$4,427 pledged of $6,000 goal
backers
$4,427 pledged of $6,000 goal
backers

About

Houdini - King of Hearts
Houdini - King of Hearts

Features of the HOUDINI Magic Séance Deck:

  • Full color painted court card portraits
  • Unique "Ouija Board" fortune telling pips on each card
  • Houdini escape artist "gaff" card for disappearing card tricks
  • Cartomancy instruction card
  • Embossed "Master Finish" (as featured on the Exquisite deck)
  • Custom tuck box 
  • Printed by Expert Playing Card Company

Each deck comes packed with 52 playing cards in four suits, two Jokers, a special "gaff" ace of spades for card tricks and an additional card with basic instructions for using the deck in cartomancy.

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle - King of Diamonds
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle - King of Diamonds

Each card has a unique fortune telling pip, a spirit board plachette (commonly known as a Ouija board pointer) in the top right corner pointing to a phrase, letter or numeral.  The cards may be shuffled and fanned out, or drawn from the deck by a spirit medium, or a skilled magician, to read messages from beyond.

Deck back design
Deck back design

The card back design features chains and padlocks, a pair of linked magic rings, an "H" crest as found on Bess Houdini's letterhead in 1929 and Harry Houdini's favorite epigram used when signing autographs: "My brain is the key that sets me free"

Shackled Houdini ace of spades and "gaff" card for escape artist magic tricks.  Young Buster Keaton joker.
Shackled Houdini ace of spades and "gaff" card for escape artist magic tricks. Young Buster Keaton joker.

"Master Finish" refers to the embossed texture of the playing cards.  The deck will be printed by Expert Playing Card Company.  EPCC is run by the same folks as the Conjuring Arts Research Center in New York City.  This means the deck will be produced by magicians with the exacting standards that professional magicians demand.  EPCC have produced decks such as the Exquisite Deck, Global Titans, The Erdnase 1902 and Bee 216 replica decks.  We are honored to be working with Expert Playing Card Co. to bring you this magical deck!

The following personalities will be featured in the deck:

  • Diamonds:  H.P. Lovecraft, Margery, Conan Doyle
  • Clubs:  Arthur Ford, Bess Houdini, Theo Hardeen
  • Spades:  Sax Rohmer, Adelaide Herrmann, Robert-Houdin
  • Hearts:  J. Gordon Whitehead, Cecilia Weiss, Houdini
  • Joker:  Buster Keaton

Houdini, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Lovecraft, Hardeen and Buster Keaton are finished and mock-ups of their cards are presented here.  I will be completing additional portraits each week during the campaign.  Please see the Updates section above for more information on these personalities, their relationships with Houdini and the finished portrait paintings.

H.P. Lovecraft card artwork
H.P. Lovecraft card artwork
Theo Hardeen card artwork
Theo Hardeen card artwork

Add Ons:

You can custom tailor your pledge to the project by adding on any quantity of the following rewards.  Locked Add Ons will "escape" when their Stretch Goals are reached!

  • Magic Séance Deck    $12 / $14 international (each additional)
  • Houdini Dealer Coin    $12 / $14 international (each additional)
  • Alternate Edition Deck    $13 / $15 international (each additional)
  • 11" x 17" Art Print    $15 / $32 international (each additional)
  • Brick of 12 Decks    $130 / $162 international (each additional)

Art Prints

Art Prints will be printed on 11" x 17" acid-free 110 lb. gloss paper, shipped rolled in tubes.

Houdini Art Print Add Ons
Houdini Art Print Add Ons

Stretch Goals will fund fantastic new Add Ons such as a dealer coin and an alternate edition deck!  Help us channel Houdini and unlock the following Stretch Goals like a real escape artist!

