Back in August 2017, we reported that a bejeweled Russian heirloom once gifted to Harry Houdini had auctioned for $72,000 in a sale held by Potter & Potter. What we didn’t know was who ended up with the rare jewelry, as the buyer wished to remain anonymous at the time. But now that changes: in an upcoming episode of Strange Inheritance with Jamie Colby on Fox Business, the current owner has revealed himself to be none other than David Copperfield.
Copperfield, who has been on a tear lately buying up priceless Houdini artifacts (like the bookcase from his New York apartment), will reveal to Fox Business on an upcoming episode that he was the new owner of this necklace. You can watch the trailer below:
A little background on this mysterious brooch: the story goes that Houdini was gifted a medal adorned with diamonds, sapphires, rubies, and emeralds by Russian royalty during his voyage performing in the country, but the source itself is a bit of a mystery. Bess Houdini, Harry’s wife who turned the medal into a necklace, insisted that it was a gift from Czar Nicholas II himself, but available records indicate that he never met the Czar, and that instead the pin was likely a gift from Grand Duke Sergei Aleksandrovich.
Provenance aside, we do know that it came into possession by the Houdini’s in the early 20th century. It was then gifted to Gerrie Larsen, a TV performer known as The Magic Lady, who then gave it to her son Milt’s wife Arlene. Arlene put it up for auction, and now it’s in the possession of Copperfield, the wealthiest magician in the industry and known collector of historical magic artifacts.
If you want to learn more about the story behind this necklace, and how Copperfield came to own it, the full episode of Strange Inheritance should have the rest of the juicy details, which airs Monday, January 22 at 9:30pm Eastern on Fox Business.