Posted by Mark Lyons on August 26, 2001 at 04:35:03:
Houdini is alive and well and is in Las Vegas. If any of you find yourself in Vegas, do yourself a favor and head over to the Venetian Hotel. You will find a great little museum dedicated to Houdini. What the museum lacks in space makes up in quality and quantity. The owner of the museum and magic shop next door is a very knowledgeable collector named Geno Munari. I met him at his office and he gave me about an hour of his time. I could have spent all day but he is a busy guy as he ownes 8 magic shops. Seven of them in Vegas. His phone number is (702)798-4789. He started collecting Houdini memorabilia as a small boy. Over the years he amassed quite a collection. Most of it is displayed here. Inside the museum, I saw an incredible amount of memorabilia. Besides Houdini's personal check and business cards, there was about a dozen autographed letters, stock cerfificates, original Buried Alive poster, and most importantly lots of cuffs. All the cuffs that I remember seeing were from the Butterfield auction. If you have a catalogue, you can see a picture of the items. In the display were:
#196 Autographed Picture
#252 Letter Lock
#384 Wood Cuffs
#327 Secret Padlock
#378 German 8's
#217 Lock Pic
#247 Tower Bean
#248 Come Along
#251 Bean Cobb
#254 Pics and Keys (the label for all the picks were misspelled)
#441 Bastille Belt (probably the best piece)
All of the above items were framed and authenticated by Sid Radner and Henry Muller of the Houdini Historical Centre.
No trip to Vegas would be complete without seeing this collection. To find it is easy. Park your car in the back parking structure and come into the hotel through the walkway. There is a food court and the museum is in the back. The entire hotel is gorgeous and worth spending a few hours. I even won 50 bucks!
Go over to the magic shop and ask to see UFO. This is a great trick that I think is exclusive to the store. Caution: be prepared to buy one because you just have to know how it is done.
I think you cuff collectors will be as pleased as I was. Let me know what you think. mark
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