Houdini Dealer Coin

This custom designed Dealer Coin will be unlocked as an Add On if funding exceeds $8000.  Features of the Houdini Dealer Coin are:

  • Real metal coin minted by Campaign Coins of Australia
  • Antiqued silver finish, 39mm diameter, 2mm depth
  • Unique 3D design on each side
Houdini Dealer Coin Stretch Goal mockup
Houdini Dealer Coin Stretch Goal mockup

Please CLICK HERE and HERE see demo images of comparable coins produced by Campaign Coins.  

Alternate Edition Line Art Deck

This Alternate Deck design will be unlocked as an Add On if funding exceeds $14000.  Features of the Alternate Edition Deck are similar with the following differences:

  • Black and White line art court cards instead of the color paintings
  • Black card back colorway
  • Alternate tuck box colorway
  • In addition to the Ouija pips, all cards also have added unique "fortune telling" texts on top and bottom margins.  See mockup pics below.
Stretch Goal: Alternate Edition Line Art Deck
Stretch Goal: Alternate Edition Line Art Deck
Original Pen & Ink illustrations for the Alternate Edition
Original Pen & Ink illustrations for the Alternate Edition
Stretch Goal: Alternate Edition Line Art Deck
Stretch Goal: Alternate Edition Line Art Deck

Custom Stamp Deck Seals

If funding exceeds $16000 a special custom stamp seal will be printed for the decks.

Playing cards have been used for divination purposes almost since their inception centuries ago, from the Tarot and Lenormand decks to more recent Rameses, Gypsy Witch, or Romany fortune telling cards.  The HOUDINI Magic Séance Deck is inspired by this tradition.

Houdini "The King of Cards" in action
Houdini "The King of Cards" in action

Harry Houdini, well known as one of the finest and most beloved magicians and escape artists, was also a tireless crusader against fraudulent mystics of the Spiritualism movement.  He found the presentation of deceptive tricks, such as spirit photography and rigged séances, as true contact with the spirit world to be very distasteful.  He was willing to believe in real spirit contact, but would not allow himself to be fooled easily, routinely debunking mediums such as Mina "Margery" Crandon and others.   

Why a HOUDINI Magic Séance deck then?  To continue to promote the heritage of Houdini's skepticism.  The court cards in this deck are drawn from the friends, relatives, enemies and associates of Houdini during his life... and "afterlife".  Please check the Updates above, as I will be telling the story of each face card and posting the completed portrait paintings over the coming weeks, detailing their interaction and how they related to Houdini and the Spiritualism movement.

Risks and challenges

Shipping and fulfillment is probably the most monumental task. My previous successful Kickstarter to publish H.P. Lovecraft inspired bookplates and bookmarks was fulfilled and delivered before my estimated delivery date. I have still given myself a generous buffer for reward fulfillment on this project and will be posting updates as the project proceeds with final artwork, printed proofs, and shipping timelines.

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    1 HOUDINI Magic Séance deck of cards. Manage your pledge for ADD ONS!

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    2 HOUDINI Magic Séance decks of cards. Manage your pledge for ADD ONS!

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    4 HOUDINI Magic Séance decks of cards. Manage your pledge for ADD ONS!

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    8 HOUDINI Magic Séance decks of cards. Manage your pledge for ADD ONS!

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    1 brick of a dozen HOUDINI Magic Séance decks of cards. Manage your pledge for ADD ONS!

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    Pledge $225 or more About $225

    Original ink drawing of shackled Houdini (as seen on the ace of spades) + 1 brick of a dozen HOUDINI Magic Séance decks of cards. Manage your pledge for ADD ONS!

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    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    Original ink drawing of Houdini (as seen on the tuck box cover) + 1 brick of a dozen HOUDINI Magic Séance decks of cards. Manage your pledge for ADD ONS!

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    Pledge $600 or more About $600

    All 12 original ink drawings of the court cards (as seen on the Alternate Deck) + 1 brick of a dozen HOUDINI Magic Séance decks of cards. Manage your pledge for ADD ONS!

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Funding period

- (30 days)