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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Magicians of old » » A few photos of Robert-Houdins' Blois (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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I am sure most people who are fans of Robert-Houdins have seen these photos, but in case you haven't I downloaded a few I took while in Blois a while back. It was great being there, but I was a bit disappointed with the limited number of his pieces that are actually in the museum. The Dragons that come out of the windows on the hour are impressive though.
I hope you enjoy!
Bill Palmer
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You can probably see more of his actual pieces if you visit the Copperfield collection.
"The Swatter"

Founder of CODBAMMC

My Chickasaw name is "Throws Money at Cups."
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I am sure you are correct. I think Copperfield acquired several more pieces after Fechner passed. I would think there are a few still in Robert-Houdins family. The only thing I am sure the only place the pieces are not, are in the museum. When I bought the video 'A Magician's Life', it showed so many pieces at the museum, little did I realize that was only for a special occasion. Maybe someday, I will get a chance to view the pieces in Copperfields collection.
Lawrence O
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Christian Fechner over more than 15 years, with some minor but continuous support on my part, discovered every single surviver of the Jean Eugène Houdin's family and, after long negotiations acquired all the documentation (writings, photos, automatas...) that these heirs didn't even know they had or didn't realize the historical value of.
Yes David Copperfield, who was very close to Christian, and who did show a genuine interest in such discoveries, was kept well aware of a good part of it.

As a matter of fact, the house in Blois that you are posting the photographies of, was a project which was initiated in Christian's mind and that he had to carry through in the labyrinth of the French administration with more verbal help from the former minister of culture Jacques Lang than actual financial support.

Christian Fechner's contribution to the reality of Robert Houdin's impact on our art is beyond everything that people can realize. He spared no effort or money to ascertain the facts and make them recognized. He did it with his natural tact and elegance owing to the passion and hatred by some supporters of the King of Handcuffs.

Christian had no nationalistic slant in his quest and we were both agreeing that Dai Vernon had had, in the XXth century, the same profound impact on magic that Robert Houdin had had in the previous century.

If you are interested (and you should) to know the facts on Robert Houdin, read the two books that Christian wrote about the master and about his theater. You will find there more than in any museum: you will understand this XIX century genius better than from any visit to any museum.

You should also know that Christian's collection on Robert Houdin's documents and automata (as well as his library) are still in his family. Christian sold posters and magic apparatuses which were not related to Robert Houdin and, from the Robert Houdin's works, only duplicates were sold after his passing away and the best pieces are still there. Any question related to this topic could be relayed to Christian's family through Georges Proust of L'Académie de Magie, who acts as a curator of the collection for the Fechner family.

Christian, I miss you: You've been a very loyal, dedicated and tactful friend for many but not enough years.
Magic is the art of proving impossible things in parallel dimensions that can't be reached
Pete Biro
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Thank you "O" for your historic bit of information about a dear friend. Fechner was one of the greats of our time and someone I really miss.
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I had not seen these and they're incredible. Thanks for posting.
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I think the Christian Fechner books on Robert-Houdin are the greatest books ever written about a magic figure.
The legacy of Robert-Houdin was blurred and besmirched by Harry Houdini for reasons that can best be summed up as nutty.
Christian Fechner fixed everything for those who have been able to read his books.
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