Images from Egyptian Hall: Will Nicola

Images from Egyptian Hall: Will Nicola

Will Nicola (seen on the right) was another globe-trotting illusionist from America. Young Will learned the magic business as an assistant in his father’s magic act and his older brother, Charles, who would gain his own fame as Von Arx, also mentored Will in the mysterious arts. Will’s first performance on his own occurred at the Trans-Mississippi Exposition held in Omaha, Nebraska in 1898. During the run of the Fair he became friends with the great Chinese magician, Ching Ling Foo, who was visiting America for the first time. Twelve years later, with his own full-evening show, Will had set forth on his first world-tour. While appearing in Tientsin, China, a familiar face turned up at the theater. It was Ching Ling Foo. This photo was taken in front of the theater to commemorate their reunion. In 1938 Nicola was on his fourth world tour working very successfully through Australia and New Zealand. From there they sailed to Java and then on to Singapore. It was during this engagement in November of 1939 that WW II broke out in Europe. Nicola thought it best to suspend the rest of his tour and cancelled his bookings in India. The show, as well as a large quantity of Chinese silk that he hoped to turn into costumes and backdrops, was loaded on board a British ship named Sirdhana. With the entire company onboard they set off for Honolulu but before clearing Singapore harbor the ship struck a submerged mine. The passengers safely scrambled into the lifeboats and then, from a safe distance, watched Nicola’s entire show disappear under the ocean’s surface....
The Conjuring Arts Lending Library

The Conjuring Arts Lending Library

  In 2011, I got a call from the librarian at Conjuring Arts, asking if I could spend “a day or so” looking through some books that had recently been donated. When I arrived, the place was filled from floor to ceiling with newly arrived boxes. And you literally had to walk sideways to go from room to room. It’s been much longer than “a day or so,” but I’m very excited to announce the creation of the Conjuring Arts Lending Library. New York residents now have thousands of books and props available to borrow for free. The apparatus collection is being housed at Fantasma Magic 421 7th Avenue (entrance on 33rd st.) and the books are on display for browsing and borrowing at Tannen’s Magic showroom located at 45 West 34th St. Suite 608 (Between 5th and 6th). The apparatus library includes props that are appropriate to every skill level and genre of magic. Professionally crafted classics like: the Cups and Balls, Linking Rings, Zombie Balls, Appearing Bird Cage, Topsy Turvey Bottles, and more. You’ll also find hundreds of simpler, commercially available effects, in their original packaging. There’s even a wooden duck that can figure out which card you picked! Many of the books in this collection are rare or out of print. A small sampling includes: John Northern Hilliard’s Greater Magic, Frank Garcia’s Million Dollar Card Secrets, Super Subtle Card Mysteries, Maskelyne and Devant’s Our Magic, Billy McComb’s Mccomb’s Magic, Martin Gardner’s Encyclopedia of Impromptu Magic, and Juan Tamariz’s Sonata. Click HERE to view the full catalog of books. Now here’s the full story: In the summer of 2011, Conjuring Arts received an incredible donation: the entire material remnants...
Cool Hunting Found Us Again!

Cool Hunting Found Us Again!

Our friends at Cool Hunting stopped by looking for some rarities. Please watch the whole clip but starting around 1:37 there is a short jaunt over to Conjuring Arts. Cool Hunting Video: A Tour Of New York City’s Rarities from Cool Hunting on Vimeo. If you would like to see more you can also take a peak at the Cool Hunting video shot 4 years...

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