What do magician extraordinaire Harry Houdini, Russian Czar Nicholas II, David Copperfield, and a storied magic family in Santa Barbara, California have in common? A stunning, yet mysterious and controversial jeweled medal, that’s what.
Houdini and a Historic Medal
With that kind of backstory, it’s hard not to be intrigued, which is what the producers and the host of the television show “Strange Inheritance,” are hoping. This ‘truth is stranger than fiction,’ tale is the focus of the Monday, Jan. 22 episode of “Strange Inheritance,” which airs on the FOX Business Network. Jamie Colby is the host of the program, which just started its fourth season. The ‘Houdini’ episode is the second of this season. The first half-hour episode entitled, “Indian Arrowheads,” explores the tale of a North Carolina man who inherits 250,000 ancient Indian arrowheads
I won’t give away the entire story -- you’ll have to tune in on Monday to see for yourself -- but here's a sneak peek to tide you over...
As a native of Wisconsin, I’ve always appreciated the fact that Mr. Houdini (Erich Weiss) referred to Appleton, Wis. as his hometown; after having immigrated to the Badger State from Hungary as a young boy with his family. I’ve also visited the History Museum at the Castle (operated by the Outagamie County Historical Society) to view the Houdini exhibition and have participated in a Houdini Halloween pub crawl in the past. Plus, this year marks the 80th anniversary of the founding of The Houdini Club of Wisconsin. That’s a lot of Houdini history right here in my home state to celebrate. Which is why I’m anxiously awaiting the upcoming episode of “Strange Inheritance.”
Legacy of Magic
At the center of the story is the 14-carat gold antique medal, in the shape of a crown, featuring 39 diamonds, 17 sapphires, 14 rubies, and a single, stunning emerald. Whew...that’s a heck of a medal. Equally fascinating is the story surrounding the ‘path’ this antique example of ‘bling’ has traveled in the more than one century since it was reportedly gifted to Mr. Houdini.
Even though I have yet to see the full episode, Monday evening can’t arrive fast enough; it seems fitting the ornate object has remained in the hands of magicians and magician families since coming into Mr. Houdini possession. Of course, there is a bit of controversy surrounding this item as well, which seems for many to add to the intrigue.
Until Monday evening at 9 p.m. Eastern time, here’s to hoping your weekend is as magical as the life and talents of Mr. Harry Houdini.