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Astarte was a levitation illusion created by William Robinson (Chung Ling Soo), Milton Chase and B. B. Keyes in 1889 that would allow a lady to rise in the air and do pirouettes.

It was first presented by William Robinson (Chung Ling Soo) and Kellar. Later after Robison joined Alexander Herrmann, they presented it as "The Maid of the Moon" and "Florine, the child of the air."

Keyes inspiration had been an act called Edna, created by the magician Will B. Wood, which had played in dime museums around Pittsburgh in early 1888 and billed as "The Only Human Being who Walks in Open Space . . . No Glass, Wires or Ropes Used".

Keyes and Robinson called thier illusion Astarte, after the mythical goddess of love.

Prior to 1891, Kellar added a hoop, decorated with ribbons, that he passed over her head and down below her feet.

An optical illusion, an apparatus for producing the 'Astarte' illusion, was patented in England by Carl Hertz.


Astarte was also the name of an illusionist (mentioned in Vaudeville Vol. 1 No. 10, 1895).


  • Leaves From Conjurer's Scrap Books by H. J. Burlingame (1891).
  • The Magician Annual, 1908-1909
  • Of Legierdemaine and Diverse Juggling Acts - Columns from The Linking Ring, 1949-1966 by John Braun (1999)
  • Kellar's Wonders by Mike Caveney (2003)
  • Glorious Deception The Double Life of William Robinson, aka Chung Ling Soo by James H. Steinmeyer (2005)
  • HOW DOES "ASTARTE" WORK? by JOHN McKINVEN, Magicol, May 2006