As Smallini, I wanted to create a version of that legendary illusion for the Suitcase of Wonders. I tried to devise a method for myself to be submerged, but was unsuccessful in my attempts, partly due to the nature of my figure, so to speak.
It occurred to me that I could possibly try the trick using another, more suitable object. A few years before, I had purchased a miniature version of this trick from Tannens magic shop that utilized a black ball as a stand-in for Houdini. It was a deceptive method, but the ball lacked personality, as well as not effectively registering to the audience as being an object that had weight, a crucial perception for this illusion. That is when I thought of the Gold Buddha.
I have seen other effects that use the same method for an object vanishing from a container of liquid, but I feel the routine I have devised is deceptive, entertaining and appropriately respectful of the original illusion from Houdini.