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Panorama of Magic

ca. 21 x 28 cm, 216 S., Dover Publications, Inc., New York, 1962, broschiert

This is unquestionably the most profusely illustrated history of stage magic ever published. It traces developments and transitions in the art of conjuring from the time of the Pharaohs up to the present, and presents this panorama through a diverting and unusual array of photographs. litographs, woodcuts, engravings, drawings, handbills, posters, and even copies of sketches from the walls of ancient buildings. These illustrations - taken from Mr. Christopher's private collection of magic memorabilia, the largest of its kind in the world - are very rare and many are unavailable elsewhere. Some of the illustrations are paintings by famous artists, such as Hieronymus Bosch, William Hogarth, and Peter Breughel. There probably has never been another profession - as this book makes one realize - whose members have been such consistently amazing personalities, offstage as well as on. Dedi, the Egyptian wizard who was the first to "decapitate" an ox and make it a whole again; Robert-Houdin, "the father of modern magic", whose magic quelled a rebellion in Algeria; the legendary Harry Houdini, who escaped from every confinement the imagination could devise - these are only a few of the many magicians whose careers are illustrated here. The book is a pleasure to read and look through; the tect teems with lively anecdotes about the wizards themselves, and the illlustrations are an unfailing delight. Anyone interested in magic, costuming, stage setting and design, ethnology and psychology, or anyone who simply likes tp read about interesting people or see unusual prints and engravings, will want to own this book!

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