Houdini contract for Grand Theatre, Bolton, $12,000 (£10,000) at Potter & Potter.

Enjoy unlimited access: just £1 for 12 weeks

Subscribe now

Dated May 9, 1904, the contract covers a series of shows Houdini held in north-west England from December 26-31, 1904. The terms stipulate that Houdini and “the full company of 10” will appear at the Grand Theatre, Bolton, and that the company will include the “said Houdini”, who shall be entitled to 60% of the gross receipts.

Signed by Houdini and dated May 19, 1904, it also has several ink annotations (probably in the magician’s hand) including the marginal addition stating: “Houdini has the right to work up matinee Sat. for challenge.”

The rubber stamp of Day’s Agency, which represented Houdini, is prominent at the top left of the document.

Only the second Houdini contract the auction house has offered, it had a guide of $3000-5000 but took $12,000 (£10,000).