Samuel Bellachini

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Samuel Bellachini
BornSamuel Berlach
May 1, 1828
Ligotta, Posen, former Prussia, now Poland
DiedJanuary 24, 1885 (age 56)
Parchim, Mecklenburg, now Germany
Resting placeJüdischer Friedhof Berlin-Weißensee (Weißensee Jewish Cemetery of Berlin)
NationalityPrussian

Bellachini (1828-1885), born Samuel Berlach in Prussia, was an officer in the Prussian service and one of the most popular conjurers in Prussia.

Biography

Bellachini was of Jewish origin. In the past, Jewish people didn't have family names. In the Grand Duchy Posen (part of the Kingdom of Prussia) they had, after the Napoleonic war, to take a family name. Samuel’s grandfather Ben Rabbi Lob Chajim chose his family name using the first letters B.R.L.Ch. of his name by inserting the letters e, to get the name Berlach.

In 1846 he took up magic performing mostly in the part which is now Germany, winning the title of "Court Conjurer". The story goes that during a performance where Kaiser Wilhelm I was in attendance, Bellachini did his "Magic Inkhorn" effect where a pen would only write on his command. He handed the pen and a sheet of paper to the king, with the request that he write something. When asked what to write, he told him "Bellachini is the Court Conjurer".

A feature of his act, producing eggs from his assistant's mouth, is described in Hoffmann's Later Magic.

He also did a side business in magical apparatus, which he sold to amateurs.

Bellachini suffered a stroke in 1882, which weakened his hands, making him unable to execute his best effect. In 1883, he lost his son, whose death was caused by the premature explosion of a pistol. A few years later, he suffered a final stroke that carried him off quickly.[1]

Bellachiny was a very popular person. Until now more than 30 Magicians have chosen his name as their artist names.

References

  1. Around the World with a Magician and a Juggler by Hardin J. Burlingame (1891)
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  • The New Tops, Vol. 32, No. 2, February 1992, Man of Magic by Robert Olson, page 11
  • Circus-Archäologie, Vol. 13, No. 49, Januar 2005, Gravestone of Samuel Bellachini, page 901, Historical newspaper articles about Bellachini, page 913
  • Magie Vol. 78, No. 1, Januar 1998, Bellachini I., Zauber-, PR- und Lebenskünstler, By Helmut Schmied, (On the occasion of Bellachini’s day of birth 170 years ago on May 1, 1827), page 18
  • Bio-bibliographisches Lexikon der Zauberkünstler Edition Volker Huber, April 2002, Berlach (Bellach), Ernst = Original-Bellachini, poln. Zauberkünstler (*01.05.1827 Ligotta, Posen; †24.01.1885 Parchim, Mecklenburg), page 43
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