The above photo was sent to me this week by Brian Lumley. As you probably already know, Brian was one of Doug’s primary assistants in the early years, and today is a treasure trove of Henning knowledge of that time.
Brian mentioned to me that he is moving, and recently unearthed this treasure that had been lost for twenty years: Houdini’s pocket jack knife. Given to him by Doug himself, the provenance letter that accompanies it reads as written:
“This is to certify that this jack knife was owned and used by Harry Houdini. I purchased it from Mrs. Kavenah who was given it by her mother, Mrs. Hinson, who was Houdini’s wife Bess’ sister. It is now being given to Brian Lumley of “The Magic Show.”
Doug Henning March 28 ’76
To say that this undiscovered gem is a find is an understatement. This pocket knife came from the collection that Ruth Kavanaugh sold to Doug, and would eventually make up the contents of his book “Houdini: His Legend and His Magic.”
Brian did want me to let readers know that the item is not for sale. However, it’s comforting to know the pocket knife remains in good hands (no pun intended). Something I’m sure Doug and Houdini would be glad to see.