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Topic: Robert-Houdin Automata: Antonio Diavolo
Message: Posted by: Cardician99 (Nov 25, 2009 12:59PM)
I recently watched a VHS tape of what I "think" was the orginal "Antonio Diavolo" mechanical doll constructed by Houdin. It performed on a Mark Wilson TV Special from the 1980's.

The acrobatics were more numerous and impressive than the reproduction model viewable below. I just happened across it on Youtube. Still, quite a nice piece of work.

One can't help but appreciate the thought processes and mechanics that went into bringing Antonio Diavolo to life.

Message: Posted by: mtpascoe (Nov 25, 2009 02:55PM)
Is that link of Mark Wilson on youtube?
Message: Posted by: Cardician99 (Nov 25, 2009 03:25PM)
No. It is of the constructor who tried to replicate the mechanical doll from descriptions only. He has never seen Antonio Diavolo inside or out. Not a bad job.
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Nov 25, 2009 07:24PM)
John Gaughan has the original. It does more than this one.

Regarding "Houdin," see the following post. Read the links mentioned in the post.

Message: Posted by: hugmagic (Nov 25, 2009 09:19PM)
Bill is correct. I have seen Antonio work live two or three times. It is always a thrill. To look at the Trapeze bar and see Robert Houdin's name and date inscribed in it will put a shiver up your spine.

I just saw Antonio at John's new shop a couple of weeks ago. Resting in the collection with his other friends.

Message: Posted by: veegates (Nov 27, 2009 01:56PM)
I read with interest about my version of Antonio Diavolo.
I have had a few people tell me that there are a few moves that my acrobat doesn't perform that the other does. I shot the video shortly after completing the piece. I was so excited about finishing him and getting a video on Youtube that I didn't practice the routine. It takes a fair bit of rehearsal to allow these pieces to perform all they are capable of. My acrobat is capable of performing all of the same feats as the other version. The only thing that mine (and the other) isn't capable of doing that Robert-Houdins' did is smoke his pipe. For aesthetic reasons I opted not to use that function. I thought the hole in his mouth where you would place the pipe would detract from the look I wanted.
I was going to shoot a proper video with a magician presenting him performing the whole routine, but after building the piece I began work on other projects.
Thanks to all for the positive responses!