|Died||June 17, 1905 (age 72) |
Evanion (c. 1832 - 1905), born Henry Evans in South London, was a society conjuror who presented a variety of tricks with humor.
From an early age Evanion was interested in magic, perhaps inspired by the acts at the Vauxhall Pleasure Gardens where his father ran a refreshment bar.
His shows were an assortment of magical effects, illusions, juggling and ventriloquism presented rapidity with trick following trick.
Evanion performed before members of the Royal Family including Queen Victoria, the Prince of Wales (later Edward VII) and Princess Alexandra. He exploited this in his publicity material using the title "Royal Conjuror" for the rest of his career.
He collected a variety of material relating to entertainment including posters, handbills, trade catalogs, tickets and advertisements. In 1895, the elderly and impoverished Henry Evans sold most of it (5000 items) to the British Museum and Harry Houdini.
Evanion died in poor circumstances and was too proud to seek assistance. Harry Houdini went to visit him two days prior to his death and immediately started a collection for him. The sum raised was a substantial one and part of this amount defrayed the burial expenses, while the balance was given to Mrs. Evanion.