magic, and was a key figure in helping found the Mystics Circle of Boston as a member of the Society of American Magicians, a board in which this letter finds Houdini serving his first year of presidency. A successor to renowned mentalist Robert Hellar, and known worldwide as the ‘Dean of American Magicians,’ magician Harry Kellar presented audiences with huge stage shows throughout the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Although he retired in 1908, Kellar—just a few months after this letter was written—was coaxed out of retirement by Houdini for a final show in 1917 at New York’s enormous Hippodrome. A brief yet remarkable, boldly signed letter, further enhanced by the retainment of the original photographs of Houdini, Rice, and Clarke, an editor and writer for M. U. M., the newsletter for the Society of American Magicians. The James Collings Collection. Pre-certified PSA/DNA.
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