He designs in 1911 the Chinese Water Torture Cell, a sensational illusion that he will use in his shows until his death in 1926. Suspended by his ankles the magician is descended head down in a glass tank filled with water where he remains submerged during three minutes. The machine built to perform this trick is made in England.
On February 4 in Chicago, Potter and Potter sells a poster 102 x 224 cm printed in London in 1912, lot 99 estimated over $ 50K, catalog shared on the bidding platform Liveauctioneers. It is one of only three known copies and its condition is graded B+.
The public is challenged to analyze the illusion with a reward of £ 200 to the one who will explain how the air to breathe is supplied to the magician during his immersion.
On June 25, 2016, the same auction house sold for $ 46K including premium a 99 x 213 cm poster printed four years later in Cincinnati, Coming from the same collection, it is in condition A-. The mystery had not been unveiled in the meantime since a similar reward was again offered, now for $ 1000.
In this later version, the equipment offers a new refinement in the torture with a heavy grid locked by six rows of padlocks. The dramatic effect is enhanced by the overflowing water with splashes at the level of the raised feet of the magician.
SOLD for $ 95K before fees