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Buatier de Kolta

Buatier de Kolta ( Joseph Buatier; November 18, 1845 – October 7, 1903) was a French magician who performed throughout the latter part of the 1800s in Europe and America.

Buatier de Kolta was born in Caluire-et-Cuire (Rhône, France). He was a contemporary of fellow French magician Jean Eugène Robert-Houdin. Many of his illusions, such as Multiplying balls, the Expanding Die, the Vanishing Fat Lady, Spring Flowers from a Cone, and the vanishing bird cage, are performed by magicians today.

It is the Vanishing Lady that is so particularly known today and still used that magicians now refer to it as the De Kolta Chair. A woman is seated on a chair, was then covered by a large cloth, and would appear to vanish before an audience. The effect was a signature piece of Richiardi Jr – after he vanished the woman she apparently reappeared moments later from an empty trunk on the other side of the stage.

De Kolta is the subject of the book Buatier de Kolta: Genius of Illusion by Peter Warlock.

In 1903 he died in New Orleans of acute Bright's disease.


Hay, Harry. Cyclopedia of Magic. (1949) ISBN 0-486-21808-2

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