It’s magic! Escape artist, illusionist now appraiser at Morphy

By on July 22, 2015


Morphy Auctions, Denver, has just added a little magic into their ranks with the addition of escape artist and illusionist Arioch, who joins the long list of appraisers who lend their expertise in various fields to the world famous auction house.

Since their upcoming July 26 advertising auction features the handcuff collection of Earl Lockman (1893-1967), the addition of Arioch couldn’t have come at a better time.

Photo courtesy Morphy Auctions Arioch is on board at Morphy Auctions as a specialist appraiser.

Photo courtesy Morphy Auctions
Arioch is on board at Morphy Auctions as a specialist appraiser.

Lockman was one of the few escape artists who kept the art alive after the death of Houdini in 1926. His long and successful career spanned decades, and he was the first escape artist to appear on television.

He amassed a collection of handcuffs and restraints that would be displayed in the lobbies of the theaters he performed in to attract attention to his shows, and later escaped from them in his act. His collection has been consigned to Morphys, to be auctioned off on July 26, and Arioch was the obvious choice when it came to organizing the collection.

An accomplished escape artist himself, Arioch has escaped from everything he has ever been challenged with – handcuffs, straitjackets, packing crates, and jail cells have failed to keep him prisoner, and he has appeared on MTV and in magazines and newspapers all over the world.

He has two shows on his YouTube Channel, Arioch Arioch, “Magic Mondays,” which features a different trick on every episode, and “Off the Cuff,” which showcases handcuffs from his own incredible collection.

Arioch has one of the largest collections of restraints in the world, with over 400 pairs of cuffs and shackles, dating back to the 18th Century from dozens of countries, as well as thousands of locks and keys. He also has an impressive collection of magic ephemera. Lockman has long been one of his idols.

“It was an unbelievable experience for me,” he says, “ It was like Lockman was standing next to me as I was going through the collection, telling me the story behind each piece.

“As a performer, I owe a great deal to those who came before me, and I see it as my responsibility to ensure that the memory of artists like Lockman don’t vanish in the mists of time.

“That’s why every winning bidder will receive a facsimile of Lockman’s business card and a photo of him. I have the originals in my collection, and I am more than happy to share them. This way, the winner will have the cuff and the photo together.”

The Lockman Collection is just one of the many types of items to be auctioned off at Morphy Auctions July 26 advertising sale, but it might just be the most unusual.

The entire auction inventory can be viewed daily from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., or from 8 to 9 a.m. on auction day, prior to the start of the sale.

For additional information on any item in the sale or to reserve a phone line for live bidding on auction day, call 717-335-3435 or e-mail

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