Monday, December 22, 2008

Buatier de Kolta

Buatier de Kolta (real name Joseph Buatier) is perhaps the greatest inventor of stage tricks and illusions in the history of Magic. From his brain came, among others: The Vanishing Bird Cage, The Handkerchief Pull, The Multiplying Billiard Balls, Spring Flowers, and The Human Cage. He had a patent for Black Art and, according to some authors, introduced the use of silk handkerchiefs in Magic.

He was a Frenchman, having been born in Lyon the 18 of November, 1847. He gave his first magic performance as an amateur in 1868 and became a professional magician in 1870 when he partnered with an excentric Hungarian showman named Julius Vido de Kolta, from whom he took his stage name. Bautier de Kolta is a world famous illusionist. He developed a very famous trick known as "Expanding Die".

The magician walks on the stage which carrying a satchel, de Kolta states that the satchel contained his wife. He opens the satchel and remove a die which the size approximately 6 inches on a side and it is placed on the table. However, the die grew in size until it was a cube measuring two and a half feet on a side visibly. Then the cube is lifted to reveal his wife.

Another illusion known as "Vanishing Girl" which considered very astounding. A plain metal bridge chair is placed in the center of the stage. Then, a few sheets of newspapers are spread and placed under the chair to eliminate the idea of trap doors.

Next, the magician's assistant is sat on the chair and covered with a cloth. The magician make a conversation with the assistant, whose voice still can be heard and in a sudden, the sheet was whisked aways to show that the girl has vanished. Since this illusion performed at the center of the stage and free from fancy props and in a strong light, this appears that there are no answer as how the girl vanished.

Andrew Loh

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