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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Magicians of old » » Professor Pinetti (2 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

martydoesmagic
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I've just finished writing an article for my Ruseletter on Professor Pinetti. He was the most celebrated magician of the late eighteenth century:

Legends of Legerdemain: Professor Pinetti

This is the first in a series of articles I'm writing on colourful characters from magic's rich past.

Marty
Dr Dee
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Marty, this is sterling work. Lucid prose, nicely told and well illustrated (hope that doesn’t sound patronising).

Pinetti: what a showman! The card, nail, and gun: that’s a really adrenalised version of Card-on-Ceiling. I love the description of the miniature oracular golden head in a glass.

You have definitely left me wanting more (in a good way).
martydoesmagic
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Essex, UK
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Thanks, Dr Dee. I'm writing these articles to force myself to learn more about characters like Pinetti.

He was a fantastic showman and appeared to have greatly influenced Houdini, especially after Houdini denounced Robert-Houdin. Before that, he considered him a villain because of the (most likely) fictional story about Torrini.

I plan to write more articles about some of the magicians and charlatans active in the eighteenth century. Comus has a very interesting life, as did Cagliostro and Mesmer.

Marty
Dr Dee
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That’s a great line-up! Such colourful, surprising characters. I spent some time peering into the life of Katterfelto. I am sure he is already on your list.

Clever motivation on your part to set yourself this goal. Also great way to assemble material for a book. I am sure you don’t need a cheerleader, but I am certainly on the sidelines waving an encouraging banner.

I remember reading that Comus, like Pinetti, had a miniature head effect. This particular decapitated homunculus had blank irises that changed to match the observer’s eyes. I really ought to introduce something like this into my strolling show.
martydoesmagic
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Essex, UK
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Yes, Katterfelto is on my radar. He sounds like he was an extraordinary fellow! What I find fascinating about these characters is that they would thrive in today's social media climate of fake news and misinformation. Especially Katterfelto!

I'm not anticipating putting the articles in book format, but that is an option. However, I want to draw illustrations of each performer, so I might change my mind about this in the future and release something in a printed format.

Yes, effects using small heads were in fashion for some reason. I like the idea of performing with a miniature skull or cranium. If performing strolling magic, I'd be tempted to have it screwed to the top of a cane or walking stick, and then you could remove it to perform the trick in a glass or cup.

Thanks for the feedback. I appreciate it.

Marty
Dr Dee
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The thought of these chaps on social media! They certainly were expert publicists and knew how to work up interest. Nice to daydream about past greats utilising current technology. Cagliostro on Farcebook Marketplace. Matthias Buchinger’s YouTube channel…

That’s great that you are also communing with this greats by creating portraits. I hope the book format becomes irresistible.

Nice idea about the skull-on-a-stick.

I keep a box file of homunculus effects. I think it would be rude not to use this inspiration to manifest something in this tradition.

Thanks again and keep up the excellent work.
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