Magicol No. 197 | October 2022
Magicol No. 197 is another wide-ranging collection of stories revolving around colorful and perhaps lesser-known characters from magic’s history. We dig into human stories, the kind that reveal as they inspire, that clarify as they inform. We have also added a new section to the journal, called “Reflections,” featuring opinion pieces that explore the drive and passion behind why we collect what we collect.
Michael Claxton kicks off this issue with a fascinating look at Native American magic in the vaudeville era. Michael’s research and insights shed light on the lengthy career of knife-thrower turned magician and illusionist, Chief Zat Zam.
Next, we offer a sneak peek into the past. Perhaps some additional explanation is necessary. The article in question is a charming and informative piece about Charles Oswald Williams, The Cardiff Conjurer, written by Dr. Edwin A. Dawes. It was originally published in 1991 as part of Dr. Dawes’ series “A Rich Cabinet of Magical Curiosities” for The Magic Circular.
Well, for the last five years, Magicana has been working closely with Dr. Dawes to bring all of those writings together into an epic, nine-volume set called The Rich Cabinet Collection. If you don’t know what we are talking about, find out here. We just released the first two volumes in August, and in early 2023 the next pair will be released. The Cardiff Conjurer article comes from Volume III.
From Cardiff to Brussels, we make our next stop in Belgium and meet Ionia, The Goddess of Mystery, courtesy of an excerpt from Charles Greene III’s new book, Ionia: Magician Princess, Secrets Unlocked. Charles delves into Ionia’s deep magical heritage—Julia Ferrett, better known as the magicienne Okita, was her mother and esteemed performer and magic shop pioneer Charles de Vere was her father—and demonstrates how The Goddess of Mystery came to be.
As our latest eclectic journey into the past continues, we meet the Viennese card conjurer, stage pickpocket and painter, Fred Roner. In this article, Richard Hatch recounts a past personal encounter he had with the then eighty-one-year-old Roner, and highlights the brilliant career the Jewish magician pursued despite the harrowing challenges he faced in Europe under Nazi rule.
Next, Leo Behnke gives an introduction to his latest passion, Merv Taylor, or more specifically, collecting Merv Taylor. Leo is just about to release a new book, Taylor-Made Magic: The Life of Merv Taylor, and in this issue he gives us a brief overview of who Merv Taylor was and why the magic that Taylor invented and built is so desirable among collectors today.
We also welcome new contributor William Winters to these latest pages of Magicol. While Bill has all kinds of magic-related items, from poker chips to playing cards, in his collection, he has provided us with an interesting and colorful overview of a new kind of collection in his home: wine! Well, there is a bit more to it, as you can imagine. But we should warn you, the collecting itch to hunt down magic-themed wine labels and wine collections may be contagious, especially after you read about some of the curious wineries Bill has found.
We round off this latest issue with a new section called “Reflections.” Here, we welcome articles exploring why we collect certain pieces, and what drives these unique and communal collecting passions. In this issue, we offer two essays. The first is by Lance Rich, who shares warm reflections from the last two Magic Collectors Expos in Las Vegas and Austin. While reviewing the conventions, Lance also observes how we have grown and evolved as a magic community, and how that evolution has opened the door to a new group of collectors. The second essay is by a Toronto-based scholar, Eva Seidner, who gives a refreshing look at “The Intimacy of Ownership.” While she examines objects outside of the magic world, it is curious that sometimes an outside view can offer pinpoint perspectives on our collecting world.
$40, plus shipping and handling.
Magicol (ISSN 0460-5314) is published by Magicana. Perfect bound (soft cover), digitally printed in color, 5.5” x 8.5” (14 x 21.5 cm), 102 pages.
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